Children's Reading Suggestions

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Parenting Subjects: Birds, Bees & Babies

on February 5, 2014

The following list represents a variety of views and attitudes on sex education, and different titles will be appropriate for different ages.  Please look over the books’ descriptions and pre-read them before sharing with your child to ensure that the one you select is consistent with your views on the subject and appropriate for your child’s age.

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From boys to men : all about adolescence and you by Michael GurianFrom boys to men : all about adolescence and you

A straightforward guide by the best-selling author of The Wonder of Boys answers the confusing questions about the physical, emotional, sexual, and social changes that teenage boys undergo during adolescence. 

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On the spot : real girls on periods, growing up, and finding your groove by Karle DickersonOn the spot : real girls on periods, growing up, and finding your groove

Provides an introduction to puberty and menstruation, discussing body changes, premenstrual syndrome, and a guide to feminine products.

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It’s OK to be you : a frank and funny guide to growing up by Claire Patterson

Explains puberty and discusses how to feel good emotionally and physically through difficult and changing times.

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It's a girl thing : how to stay healthy, safe, and in charge

It’s a girl thing : how to stay healthy, safe, and in charge by Mavis Jukes

A guide for pre-adolescent girls to the changes that puberty brings to their bodies, including information about menstruation.

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What’s happening to me? : The answers to some of the world’s most embarrassing questions by Peter Mayle

Discusses the mental and physical changes that take place during puberty.

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Amazing you: getting smart about your private parts by Gail SaltzAmazing you : getting smart about your private parts

Many parents live in fear of the day their child asks that question—which inevitably happens, often as early as the preschool years. Here is a picture book designed especially for young children who are becoming sexually aware but aren’t ready to learn about sexual intercourse. Written with warmth and honesty, Amazing You! presents clear and age-appropriate information about reproduction, birth, and the difference between girls’ and boys’ bodies. Lynne Cravath’s whimsical illustrations enliven the text, making this a book that parents will gladly share with their young ones.

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It’s not the stork!: a book about girls, boys, babies, bodies, families, and friends by Robie HarrisIt's not the stork! : a book about girls, boys, babies, bodies, families, and friends

Young children are curious about almost everything, especially their bodies. And young children are not afraid to ask questions. What makes me a girl? What makes me a boy? Why are some parts of girls’ and boys’ bodies the same and why are some parts different? How was I made? Where do babies come from? Is it true that a stork brings babies to mommies and daddies? IT’S NOT THE STORK! helps answer these endless and perfectly normal questions that preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school children ask about how they began. Through lively, comfortable language and sensitive, engaging artwork, Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley address readers in a reassuring way, mindful of a child’s healthy desire for straightforward information. Two irresistible cartoon characters, a curious bird and a squeamish bee, provide comic relief and give voice to the full range of emotions and reactions children may experience while learning about their amazing bodies. Vetted and approved by science, health, and child development experts, the information is up-to-date, age-appropriate, and scientifically accurate, and always aimed at helping kids feel proud, knowledgeable, and comfortable about their own bodies, about how they were born, and about the family they are part of.

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How are babies made? by Alastair SmithHow are babies made?

Explains how a baby is conceived, how it grows inside the mother’s womb, how it is born, and what it does after it is born.

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Before you were born by Jennifer DavisBefore you were born

A lift-the-flap book showing milestones in a baby’s development during pregnancy and the mother’s experiences as it grows.

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What’s going on down there? : Answers to questions boys find hard to ask by Karen GravelleWhat's going on down there? : Answers to questions boys find hard to ask

Describes the physical and emotional changes that occur in boys (and, to a lesser extent, in girls) during puberty and discusses sexual activity, homosexuality, AIDS, and other related topics.

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There’s a house inside my mommy by Giles AndreaeThere's a house inside my mommy

As Mommy explains to her young child about the arrival of the new baby, he delights in taking part in conversations with his new sibling through the “tummy telephone” and watching the baby house in Mommy’s tummy grow with each passing day. 

