Can you guess what all these chapter titles are about? Give you a hint: everything you ever wanted to know about (but were afraid to ask)... You got it, boys and puberty! Author Lynda Madaras and her daughter Area Madaras have expanded and updated their sensitive, detailed, often witty guide for boys on the cusp of adolescence. To help boys realize they are not alone in their concerns about masturbation, body hair, growth spurts (or lack thereof), female puberty, voice changes, perspiration, shaving, and sexuality, this classic guide is written in a down-to-earth, nonjudgmental style and filled with answers to the many questions boys have as their bodies begin the transformation into adulthood. As a result of thousands of reader letters over the years, as well as the ever growing body of information about puberty in boys, the third edition has been revised to include more detailed discussion of penis size (the authors get more questions about penis size than all other topics combined), updated information on acne treatment, expanded sections on eating right, exercise, steroid abuse, and weight training, and important facts about STDs, AIDS, and birth control. Filled with anecdotes, illustrations, and diagrams, the guide is designed with the understanding that some boys and parents will want to read it together, while others will want to pore over it on their own. Either way, this resource will prove to be incredibly useful for boys and their parents over these strange, exciting years. The companion volume for girls, What's Happening to My Body? Book for Girls is a must-read as well. (Ages 8 to 15) --Emilie Coulter
Gr. 4-8. In these new editions of her classic guides, Madaras has made significant changes to reflect the younger age at which children are now reaching puberty. She has cut out the chapters about sex, birth control, pregnancy, and STDs, although she includes a rich appendix of resources on these topics. Mostly, the books concentrate on the physical changes that occur during puberty, with new chapters designed to serve as "owners manuals": in Boys, there's new information about shaving and answers to questions about penis size; in Girls, there's an expanded "all about having periods" section. As in the previous editions, the tone is matter-of-fact and comforting, and Madaras has further simplified the sentence structure and word choices, in some cases perhaps too much; the section on sexual harassment, for example, is somewhat vague and slightly unfocused. Overall, however, these are excellent new editions that make fine resources even more accessible to a young audience. Sure to encourage dialogue between kids and parents. Gillian Engberg
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