Puberty Is Gross but Also Really Awesome

Rodale. Mar. 2021. 192p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781984895059; pap. $15.99. ISBN 9781635653533.
Gr 5 Up–As confusing as puberty can be, it is a universal experience, Loveless explains. The text uses the terms “assigned female” and “assigned male” and also cites a variety of adult caregivers (such as uncles and foster parents) in examples throughout the text, making it an inclusive and thoroughly up-to-date resource. The first half of the book details the physical aspects of puberty and bodily changes, such as breast development, menstruation, ejaculation, hair growth, acne, and body odor. The second half takes a more whole-body approach and covers issues including gender identity and expression, mental health, nutrition, bullying, screen time, and consent. Using humorous yet straightforward language and a visually appealing layout that incorporates colorful text boxes and comic-book style illustrations, this title is engaging and infused with a body-positive message. Each chapter features a “Wait, They Know What About What?” section that focuses on an interesting study or area of research relating to the topic discussed (e.g., pheromones are responsible for the phenomenon whereby menstrual cycles sync up when people who are assigned female live together). A comprehensive list of resources is included.
VERDICT A must-have puberty survival guidebook for tweens and teens, this is a perfect choice for collections in need of health titles that use gender-inclusive language.

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