An affirming, up-to-date book for teens that encourages smart, informed decision-making about their own bodies.
Navigating an ever shifting world of bodies, identities, emotions, and expectations can be overwhelming. This volume is educational and engaging; slang terms are employed alongside their scientific counterparts, and pop-culture references appear throughout. The text approaches a range of topics in accessible language: issues relating to gender and sexual orientation, including coming out, allyship, emotional labor, bodies and body image, and sexism; puberty, including menstruation; sex, including consent, assault, contraceptives, and abortion; STI symptoms, transmission, and treatment; and healthy communication strategies, abusive relationships, and breakups. Notably, the text addresses readers without making assumptions about their gender, sex, or sexual orientation and emphasizes the difference between gender and sex, using language like “people with ovaries” rather than “women.” Similarly, while there is a distinct section that explores gender identity and sexual orientation, content relating to LGBTQ+ people and experiences is seamlessly woven throughout the book, and various combinations of genders appear in sample scenarios. The book’s funky black, purple, and lime green cover and interior seem deliberately designed to appeal to a broad audience, resisting the very gender constraints exposed within. Some yellow sidebars are confusingly placed in the middle of longer bullet-pointed segments, but overall the book is well designed and easy to read.
Highly recommended for teens and the adults who care for them. (glossary, bibliography, resources, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 13-18)