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The What's Happening to My Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents and Daughters Paperback – January, 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"I kept wanting it to happen. When it did I remember thinking, 'It's about time.'"

"I was worried at first. Then it really wasn't so bad after all."

"I remember my brothers weren't allowed to hit me in the chest anymore. I was kind of pleased about that."

What mysterious condition are these now grown-up girls talking about? Ah, yes, puberty! With scads of personal stories and an abundance of useful, detailed information about girls' changing bodies and feelings, author Lynda Madaras and her daughter Area Madaras have expanded their guide for girls on the verge of change. First published in 1983, the bestselling classic has been revised and updated several times over the years to keep up with ever evolving facts and wisdom about puberty in girls. In this third edition, the authors continue their straight talk on the menstrual cycle, reproductive organs, breasts, emotional changes, puberty in boys, body hair, pimples, masturbation, and all the other fun, scary, and interesting things that go along with growing up. Filled with anecdotes, illustrations, diagrams, and honest, sensitive, nonjudgmental information for the young girl, the revised edition also addresses the new scientific facts about when a girl actually begins puberty (earlier than previously thought), advice on "female athletic syndrome," eating disorders, unwanted attention because of early development, and information on eating right, exercise, AIDS, STDs, birth control, and so much more. A welcome, reassuring book for parents and daughters, designed with the understanding that some girls and parents will want to read it together, and some will want to read it on their own; without a doubt, though, all will benefit. Got boys? Don't miss What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys. (Ages 8 to 15) --Emilie Coulter

From Booklist

Reviewed with Lynda Madaras' The What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys.

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Newmarket Press (January 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557044449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557044440
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #778,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for anyone interested in the process of growing up. I am a 15 year old girl and my mom got me this book when I was 10 years old, and I love it. It answered all my questions about growing up. Some people think that this book is too advanced for your average pre-teen, but having been there just a few years ago, I can assure you that it is not. The book provides a lot of information that I was curious about, yet too embarrassed to ask about. Even being so young when I got the book, I can assure you that it did not cause me to grow up any faster... it only caused me to grow up at a normal speed with more information. I still read the book as I experience new things, and because of this book and the topics it discussed, I was more assured about the changes going on inside of me.
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Format: Paperback
My wife and teenage daughters teased me about reading this book. But as someone who works with girls in sports, I felt it was important to know what is going on with girls at this age. Was the book informative? Yes. It had two strong points: 1) It treats sexuality and associated taboo subjects as normal parts of life. Really, I cannot understand why some of the other reviewers thought the information was too graphic; 2) I was particularly intrigued with some of the sex-related questions young people ask. At first, their questions seemed ridiculous and so naive but then you realize they ask them because we treat the subjects of puberty and sexuality with such secrecy. No wonder some of the questions are so hilarious! The book treats each of the major subjects in a simple straightforward way. There is nothing difficult to understand and young women are supported for their decisions and preferences. The author also makes some suggestions ( based on adult wisdom and her experience with young people ) about what to consider when deciding to do A or B. My only criticism of the book is that some of the AIDS information is outdated. My copy said the information had been updated. While I am not an expert on AIDS, my impression is that some of the information did not reflect progress made in prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The book has sold well because it gets right to the point about everything that young people want to know about growing up female. And yes, I did learn a few things.
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By A Customer on October 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
My mother bought this book for me when I was ten. Her mother had never explained any aspect of puberty or menstruation to her and she was afraid of giving me confusing or incorrect information. I remember reading this book cover to cover at least five times and going through it again as I was a teenager and had questions. I developed earlier than most girls and this book was a reassuring source of information. It not only taught me a lot about my body and what was happening, but was a boost to my self-esteem because it talked about differences as being o.k. I haven't read the new edition, mine is 15 years old, but I can't imagine anything better for a mother to give her daughter as she enters puberty. It opened a line of communication between my mom and me about a topic that is not always easy to discuss with your parents at that age. I would recommend this book to ANY parent for his/her daughter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I definitely recommend this book if you are looking for an interactive and informative book about puberty for a reader age 9-12.

I read this entire book before giving it to a dear 11 year old girl. I think she will find it fun to do the activities, and I think it will answer many of her questions. It is not loaded with details, because it is meant to complement the book "What's Happening to My Body" by the same author. But I think it can stand alone, especially if you are looking for an introductory book without a lot of "scary" info. It has many great illustrations (breast development, changes in hips/waist, pubic hair growth patterns) to help the reader understand that the changes in her body are a normal part of growing up.

A few things you may want to know before buying this book/giving it to your child:

It has a chapter on learning about your body and gently suggests using a mirror to identify the various parts, accompanied by a cartoon that the reader is encouraged to color in (I liked that this kept the chapter light-hearted).

The same chapter also has a small paragraph on masturbation, saying that it is "normal to do it and normal not to do it." This paragraph (p. 79) can easily be cut out if you feel that your child is not ready for it, without disturbing the rest of the text too much.

Overall, the writing was age-appropriate, and new terms were well defined, with a few exceptions. For instance, on p. 92 the author says that an unfertilized ovum (which she defines as an egg) will "disintegrate" - this may sound like a scary word to a younger reader.

Otherwise, I did not see any other potentially inappropriate content for this age group (9-12 yrs old). The book does not cover sex.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my daughter who is 10. She is not showing any stages of puberty but I thought it would be a great way to follow up on our discussions about her upcoming changes. This book has a number of worksheets which encourage the reader's thoughts and feelings on all sorts of subjects. It also is very good at explaining that all girls are different and all develop at different ages. I think it gives the right amount of information for my duaghter; not too much, not too little.
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