When I was younger, there were some books and shows that made me excited about going through puberty and about witnessing, experiencing, and noticing all of the changes that went along with it.
Although my mom talked to me a bit about these types of changes, I enjoyed the agency and unwatched sense of exploration that accompanied diving into books. Here are some to consider buying!
1. The Care & Keeping of You
The Care & Keeping of You was a book that I had when I was in elementary school, and I absolutely loved it. (I later found out that many of my friends had it, and all had equally as positive experiences with it.)
This book talks about everything, from menstruation to breast development, bras, hair growth and more. It provides visualizations and illustrations of these different changes, and talks about the different stages of growth during the process. I really enjoyed that particular aspect of it because I enjoyed noticing when changes started to happen to my own body, and also understanding why and how they were happening.
American Girl has also released another book in this series called The Feelings Book: The Care & Keeping of Your Emotions, which helps young girls to understand and express their emotions, and also provides strategies on how to handle “fear, anxiety, jealousy, and grief.”
2. Lizzie McGuire
The Lizzie McGuire episode where she buys a bra for the first time with her mom and her best friend (this came out in the early 2000s, but let’s be honest it is a timeless classic.) I remember watching this episode and getting so excited to buy my first training bra, instead of nervous, anxious, or embarrassed.
In this particular episode, Lizzie also has a conflict with her mother (mom, you’re so embarrassing!), and then realizes that she needs her help while shopping. However, many Lizzie McGuire episodes (a lot of which can be found on YouTube!) deal with topics regarding puberty, relationships, and changing bodies.
3. It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, & Sexual Health
It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, & Sexual Health is another book that I had. It not only talks about puberty, but it is also an amazing resource for sex and sexual health education, including, importantly, the concept of consent in sexual interactions.
It also talks about masturbation, contraception, and abortion. It has been recently updated to include “subjects such as safe and savvy Internet use, gender identity, emergency contraception, and more.” Pretty awesome.
Do you have any favorite books or shows for children’s puberty, sex, and sexual health education? Tell us about them!