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86 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2014
I read all the reviews on amazon, among others. I decided to get the book to read with my 10 year old daughter. It does have cartoon graphics to illustrate each chapter, but there is nothing "sexy" about those (you can find them online if you search). It does discuss homosexuality, birth control, abortion, as well as menstruation, puberty, etc, etc. everything.

So, this is a very personal decision, but I decided that a book this thorough would be the perfect guide to use with my kid. Because, next year she will go into 5th grade and they will start teaching a class on a watered down version of these topics. Also she is already hearing random stuff at school and after school. Who knows what exactly, and from which kid(s). So I decided that I'd rather go through all these topics with my daughter BEFORE she learns "the truth" from someone else. Plus, when will I talk to her? When she is past puberty and too "embarrassed" to talk? Now is a good time. She still listens to me :)

So, I sat down with my daughter and explained why I got this book. I told her it's highly controversial because people have different beliefs. I said we should not talk about this at school, but the reason I am going through it with her is because I know she will hear bits and pieces out there, and I don't want her to feel confusion, embarrassment, or fear. I want her to feel like she can come to me any time and I will listen and help guide her. She was happy that would talk and had lots of questions as we approached each chapter.

I did NOT hand over the book. I keep the book, and explained that it's not for her friends to see. Their parents can decide how to educate their kids. We need to respect each other. :) I acted naturally through this conversation.

So approaching controversial topics may seem tough, but we are still going through it, and it's amazing how many questions she has, and how open and comfortable she felt. for instance: homosexuality... We read the chapter and then I asked her what she thought, before I spoke. I explained to her our beliefs as a family, and we talked a little about politics and religion. She is 10, so I kept it light. Whether I said homosexuality is wrong or right is not the point here. The point is that this is an opportunity to sit down and discuss it with my kid. By reading the book, we are not saying "go do it". It's also to me an opportunity to discuss privacy and respect.

With the pic of the girl looking at herself in the mirror... My daughter giggled, and I said, "well, don't you look at yourself? In private? It's good to know your body. To look for moles, changes, etc. It's natural to be curious, but it is a private act. And all the book is illustrating is, this is a natural act that everyone does." We only read a chapter at a time, and we find that each discussion brings up other discussions such as skin cancer, health, hygiene, etc.

Sorry this is a long review and I am not claiming to be a writer. I won't go into how I handled each topic, because maybe it's overkill, but already five other friends have bought this book. We see this book as a tool, and funny that my friends and I don't necessarily see eye to eye one very topic. We decided that we prefer to go over every topic, especially the super controversial ones... because if We don't go over these with our kids... Who will??

Good luck!!
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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2014
Okay, so I checked this out from a library to see what the hubbub was about. I honestly wish I had this book when I was younger.

So I hit puberty at 8, and had my first period at 10. My mom, a conservative, tried her absolute best to explain what sex was and reproduction and the body parts, but it was too embarrassing for her, and she seriously believed that I was too young to understand it. My body was having all sorts of weird feelings going on, and I couldn't ask her. Not even my sex-ed class in 6th grade helped much; all they talked about was periods and sex makes babies. But how? Why? What's actually going on in there, down there, everywhere? And does the opposite sex have the same problems?

This book gets all those questions out of the way. Kids aren't stupid. Kids can handle more information than people realize. This book is very blunt, but doesn't sexualize children at all, it's informational. And wouldn't you parents and guardians be more inclined to just get it out of the way and teach it all matter-of-factly instead of making it some taboo thing that children should never learn about until they decide to experiment and put themselves at-risk without knowing everything beforehand? Wouldn't it be better to learn from a book what they're feeling instead of looking for pornography online and expecting that to be the "right" way?

The book says 10+, but that doesn't mean you have to present it to kids when they're 10. 11, 12, 14, 16, whatever feels comfortable to you. But please, don't bash this book because your beliefs on human sexuality don't line up with something billions of people worldwide deal with every day.
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271 of 304 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2011
I received this book from my parents when I was 10 or so. Like many kids, I was not big on talking to my parents about sex. Or rather, it was hard for me. It's hard to talk to your parents about something like that. I was a smart, curious kid who had nowhere to turn and I'm so thankful to my mom for buying this for me.

I'm 24 now, but this book still is with me in thought, which is why I'm here to review it. "It's Perfectly Normal" taught me to be okay with myself. How I looked, how I felt, who I was attracted to. It was frank on how sex worked and the importance of safe sex.

I know it's hard for some parents to look at this book and think about giving it to your kid when it talks about masturbation, birth control and types of sex other than vaginal. But you do not want your kid learning about oral and anal sex, or that the pull out method is birth control or anything like that from the internet or whispers in the locker room. This book teaches these things maturely and with respect. Kids are curious, best to have them learn from the right source.

I truly hope if any parents, teachers or guardians are looking for a sex education book for a child in their lives, that they pick up this book. It'll help the kids come to term with such a confusing time in their lives and answer questions they have but don't want to ask.

