Book Review: A popular Australian book for boys about puberty.
Secret Boys’ Business by Rose Stewart, Fay Angelo and Heather Anderson is a book for boys that provides them with simple and age-appropriate information about puberty.
This book was published in 2006 but, despite being over ten years old, it has not dated. The authors come from a very hands-on background. Fay comes from a teaching background, Heather is a Sexual Health Nurse/ Sex Educator and Rose is a teacher and School Psychologist. So they are dealing with this stuff everyday.
There is also a girl’s version. One for younger girls, Secret Girl’s Business, and one for older girls, More Secret Girl’s Business. They have also published the next step in books, The Secret Business of Relationships, Love and Sex.
Secret Boys’ Business is a great first book for talking to boys about puberty. Personally, I think you could use it from about the age of 9 or 10, possibly even at an earlier age. My 1o year old read it to her younger brother when he was about 6. He was totally uninterested in puberty but he did sit and listen to her, and by the end, he did understand that one day his body would change. I wouldn’t use it for kid’s over 11-12 maybe, just because girls and boys that age are starting to want to know a little bit more than what this book can provide them with. It all depends on how mature your child is and how curious they are about puberty.
This book covers a wide range of topics that are relevant for boys who are first learning about puberty.
It starts off by providing boys with a simple description of the changes, both physical and emotional, that happen at puberty. It starts off by talking about the fact that we all grow and change. We grow from being a baby all the way up to being an older person. It then explains what puberty is, why it happens, how it happens, and some of the changes that will happen.
The changes include growing taller, body hair, pimples, body odour, voice changes, penises, erections, and testicles. Information is given about the changes but also advice on how to manage these changes.
Secret Boys’ Business talks about the fact that penises are all in different sizes, and what you can do with them. Then it talks about the foreskin, showing you the difference between a penis with a foreskin and one without a foreskin. Talks about how to look after them, which I think is pretty important as well. Talks about erections and that sometimes they just happen for no reason at all.
It talks about testicles and sperm. What sperm means and how to look after your testicles. Also talks about semen and ejaculation and wet dreams as well, which is pretty important because boys need to know about this stuff (preferably before it starts to happen).
Secret Boys’ Business also talks about masturbation, and the fact that it's normal and that some boys do and some don't (and both is normal).
The emotional changes are also talked about. It talks about mood swings, how to manage some of your emotional changes, sexual feelings and that puberty can be embarrassing and uncomfortable for a little while, which gives kids permission to feel that way. At the back it has hints for parents on how to talk to their boys.
Secret Boys’ Business is a great little first book on puberty. The information is simple and very age-appropriate. It tells boys what they need to know and doesn’t overwhelm them with too much information. It uses lots of illustrations and the reading level seems quite appropriate for this age group – not too many big words! It is the book that I recommend that parents use when they first start talking to boys about puberty.
This book DOES talk about sexual intercourse.
Secret Boys’ Business is ideal for children between the ages of 8 - 12 years of age.
You can buy a copy of Secret Boys’ Business by Rose Stewart, Fay Angelo and Heather Anderson from Book Depository.
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.