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Middle School Puberty Books: Suggested Reading Guide : Home

These puberty books have been reviewed by members of the Office of DEI, as well as the Middle School Science and Health Departments. They include relevant and accurate information, including representation of a diversity of identities and perspectives.

About the Guide

Statement of Intention:

Thank you for engaging with this collection of recommendations from members of the Office of DEI, as well as the Middle School Science and Health Departments. As we reviewed books, we looked for relevant and accurate information, including representation of a diversity of identities and perspectives. Our book suggestions include expansive representations of gender and sexuality, as well as inclusive language. Since prior lists of recommendations have been shared, many new books have been written that more holistically reflect our aspirations around the messaging we offer young people at school. We want to underscore the idea that if you have books that are more dated or from a prior list of recommendations, you may want to continue to use them. If you do so, we recommend using them as an opportunity to discuss how language and understanding of identity, gender, and sexuality can evolve over time.

Suggested Reading: Puberty Books

You-Ology

From the most trusted name in child health, American Academy of Pediatrics, comes a new, inclusive approach to learning about puberty. What if your kids could learn about changing bodies in a way that isn't secretive or shameful? And what if it could even be inclusive, fun, and, well, kind of adorable? A new kind of puberty guide, You-ology embraces an inclusive approach that normalizes puberty for all kids.

Sex Is a Funny Word

A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities; an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers. Much more than the facts of life' or 'the birds and the bees,' Sex is a Funny Word opens up conversations between young people and their caregivers in a way that allows adults to convey their values and beliefs while providing information about boundaries, safety, and joy.'

You Know, Sex

A completely new approach to learning about puberty, sex, and gender for kids 10+. You Know, Sex grounds sex education in social justice, covering not only the big three of puberty--hormones, reproduction, and development--but also power, pleasure, and how to be a decent human being

Puberty Is Gross but Also Really Awesome

A first-of-its-kind inclusive puberty guide that celebrates the good and completely awful parts of puberty. Puberty . . . is pretty gross for pretty much everyone. It's a smelly, hairy, sticky, and (worst of all) totally confusing time! But did you know there's a lot about puberty that makes it really awesome? Get the whole picture with this honest, humorous, and empowering survival guide to the tween years.

The Every Body Book

This vibrant and beautifully illustrated book teaches children sex, gender and relationships education in a way that is inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Covering puberty, hormones, pregnancy, consent, sex, babies, relationships and families, it uses gender-neutral language throughout and celebrates diversity in all its forms, including race, ethnicity, faith, bodies, gender and sexuality.

Suggested Reading: Periods & Menstruation

Own Your Period

This fact-filled guide to periods has positive, honest advice on managing and understanding menstruation, covering every aspect of periods as well as lots of advice on puberty and growing up in a warm, friendly and reassuring way. Topics covered include the fascinating science behind why things happen, with all the details of menstruation through to the menopause explained, as well as answers to all essential questions like what’s a vulva and what does it look like, what do periods actually feel like, and what happens if blood stains your clothes?

The Autism-Friendly Guide to Periods

Written by autistic author Robyn Steward, this is a detailed guide for young people aged 9 to 16 on the basics of menstruation. Created in consultation with young people, an online survey and a group of medical professionals, this is a book that teaches all people about periods. Promoting the fact that everyone either has periods or knows someone who does, the book reduces the anxiety people starting their period face in asking for help. It also breaks up information using flaps and step-by-step photos of how to change pads and tampons, it discusses alternatives to tampons and pads, and gives information about possible sensory issues for people with autism.

Red Moon Gang

This inclusive, unapologetic, and humorous guide to menstruation quashes stigmas and provides us with the latest research and information on periods. Boldly illustrated by Mary Purdie, Red Moon Gang tackles every aspect of the menstrual cycle--from the biology and science behind why you bleed every month, to the latest findings on hormonal fluctuations (aka, why you're PMSing so bad). It takes a deep dive into the different types of menstrual products available, including their pros and cons, and covers various period conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.