The Big Questions Book of Sex & Consent

Levine Querido. Sept. 2020. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781646140183.
Gr 7 Up–Freitas, a professor and author of adult, young adult, and middle grade books, provides an easy-to-follow guide that explains the concept of consent. The book offers quotes, activities, and anecdotes to help teens think through “big questions” about their own sexual identity and ethical beliefs. Several chapters describe how LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color may have varied experiences of sexuality that are different from their white and/or straight peers. The text also identifies how the issues of sexual autonomy and consent impact people of different genders. Freitas cites current movements against sexual violence, including #MeToo. The tone throughout the book is informal and upbeat, offering readers a clear and engaging point of view. Freitas often notes where her work is informed by her research and where it is influenced by her personal or religious beliefs, though the distinction may not always be apparent to readers. A diverse, current list of YA and middle grade books for further reading and a bibliography are included.
VERDICT A focus on philosophy, critical thinking, positive social connections, and sexual ethics makes this guide unique and valuable in a saturated field.

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