It's left me feeling perfectly normal.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
This is a really great sex education book for ages 10 and up. It is the independent reading assignment at the junior high level for the Unitarian Universalist church's OWL (Our Whole Lives) sex education program. The authors did a good job of being inclusive of all lifestyles and body types. The book is succinct with 81 pages of actual reading material that has been distilled down to one or two sentences per concept, so it should hold your kid's attention. It covers the maturing body, healthy relationships, pregnancy, birth, parenthood, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and safe Internet use. It does not cover differences in the emotional needs and communication methods of the sexes, and it does not cover pregnancy testing or the details of disease testing. But then, those are more of high school or college topics and so beyond the target audience.

A few areas of deficiency:
The sections on birth control and on diseases are each presented as a long (2-page) block of prose. Summary tables would have been nice...or even subheadings. Also, the common cold is misidentified as being caused by an airborne pathogen.

Aspects that some families may need warning about:
It has color cartoons for pictures (no photos). There are lots of cartoons depicting naked bodies standing around and even a few showing adults enjoying sexual intercourse. Also, if your family is 'pro-life', anti-gay lifestyle, and/or pro-racial segregation, then this book is not for you.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Teaching health to blossoming bodies, I have found plenty of "growing up" books, but they were all sanitized for--the comfort of the teacher and/or parent. This book's drawings elicited a few giggles, but mostly just curiosity and lots of "wow, I didn't know that." I find it odd that we teach children about biology of plants and animals, but not about their OWN biology. Cloaking how the sexual organs of our bodies operate and the nitty gritty details helps only to assure the kids that when they have sexual thoughts or desires that they are somehow dirty, or sinful. (Not an issue for we atheists, but I get it.)
Included are little cartoon panels of two animal friends. One wants to know *everything* possible, the other feels nervous and afraid. They are great comedic relief but also allow the kids to say which one he or she feels most like.
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129 of 159 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2012
There is good stuff here, but I don't like how they have ordered the topics in this book. They talk about homosexuality before the even talk about puberty. Now before you freak out on me, know that we are episcopalian, are dear friends with many gay couples and our kids know we think gays should be able to marry. But unless you are talking to a kid you think might be gay, I vote going over their changing body before you talk about straight/gay. So we cut the binding off the book (any copy store can do it for you), rearrange the chapters, and talk to our kids about it one subject at a time in the order we prefer. When they are in 5th grade, we sit down for an hour every Wednesday night and talk with them about puberty, body changes, mechanics of sex, fetal development, relationships, oxytocin, spirituality, their right to say no... all of it. Takes a couple months. Our opinion is that we don't want our kids hearing anything they haven't heard from us first. Sex, sexuality and its role in relationships is a huge part of who we are and deserves more than one "talk". This book is one of many that we use including It's So Amazing and A Child Is Born by Nilsson. When they are older (high school) we also talk about and read How To Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul. As I say, this book has good stuff, but it's not perfect. It's both too much and too little in my opinion. Don't feel pressured to use all of it, and don't reject it completely because of its faults.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2014
Seeing all of the negative reviews here gave me the idea that I was purchasing borderline porn to explain sexual health to my children. This is untrue. I have now read the book cover to cover myself, and reviewed the last chapter on Internet Safety with both of my sons who are 10 and 7.
Everyone is naked in this book. There ARE silly illustrations, and comic strips featuring "The Bird" and "The Bee." Do I find it inapropriate? No. I'm teaching my 10 year old about his body, just how would one accomplish that without illustrations? What better way to relate to a child than with a little silliness? No, it's not my favorite part of parenthood, and it can be awkward, but my children deserve to know about their own bodies; how they work and how to take care of them. That is OUR job as parents. I would rather stomach the temporary awkwardness and embarrassment to have my children obtain a proper education on sexual health than leave it up to a teacher, or worse: playground chatter, to teach them for me. And I certainly don't want to wait for puberty to hit full swing and hit them with a "By the way..."
I will continue to utilize this book part by part to educate my children as they grow. If nothing else it will help me provide an appropriate and correct answer for those spur of the moment questions that leave us frozen in our tracks.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2013
As a teacher I'd say this is the best sex ed book I've ever seen for this age group. It is appropriate and informative. It presents a lot of information and is not meant to be just left on a shelf, but invites questions and encourages conversation. That being said, if you feel that sex, gender and anatomy is something to be hidden and ashamed of, this is not the book for you. If you are an informed parent with an open mind who wants a conversation starter for your family, this is it.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2014
To all of you nice folks out there insisting this book is part of the Common Core curriculum: Uh, nope. If you've been misled by a certain ex SNL cast member, you might want to consider adjusting your tinfoil hat and seeking other sources of information. This book is, however, a great choice for parents wishing to educate their 10 to 13 year-old children about sex and the human body.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2014
This was exactly what I needed for discussions with my tween. It organizes things well and was a great opening for discussions and questions! I even learned some things about boys that I didn't know! Highly recommend!
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