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cover of Girl Stuff 8-12 by Kaz Cooke

Girl Stuff 8–12: Your real guide to the pre-teen years: Book Review

Girl Stuff 8-12: Your real guide to the pre-teen years, by Kaz Cooke, is the essential younger girl’s guide to puberty and the pre-teen years.

You can also watch a video review of Girl Stuff 8-12 just below.


The author of Girl Stuff 8–12: Your real guide to the pre-teen years, Kaz Cooke, has quite a few books out there and is also a well known Australian author. She has a great sense of humour and she writes about this stuff in a really casual fun way.

She is not a nurse or a health educator but when you look at the back of the Girl Stuff 8-12, there is a list of health professionals who have been involved. Some of them I personally know, and they really do know their stuff.

So I like the fact that Kaz Cooke gets her content checked by puberty, sexual and reproductive health, adolescence, paediatricians and medical/health people who are working in this field. For the teen book, she surveyed 4000 girls from all over Australia to gleam the information that is presented in this book.

Please note that this article contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

Topics inside Girl Stuff 8-12

Girl Stuff 8–12 is not just about puberty. Topics it includes are:

  • body changes
  • dealing with friends & bullies
  • getting confident
  • first periods
  • pimples
  • hair (wherever it is)
  • phones & being online
  • what to eat
  • being fit & healthy
  • the best books & movies
  • how to be happy with your own true self
  • and lots more!

So, Girl Stuff 8-12, is not just about puberty. It is also about the changes that happen to you as you go through puberty. At the age of 8, girls usually start realising that puberty will one day happen and that things will change. They see the girls, a year or two older than them, developing breasts and things. So they start to get curious about when it is going to happen to them. The author, Kaz Cooke, also  has lots of different fun drawings throughout the whole book. It is about 150 pages in length.

Girl Stuff 8–12 is a book that is just for girls. I am pretty sure that the author, Kaz Cooke, doesn’t write books for boys.

So, what does Girl Stuff 8-12 look at?

The book, Girl Stuff 8-12, looks at the physical changes that are going to happen: the new you, your body changes, getting your period, your hair and skin. So it is the physical stuff that happens.

Being healthy is an important topic for girls during this stage. It is important that girls have some sort of exercise, because as girls go through puberty, they start to gain some body weight. Their body is starting change shape. They are starting to get hips and other changes, in preparation for child bearing. So the body changes. Kids that are naturally skinny, regardless of what they eat, are now start putting gain weight and now need to eat more healthy food.

The book, Girl Stuff 8-12, also talks about different families and what makes families good. It talks about friends, because as girls get to that age of 8 and 9, their friend become a lot more important. This is an important developmental milestone ie separating themselves from the family. It is also a part of finding themselves as well. So the book looks at the making and breaking of friendships.

It also talks about bullying, mobile phones, apps and being online. It talks about confidence, moods and emotions as well.

One of the things that I really like about this book, is the casual language. Some people find it too casual, so it comes down to a matter of personal taste. The books that I might love, you may hate. And the books that you love, I may hate. We are all different as to what we prefer, when it comes to a book. But when it comes to kids, it is about giving them choices and options, as to what to read.

The book, Girl Stuff 8-12, also talks about hair, the different bras. She uses some great humour and has fun, with silly bras and even quotes from girls, as well. Things like getting your period and being careful about where you put your sticky strip on your pads and not put it the wrong way up. This is the sort of humour that you will find. She talks about the stuff that you need for your period, pads ie what they are and why you have to change them.

I like the fact that she has included information about mobile phones and apps. Children nowadays are online, getting the bus to school and doing other things that we didn’t do ourselves as kids. As parents, I think that we need to be aware of this and we need to talk to our children about how to keep safe. Things like not putting photos of yourself on social media or with school uniforms on, so that strangers can’t identify where you live.

Girl Stuff 8-12, also talks about keeping safe, as well as bullying and why kids are being bullied.

In summary

It is a nice book that is very casual and fun but also educational. And it provides an introduction or guide to getting ready for puberty. The joy about this book, is that it doesn’t get into sex. So it doesn’t talk about sexual intercourse and all that sex stuff.

When girls are first learning about puberty, they don’t really need to have all the sex stuff included. If you give an 8 year old lots of details about sexual stuff, it can scare them. But also, they just aren’t interested in that amount of information so they just won’t understand it properly. So you need to keep things nice and simple for this younger age group. And this book is one of the few for younger girls that doesn’t include information about sexual intercourse.

Personally, I also think it is easier for parents to give their kids a book like this, when it doesn’t talk about sex.

So, I hope that helps. Girl Stuff 8–12: Your real guide to the pre-teen years, by Kaz Cooke, is a great little book for younger girls. Personally, I like Kaz Cooke’s stuff because I like to enjoy a book myself, when reading it!

Buy a copy

You can buy a copy of Girl Stuff 8–12: Your real guide to the pre-teen years from  Book Depository or Booktopia.

Other sex education books

There are a lot more sex education books out there, like Girl Stuff 8-12, that talk about a range of other topics.

You can find them listed in this new FREE parent resource: Sex Education Books for Children: a Parent Guide.

Make sure you go and check it out. It includes a lot of sex education books that will make talking about sex, a whole lot easier!

And before you choose a puberty book, like Girl Stuff 8–12: Your real guide to the pre-teen years, you want to make sure that it is the right book for you and your child! There are a lot of books out there and what is right for me may not necessarily be the right book for you!

About the Author Cath Hakanson

I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.

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