IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL: CHANGING BODIES, GROWING UP, SEX, GENDER, AND SEXUAL HEALTH (THE FAMILY LIBRARY), by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley, Candlewick; Illustrated edition, May 18, 2021, Hardcover, $24.99 (ages 10-14)
It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley, which was originally published 27 years ago, has now been updated with new information and art.
When young people have questions about sex, real answers can be hard to find. Providing accurate, unbiased answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and gender, It’s Perfectly Normal offers young people the information they need — now more than ever — to make responsible decisions and to stay healthy.
This new edition includes:
- A shift to gender-neutral vocabulary throughout
- An expansion on LGBTQIA topics, gender identity, sex, and sexuality — making this a sexual health book for all readers
- Coverage of recent advances in methods of sexual safety and contraception with corresponding illustrations
- A revised section on abortion, including developments in the shifting politics and legislation as well as an accurate, honest overview
- A sensitive and detailed expansion on the topics of sexual abuse, the importance of consent, and destigmatizing HIV/AIDS
- A modern understanding of social media and the internet that tackles rapidly changing technology to highlight its benefits and pitfalls and ways to stay safe online
—Synopsis provided by Candlewick
As a parent, explaining sex, sexuality, bodies and puberty can be overwhelming. There’s so much information available, and it’s hard to sort through it all. It’s Perfectly Normal — which builds on It’s Not the Stork (ages 4 and up) and It’s So Amazing (ages 7 and up) — gets rid of the guess work, and gives parents the framework for honest conversation.
The book is divided into six sections — What is Sex?; Our Bodies; Puberty; Families and Babies; Decisions; and Staying Healthy. Within those sections, a total of 28 chapters range from reproduction and desire to hormones and pregnancy.
This is not the type of book you just hand to your child. There are lots of topics that warrant further conversation. Parents more sensitive to homosexuality, masturbation and abortion may want to take a closer look before purchasing this book.
A lot of research went into It’s Perfectly Normal. The authors drew information from experts across many fields of study including, sex education, child development, child psychiatry, gynecology, pediatrics, urban and public health, biology and reproductive rights. As a parent, this gives me confidence that my child will be provided with the correct knowledge she needs as she grows into an adult.
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