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Mom and dad and I are having a baby! by Maryann Malecki

Offers a child’s perspective on labor and the preparations for childbirth, explains some of the things which might frighten a child, and describes the differences between home and hospital births.

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Before you were born by Joan Lowery NixonBefore You Were Born, Edition 2  -     By: Joan Lowery Nixon    Illustrated By: Rebecca J. Heaston

Introduce your child to the miracle of life through a loving lesson with God as its foundation. Poetic phrases teach the stages of development in the womb with age-appropriate accuracy. Children will delight in learning what their heartbeat sounded like, when their eyelashes formed, and how their hiccups felt to Mom. Before You Were Born is more than biology, however. With carefully chosen words and simple logic, it presents the truth about life at its conception: At that moment, each child already has been formed, known, and loved by God. This important message is wrapped in a tender tale your child will want to hear again and again. Teach your child right from the start the value of life as it develops in the womb ? and continues developing beyond. Snuggle up and share this amazing story that imparts reverence, respect, and joy for what God has created.

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Being born by Sheila Kitzinger

Breathtaking medical photographs and a poetic text chronicle the nine months between conception and birth.

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It’s perfectly normal : changing bodies, growing up, sex, and sexual health by Robie HarrisIt's perfectly normal : changing bodies, growing up, sex, and sexual health

A candid, thorough, and reassuring introduction to human sexuality provides accurate and objective answers to children’s questions about conception, puberty, birth control, AIDS, and other issues and concerns. 

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What's the big secret? : talking about sex with girls and boys

What’s the big secret?: talking about sex with girls and boys by Laurie Krasny Brown & Marc Brown

This “chatty yet frank” book Answers some of the most common questions about sex and development….Are boys and girls different on the inside? How do you tell girls and boys apart? Do girls and boys have the same feelings? Is sex a dirty word? Where do babies come from? What does being pregnant mean? How do you get a belly button? Tell me about when I was a baby…

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Everybody has a bellybutton: your life before you were born by Laurence PringleEverybody has a bellybutton : your life before you were born

Everybody has a bellybutton, but what is its purpose? Award-winning author Laurence Pringle provides the answer in this unique angle on life from a single cell to birth. Pringle explains how the bellybutton is a vital link to life-giving-nutrients, water, and oxygen for a fetus in the womb. Everybody’s bellybutton is a reminder of that mysterious, yet wonderful, time of life before birth. Enhanced by Clare Wood’s strikingly detailed illustrations, Pringle’s gentle description of life in the womb is both understandable and enjoyable for young children. A note to parents and a book list for further reading are included.

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The story of me by Stanton JonesThe story of me

Describes the anatomy of boys and girls and discusses pregnancy and childbirth from a Christian point of view. Designed for parents to read to their child at ages 3 through 5.

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Before I was born : designed for parents to read to their child at ages 5 through 8 by Carolyn NystromBefore I was born : designed for parents to read to their child at ages 5 through 8

Explains, from a Christian perspective, the fundamentals of human sexuality emphasizing that sex is part of God’s gift of marriage and family.

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Where did I come from? : The facts of life without any nonsense and with illustrations by Peter Mayle

This classic book uses simple language and engaging cartoon illustrations to explain the facts of life to young children. Covers male and female reproductive organs (what they are called and what each does), love-making, orgasm, conception, growth inside the womb, labour and birth.

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So that’s how I was born! by Robert BrooksSo that's how I was born!

A resource guide for parents who wish to answer their children’s first questions about sex, birth, and pregnancy simply and honestly at a pace determined by the child’s curiosity.

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How did God make me?: the miracle of birth by Matt JacobsonHow did God make me? : the miracle of birth

Through storylike text, simple illustrations, and powerful photographs, presents the facts of pregnancy and childbirth within a Christian context.

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When you were inside Mommy by Joanna ColeWhen you were inside Mommy

Clear, inviting text and lively illustration introduce young children to the concepts of pregnancy and childbirth–from the time they begin as one tiny cell to the joyful moment when their parents welcome them into the world.

