The Blossom and Big Bang Theory star and neuroscientist covers the basics of what it means to be an adolescent girl.
Readers learn how the body looks and works during puberty, with detailed illustrations of different breast sizes/types and diagrams of male and female genitalia. Also covered are the benefits of healthy food choices and finding ways to cope with stress. Many chapters offer diagrams that attempt to show how the brain and body affect learning, hormonal changes, and stress levels, along with illustrations featuring diverse body types, yoga poses for cramps, and other spot images. There are also anecdotal insights aplenty from Bialik, who left her childhood acting career to pursue neuroscience before returning to acting, along with guided self-reflections and a smattering of helpful resources. The fact is, however, there’s little information in this book that most young adolescents don’t already have instant access to on the internet. The overall attitude is cis- and heterocentric. Although Bialik briefly mentions gender presentation and fluidity, the reaffirming messages she doles out mostly cater to boy-girl relationships and gender-conforming teens, as seen in her sections on dating and practicing safe sex. Though many illustrations depict darker-skinned teens, the text avoids discussion of issues of race and diversity. These elisions let her audience down.
A missed opportunity for Blossom to connect with the millennial generation. (Nonfiction. 12-14)