Book Review: A book for girls about puberty and growing up.
My Body, My Self for Girls was written by Lynda Madaras and her daughter Area Madaras. It is a puberty book for girls that also includes activities that can be completed by your child (either alone or with a parent).
This book is similar to the “What’s happening to my body book”, but this particular one is written with the younger teen (or tween) in mind. It has over 100 quizzes, checklists, games and journal pages that can be completed throughout the book.
This book was first published in 1993 and the latest version, this one, was updated in 2007. So the book is currently about ten years old. This isn’t exactly old, as not a lot has really changed in the last decade.
If you look at the actual index of the book, you will see that it includes content that is just about puberty. Because the book has been written with the younger tween and teen in mind, it focuses just on puberty ie sex isn’t really talked about.
When you look at this book, you can see that it is very similar to the author’s other book, that has been written for younger girls who may be showing early signs of puberty or are just curious, Ready, Set, Grow. This book, My Body, My Self for Girl, is for the slightly older tween and younger teen. It is the next level up and provides much more detailed information about puberty.
So the book, My Body, My Self for Girls by Lynda Madaras, starts off with what changes happen on the inside of the body. So it provides information about what puberty means and what the changes all are about. It then moves onto some of the physical changes such as growing taller, changing body shape, face changes, and the fact that we all change or grow at different rates. It then moves onto the more obvious changes ie pubic hair and breasts. And then the less desirable changes, such as pimples and unwanted body hair.
My Body, My Self for Girls then moves onto the changes that occur with the reproductive organs. The author talks about how the vulva changes and labels all the different parts. She then talks about the changes that happen on the inside, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and childbirth. Menstruation, or periods, is then discussed, along with vaginal discharges and hormones.
Menstruation then earns it‘s own chapter The Big M or menstruation. Which is probably a word that we don't use that often, as it is a medical sounding term. There is quite a bit of information in this section, with advice on the different types of products etc included.
This book does not talk about sex in great detail. It talks about the fact that getting your periods means that you are now fertile, but that is about it. When it comes to picking a puberty book for your child, it’s a matter of what you are interested in at the time. Some kids are quite overwhelmed by the thought of puberty and what it all means. So sometimes it is a good idea to give them a simple book that talks about the one topic ie puberty. Adding sex into the equation will just overwhelm them. Every child is different!
So when you look inside, you will see that there are lots of pages with questions, quizzes and activities through out it. For example, list the things that you have heard about getting your period. There is lots of information with the content broken up with illustrations. The book has probably got 140 pages so it’s quite thick, and there is no index at the back. But you don’t really need one with this book, as the layout means that it is easy to find the information that you may be looking for.
I do think that these are good little books because they don’t talk about sex. They are a little out of date as in they are nearly ten years old but when it comes to puberty not a lot has actually changed in the last decade. So if it a book that just talks about puberty, then yes, technically it’s still accurate enough to use.
My Body, My Self for Girls by Lynda Madaras, is a great little puberty book that is good for tweens and young teens. It focuses just on puberty, and provides quizzes, checklists, games and journal pages that your child can complete.
My Body, My Self for Girls is ideal for children between the ages of 10 - 13 years of age.
You can find more books like this in my extensive list of Sex Education Books for Children.
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.
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.