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Mommy laid an egg!: or where do babies come from? by Babette ColeMommy laid an egg! : or where do babies come from ?

In this hilarious twist on one of the most difficult discussions in a child’s development, award winning author Babette Cole illustrates the one question all children are bound to ask: Where do babies come from? Mom explains that you can make babies out of gingerbread, grow them from seeds, or squeeze them out of tubes, while Dad says you can find babies under rocks. Amused by their parents’ silly answers, the children decide to set the adults straight. In a series of zany diagrams, the children show the adults exactly where babies come from. The offbeat illustrations are accompanied by a text that is short, simple, and anything but predictable. This is a funny book that will delight, entertain, and educate the entire family. 

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Baby by Nicole TaylorFront Cover

Describes the development of a human baby from conception to birth, and briefly discusses genetic and environmental disorders.

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A kid’s first book about sex by Joani BlankA kid's first book about sex

An introduction to sexuality for young readers, discussing feelings, bodies, and developing a positive self-image. Discusses nudity, sexual behavior, masturbation, privacy, sexual intercourse, homosexuality, sexual feelings, and companionship.

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The what’s happening to my body? book for boys : the new growing-up guide for parents and sons by Lynda MadarasThe what's happening to my body? book for boys : the new growing-up guide for parents and sons

Discusses the changes that take place in a boy’s body during puberty, including information on the body’s changing size and shape, the growth spurt, reproductive organs, pubic hair, beards, pimples, voice changes, wet dreams, and puberty in girls.

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Puberty Boy by Geoff PricePuberty boy

An invaluable source of information for growing boys, parents, and caregivers, this beautifully packaged guide offers pre-teen boys an appealing and fresh take on entering adolescence. Straightforward, conversational advice presents young boys with answers to the questions they may be too embarrassed to ask. This celebration of maturing bodies and spirits is invariably positive and provides factual information on acne, sexual development, body odor, and other physical changes. Also honestly detailed are the emotional changes that young boys encounter, as well as advice on interacting with girls. Complete with real-life stories from other boys and grown men, this book includes colorful photographs of real boys that create a sense of shared community, while instructional illustrations teach young boys about their changing bodies. 

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Sex, puberty and all that stuff: a guide to growing up by Jacqui BaileySex, puberty and all that stuff : a guide to growing up

This friendly book talks to teens in their own language, with emphasis on the subject that is foremost in the minds of just about every adolescent boy and girl: Sex. Separate chapters titled Boy Stuff and Girl Stuff describe body changes that occur during puberty, with frank and open explanations of male and female genitals, how they feel and how they function. Chapters that follow discuss typical teen problems, as well as those entirely new feelings that come with sexual development. Among them are, having a crush on that attractive boy or girl, coping with controlling parents, menstruation, dating and sexual activity, contraception, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, homosexual impulses, and generally surviving those difficult yet exciting teen years. Line drawings on most pages.

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The what’s happening to my body? book for girls : a growing-up guide for parents and daughters by Lynda Madaras The what's happening to my body? book for girls : a  growing-up guide for parents and daughters

Everything preteen and teen girls need to know about their changing bodies and feelings Written by an experienced educator and her daughter in a reassuring and down-to-earth style, The “What’s Happening to My Body?” Book for Girls gives sensitive straight talk on: the body’s changing size and shape; the growth spurt; breast development; the reproductive organs; the menstrual cycle; body hair; diet and exercise; romantic and sexual feelings; and puberty in the opposite sex. It also includes information on anorexia and bulimia, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, and birth control. Features detailed illustrations and real-life stories throughout, plus an introduction for parents and a helpful resource section.

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Growing and changing by Kathy McCoyGrowing and changing

Thoroughly revised and updated, a new edition of the classic guide to adolescence addresses questions preteens have about the physical, mental, and emotional challenges of adolescence, discussing body changes, emotions, sex, hygiene, health problems, Body image, and talking to doctors and parents.

