Inside: 10 puberty books that will help you to prepare your child for the changes that will soon be coming their way. UPDATED May 2020.
One of the most natural ways to start a conversation with your child about puberty is with a book. It means that you can sit down with your child and read the book together. And talk about the changes that will soon be happening to them.
But there are a lot of puberty books out there, which means that working out which is the best book for your child can be a challenge.
So the 10 puberty books that I love (and regularly recommend) have been written by people who work in the area of sexuality and education, have worked with kids (and their parents) around puberty and have sought the opinion of other professionals.
I have chosen puberty books that focus just on puberty and don’t go too much into the next stage of adolescence – the stage where things heat up and really becomes sexual!
The age guides are just a guide, as each child develops at their own rate, so you may have a 10 year old girl who still plays with dolls and another who likes to talk about boys (or girls if they are same-sex attracted).
10 puberty books (that even parents will enjoy!)
Hair in Funny Places
This is a first book that you can use to start introducing the subject of puberty, for kids between the ages of 5-10.
Yes, even a 5 year old is curious about puberty, and if they have an older brother or sister, they will definitely be interested!
Hair in Funny Places by Babette Cole is a highly entertaining and light hearted look at the fact that one day your child’s body will start to change to that of an adults.
Personally, I think that most kids should be read this book a couple of times each year, from the age of 5.
Secret Girl’s Business & Secret Boy’s Business
If your child is about 9 or 10, and you are looking for your first book on puberty, then these gender-specific books are perfect.
Secret Boys Business and Secret Girls Business by Rose Stewart, Fay Angelo and Heather Anderson are perfect because they focus on just one thing – puberty.
So they don’t get into sex or anything like that – all that stuff is for later on! And there are 2 more books from the same authors that also build onto that knowledge!
I would suggest sitting down and reading this book together and then letting your child take it off to read on their own.
Does This Happen to Everyone?
NB There is a new version (that looks different and has had a slight name and author change.
This European book is fantastic. Does This Happen to Everyone by Jan Von Holleben and Antje Helms is a Q&A book with answers to 70 of the most common questions that kids ask about growing up. And the age-appropriate answers are honest and straight-forward. This book would be good for kids aged 11 and older.
It talks about all the usual stuff that you would expect in a puberty book ie the physical changes that happen as well as periods, wet dreams, erections, pimples, bras, etc. Plus it also talks about porn, falling in love, having sex, like a boy or a girl (or both), having a boy or girlfriend, condoms, contraception, pregnancy, birthing, masturbation and much more.
I really like this book, and the photos inside the book are a lot of fun!
You can find a video review of the book here.
The American Girl Books
The American Girl books on puberty are very popular with both parents and kids. They provide a very comfortable overview of what puberty and growing up is about.
They talk about nearly everything a kid needs to know about growing up but they are very conservative. Which means they don’t talk about sexual intercourse or sexual feelings, which means they are more suitable for younger children, from the age of 8.
Puberty Girl & Puberty Boy
These books are very similar in the title but differ in regards to the variety of information that they share.
Puberty Girl by Shushan Movsessian focuses on just puberty and covers the social and emotional aspects in great detail. I think it would work well with girls that are that little bit older, maybe from 11 -12 and older (it depends on your daughter’s maturity).
Puberty Boy by Geoff Price is similar but it also talks about sex, not in great details, but providing just enough information. I would use this book with boys that are that little bit older, maybe from 12-14.
Anatomy for Kids books
Shelley Metten from Anatomy for Kids has 6 books (3 for boys and 3 for girls) that provide a lovely introduction to puberty. They target kids from the ages of 5-7, 8-10 and 11-13 years of age.
These books are the only ones that provide a detailed overview of the biological changes that happen. The illustrations and information inside them are fantastic and would be perfect for a kid who is interested in the mechanics or for homeschooling families. The emotional and social aspects of puberty is also discussed.
Boy’s books – The first book, I’m a Boy: Special Me is for 5-7 year olds, the second book, I’m a Boy: My Changing Body is for 8-10 year olds, and the third book, I’m a Boy: Hormones is for 11-13 year olds. There are also a couple more for older kids that you can find here.
Girl’s books – The first book, I’m a Girl: Special Me is for 5-7 year olds, the second book, I’m a Girl: My Changing Body is for 8-10 year olds and the third book, I’m a Girl: Hormones is for 11-13 year olds. There are also a couple more for older kids that you can find here.
NB. These books have since been updated (and the new covers are lovely!).
It’s Perfectly Normal
This is a good book to have for kids aged between 10-12. It is a pretty in-depth and detailed book that talks about puberty, but also about sex, contraception, STIs and sexual abuse. But it is age-appropriate, which means that there is not too much information!
Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris is one of many sex education books written by this author. They are frequently updated and are still a best-seller, many years later.
Karen Gravelle books
The puberty books from Karen Gravelle are very popular and are suitable for 12 to 14 year olds.
I like them because they focus on puberty but they also talk about other relevant topics, like pornography, sexting and social media. So they are perfect for older kids.
So that’s what’s happening
This Australian puberty book provides a child-friendly overview of puberty and growing up. If you’re looking for a first puberty book that will describe puberty to a younger child, then this book is ideal. There is a lot of text in this book, alongside illustrations. This book is ideal for 8 to 11 year olds.
This book does talk about sexual intercourse, in a child-friendly way.
Help your kids with growing up
Some kids love resource books ie those big thick books that are filled with lots of factual information. And this book is just that! It’s a great book to have on your shelf as it means that your kids (and you) can turn to it for information and not the internet.
Help Your Kids With Growing Up by DK is a factual book for tweens and teens that is filled with all the different things that will interest them about puberty, love, sex and relationships. This book is ideal for kids aged 12 and over.
Resources to help with talking about puberty
My mission is to create resources that will help you to naturally talk to your kids about sex, all while respecting your personal values.
Which means that inside this website, you’ll find lots of resources to help you with talking to your child about puberty.
My Puberty 101 page includes all of the information on puberty. You’ll find lots of different blog posts to help with talking to your child about growing up.
You’ll find videos about puberty in my Sex Education Videos resource page that you can watch with your child or to learn more about puberty yourself.
You’ll also find an extensive range of children’s books on puberty, for kids of all ages.
If you get stuck and feel that you need some extra support with talking to your child about puberty, then my book, The Parents’ Guide to Puberty, may be helpful. It’s a straightforward common sense guide that will help you to start having honest conversations that will guide your child through puberty, and strengthen your relationship without feeling embarrassed, awkward or nervous.
Or maybe you’re looking for a video course to sit down and watch together with your child. My friend Rowena from Amazing Me has created a fantastic 2 part interactive course for parents/carers to attend together with their 9 to 12 year old. It’s fun, educational and age-appropriate! You can learn more about her puberty course here.
If you have a child who is expecting their first period, then you may want to consider period pants. Period pants are fantastic for kids who are worried that they won’t know that their period has started until it stains through their clothing for the world to see. My favourite brand for tweens and teens is ModiBodi, as they are good quality and quite absorbent.
If you need some help with explaining sexual intercourse to your child, then How to Talk to Kids About Sex will help you explain sex to your child in a way they will understand. It breaks sex down into simple steps that take the stress out of explaining!
If you’re unsure about how to answer your child’s questions about sex, then I have the perfect book for you! The Sex Education Answer Book will give you age-specific answers to the most common questions kid’s ask parents about sex. Which means you don’t need to worry about finding a child-friendly explanation that your child understands.
And if you get stuck, feel free to get in touch! You can contact me here.