cover of Girl Stuff 8-12 by Kaz Cooke

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

Book Review:  A  book about growing up for the younger fans of Kaz Cooke.

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.

The author of this book, 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.

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.

This 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?

It 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.

It 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.

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!

Ideal ages

Girl Stuff 8–12: Your real guide to the pre-teen years is ideal for children between the ages of 8 - 12 years of age.

Buy a copy

You can buy a copy of  from  Book Depository.

You can find more books like this in my extensive list of Sex Education Books for Children.

Video book review


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 love, sex, relationships and growing up.

My Sex Education 101 page includes all of the information on sex education. You'll find lots of different blogposts to help with getting started, on a wide range of different topics.

My Puberty 101 page includes all of the information on puberty. You'll find lots of different blogposts to help with talking to your child about growing up.

You'll find videos about sex ed in my Sex Education Videos resource page that you can watch with your child or to learn more about sex education yourself.

You’ll also find an extensive range of sex education books for children, for kids of all ages. There's even some books in there for parents! 

If you're looking for some ideas on how to talk to your child about bodies, How to Talk to Kids About Bodies, will help you to start naming the private body parts and to have shame-free conversations with them about bodies. It is filled with lots of different ideas on how to have natural converasations with your child about their body. 

You'll also find some child friendly anatomically-correct cartoon illustrations of the genitals and internal reproductive organs that are appropriate for children from the age of 3 and up. Let's Look at Different Body Parts is a printable that will help take the awkward out of talking to your child about their body, so they grow up feeling educated, confident, and comfortable in their own skin.

If you're worried that talking to your child about bodies might lead to questions about sex, then you can relax. How to Talk to Kids About Sex, will help you to explain sexual intercourse 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 want a printed book to hold in your hands, then the  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. 

If you want the answers to questions about a lot more than just sex, then Sex Ed Quickies is your best option. It has answers to 300+ questions  that kids commonly ask parents,  including how babies are made, sexual intercourse, body parts, puberty, relationships, pregnancy, birth, masturbation, sexual diversity, gender, pornography, STIs, contraception and much more.

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 empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. To find a better way to talk about sex, you can join my community of parents and visit my shop for helpful resources.

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