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Ready, set, grow!: a “what’s happening to my body?” book for younger girls by Lynda MadarasReady, set, grow! : a "what's happening to my body?" book for younger girls

A completely new book written especially for 8-11-year-old girls, playfully illustrated in an appealing, two-color design. Young girls before the onset of puberty have a curiosity about their soon-to-be changing bodies that needs addressing in a simpler way than for their older sisters. In the proven, trust-worthy, Madaras-friendly voice and style, this entirely new book now brings them the same kind of thoughtful, down-to-earth informationbut at a reading and understanding level that’s just right for them. Responding throughout to real-life questions and observations from younger girls, Madaras explores the strange and thrilling changes that are happening, or about to happen, to them, including: the development of breasts, body hair, and body fat; the changes in their reproductive organs, both inside and out; their first period and all the complex feelings surrounding it; the unwelcome appearance of acne and new body odors; and, perhaps most important, how to respect and celebrate their unique bodies, even when the outside world is not always so accepting. Lively cartoon drawings throughout make the book not only helpful, but fun to read, too.

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Boy talk by Caroline PlaistedBoy talk

Discusses the body changes that boys experience during puberty, such as acne, body hair, body odor, mood swings, and crushes, and offers suggestions for how to maintain good hygiene and relationships. Full of fun artwork and enlivened with a modern, quirky design, these books offer essential information on the ups and downs of growing up. Written in a direct, yet informal way, these handy guides will be a useful aid for pre-teen readers.

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Teen DreamsTeen dreams.

Next-door neighbors Natalie and Darren discover the effects that gonadotrophins, testosterone, and estrogen have on their bodies and minds as they enter puberty.

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Don’t sweat it! : every body’s answers to questions you don’t want to ask by Marguerite CrumpDon't sweat it! : every body's answers to questions you don't want to ask

An introduction to common concerns of adolescence, such as acne and body odor, covering the physical changes of puberty and offering tips on caring for oneself from head to toe. American Medical Association boys’ guide to becoming a teen.

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American Medical Association girl’s guide to becoming a teen.American Medical Association girl's guide to becoming a teen.

Becoming a teen is an important milestone in every girl’s life. It’s even more important to get answers and advice to the most common health issues girls face from a trusted source. The American Medical Association Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Teen is filled with invaluable advice to get you ready for the changes you will experience during puberty. Learn about these important topics and more:

  • Puberty and what kinds of physical and emotional changes you can expect—from your developing body to your feelings about boys
  • The importance of eating the right foods and taking care of your body
  • Your reproductive system inside and out
  • Starting your period—what it means and how to handle it
  • Thinking about relationships and dealing with new feelings

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The care & keeping of YOU 2 : The Body Book for Older Girls by Cara NattersonThe care & keeping of YOU 2 : The Body Book for Older Girls

This thoughtful advice book will guide you through the next steps of growing up. With illustrations and expert contributors, this book covers new questions about periods, your growing body, peer pressure, personal care, and more! Written by Dr. Cara Natterson for girls 10 and up, The Care& Keeping of You 2 follows up the original bestseller with even more in-depth details about the physical and emotional changes you’re going through.

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Girl stuff : a survival guide to growing up by Margaret BlackstoneGirl stuff : a survival guide to growing up

Girls approaching puberty have lots of questions: What should they do if their period starts and they aren’t prepared? Can they get rid of that zit before tomorrow? Why do they sometimes feel cranky and scared? This comprehensive, reassuring, and compassionate guide will help answer those questions, and many more. Useful sections explain both the physical and psychological changes that adolescence brings and how to cope with them. Written in a no-nonsense style–with quotes from dozens of girls about their own experiences–this essential resource provides practical information about the trials and tribulations of puberty.

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The body book : it’s a God thing! By Nancy RueThe body book : it's a God thing!

Offers information on personal issues that pre-teen girls experience — such as puberty and cramps, diet and exercise — from a positive biblical perspective.

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