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on June 27, 2015
Please note that this book does not hold back when talking about sex nor does it hold back with its pictures. You need to decide your comfort levels about sex and what you feel is appropriate for your children.

I found this book to be very informative and written at a level for preadolescent kids to be able to easily understand. It's laid out with illustrations and small comics in a way to help keep their attention. It does show naked bodies, genitalia , people having intercourse, and so forth. It covers a variety of topics that are important in today's world such as no means no, how to stay safe online, be careful what you text and email, and of course, safe sex practices.
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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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on June 4, 2016
I'm so torn on what to write for a review, because I mostly like this book. But, be aware that it dives right into several things that you may/may not want to discuss with your kids right off the bat. Since this is an intro to sex book, I really had a hard time with the fact that it introduces anal sex. And, right up front....honestly, it was about page 4 or 5. Sure, we're going to share and teach him a lot, but now isn't the time to bring up anal. Not at age 10.
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on September 3, 2014
I realize people find discussing sex and reproduction controversial, but this is a great book for educating on sex and reproductive health and related topics. The content is presented without bias to sexual orientation, politics, or religion. Puberty, masturbation, other types of sex, pregnancy, relationships, and other topics are well discussed from the side of both genders. It does clearly state that abstinence is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and STD's, and stresses that the decision to become sexually active should be a conscious and deliberate one by a responsible person. Contraception is covered thoroughly and topics such as abortion, miscarriage, adoption, LGBT, are explained in an objective manner. Book does a good job at explaining what appropriate and consensual contact is with other people. Something that I thought was a very good inclusion in the this edition was conduct on phones, texting, computers, digital media, etc., and the potential consequences of misusing them. Overall, I can't really think of anything specific this book is missing. The illustrations are appropriate but they are direct which I guess some people find disturbing. They are by no means gratuitous nor are they anything resembling pornography.

Depending on your views as a parent or caregiver, the age suggestion of 10 and up may be higher or lower than what you think is appropriate, but it's pretty reasonable considering what most kids have learned on the playground by 10 years old. If you believing in educating earlier, this book should be perfectly fine for whenever you want to discuss it. The language and overall tone is still something that younger children can understand.

This book is almost identical to It's So Amazing by the same publisher. It's slightly more mature in tone and does cover sex related topics in more depth. There are less cartoons on the sidebars, which were somewhat distracting in the other book IMO, but many of the illustrations are exactly the same between books. If I were to pick between the 2, I would just skip It's So Amazing and get this one. Even if you find some of the topics too mature or just not applicable, they can likely be skipped and returned to at a later time. There are valuable sections in this book that are not in the other one such as appropriate texting and computer usage.
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on November 12, 2015
I am a mental health counselor and I work with children, teens and families. I love this series of books!!! I have bought so many copies and lent/given them out to friends and clients. Talking to children about bodies, sex and sexuality can be intimidating. Most parents aren't really sure where to start or when to start talking about these issues. Harris's series of age appropriate books takes the guess work out of family sex education.

It is extremely important to educate your children on topics of healthy sexuality, bodies and families. Believe it or not, you are probably more nervous about talking to your children about sex than they are. They can handle the truth. Seriously. Just follow along with the book and take a matter of fact sort of attitude when reading together. Allow children to ask questions and do your best to give accurate answers. Children will learn that its ok to have questions and to talk to their parents about these issues.

Favorite things about the series:
1. Age appropriate books allow parents to start educating their children early! I have seen many families try to provide too little information too late. By the time a child is reaching puberty, they have likely heard inaccurate information about sex from media or other children at school. Adolescents are also much more likely to get embarrassed when their parents try to talk with them about these issues. 4 year olds, and even 10 year olds are unlikely to be embarrassed. They will follow along with the fun cartoons and simple straight forward text and pictures.

I have found that older children have also benefited from being exposed to these books.It's a little more difficult with older children who express embarrassment. Try to stay calm and matter of fact to make them more comfortable. I like to ask older children what they already know and then use to book as a resource to fill in gaps of knowledge.

2. The books are inclusive and talk about important topics such as love, intimacy and different types of families. One of the major topics that families miss when sex educating their children is the emotional aspect of sex. These books allow the opportunity for parents to talk about the emotional implications of engaging in sexual acts and creating a family. This opens up opportunities to talk to children about your family's beliefs and values surrounding sexual relationships.

3. These books talk about safety and sexual assault "good touches and bad touches". One of the important reasons for teaching young children accurate information is to protect them. Children who know proper names for genitalia and have been taught healthy sexuality are more equipped to report sexual assault. I always remember a story from when I was working in a residential treatment center for children. One young girl had reported that her uncle touched her "pussycat". It took a long time for anyone to figure out that she had been sexually assaulted because of the use of a euphemism. Children should not be ashamed of their bodies. Teach proper sexual anatomy words to young children along with head, shoulders, nose and feet. They won't be embarrassed, but if you are, you can explain to them that talking about their private areas when in public is socially inappropriate. I always explain to young children that their private parts are anything that is covered up when they put on a bathing suit. That seems to be simple enough.

I strongly encourage parents and caregivers to check out this series!
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on October 4, 2017
Best book so far to read with your budding adolescence. I have been reading this with my boys and now grandsons for over 20 years. This is the most recent edition. The boys read the bee part (he's always embarrassed ) and I read the bird part (very confident and unashamed). The illustrations are tasteful, but accurate. Everything is covered respectfully. It really gives your child the confidence to discuss person things with you. Every time I have read this with one of my boys or now grandsons, they come back with questions the next day or so. Very often because they are confused about something, or want clarification on something a friend told them I also like that they see what the other sex has going on, instead of just them. I wish someone had read this to me when I was younger.
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on February 9, 2016
My son has loved this book so much (but he doesn't want me to know he looks at it, of course). I was impressed with this book on many levels! It offered so much valuable info - but in a way that is not condescending to kids.
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on December 22, 2014
This is an excellent, informative book for children 10-14. Addresses a wide range of issues including internet safety and other safety issues. Author includes characters of various ethnicities, abilities, and body types. I teach parents about talking with their children about sex and sexuality, and I recommend this book to them. I also give copies as door prizes.
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on May 30, 2016
FANTASTIC book for preteens. complete sexuality education. best as a jumping off point for conversations with parents, teachers, and OWL (Our Whole Lives) facilitators. they have questions, we can explore answers with them.
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on March 2, 2015
Absolutely one of the best books I"ve found for discussing puberty. Clear, honest, straightforward with enough information. Recognizes the inherent discomfort with talking about this information but presents it in a matter-of-fact way. Love this book.
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