Book Review: A first book for girls who start puberty early (that doesn't talk about sex).
Secret Girls’ Business by Fay Angelo, Heather Anderson and Rose Stewart is a book for younger girls that provides them with simple and age-appropriate information about puberty.
This book was published in 2003 but, despite being 10+ years old, the book has not dated at all. 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 one for boys, Secret Boy’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 Girls’ Business is a great first book for talking to girls about puberty. The authors wrote it for younger girls who are showing the signs of early puberty, which means that the language is simpler and the content is non-sexual. So you could use it for girls as young as 8.
This book covers a wide range of topics that are relevant for girls who are first learning about puberty.
It starts off by explaining that we all change as we grow older, and that an important stage of change is about to happen ie puberty. It explains why puberty happens, what it means and when it usually happens.
The book then explains what changes happen. It starts off with the listing the changes that happen to girls and boys, reminding us that boys too go through puberty and that some of their changes are similar (and different) too.
Secret Girls’ Business then gets into what specifically happens with girls during puberty. Breasts are discussed. It talks about the differences between the shapes and sizes of breasts and the changes that happen to them. The need for support (bras) is discussed and the fact that sometime it can all be a bit embarrassing. All very factual, which is what young girls need.
Hair is then talked about, in that it will start to grow in new places and vaginal discharge will start to occur. Periods are explained: when they happen, why they happen, and how to know when you have your period. It talks about mood swings and things you can do and how you might feel funny and stuff.
What to do when your period starts. Not flushing pads down the toilet, washing your hands. It does talk about tampons because as I have said girls do want to know about them, even though they may not be ready to start using them. And it talks about a period kit as in what you need in it, and where you can buy menstrual products. You can learn more in this article about which menstruation products to buy your daughter.
The book then finishes on a positive note, congratulating them on knowing about the forthcoming changes and how they can start to get ready for their first period. It is a really nice simple book. I love the fact that it specifically targets young girls, in that it provides much simpler, easier to read and more visual content, that is perfect for this age group. Most puberty books contain a lot of information, information that can be overwhelming when you are younger. But also overwhelming for us parents, especially when sexual content (such as STIs and contraception) is included, as younger girls are usually not yet interested in this stage of life.
The next level, More Secret Girls’ Business, covers the same information but adds in more details about the emotional and social changes of puberty. It also talks about sexual feelings and masturbation.
So, Secret Girls’ Business would be the main book that I recommend for young girls. I love the simplicity and the fact that it tells girls what they need to know without overloading them with too much information.
Secret Girls’ Business is the perfect book to get for younger girls who are either curious or are starting to show early signs of puberty. It tells them what they need to know without scaring them or overloading them with too much information.
This book DOES NOT talk about sexual intercourse.
Secret Girls’ Business is ideal for children between the ages of 8 - 10 years of age.
You can buy a copy of Secret Girl's Business by Fay Angelo, Heather Anderson and Rose Stewart 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.