My Body, My Self for Girls

By: Lynda Madaras, Area Madaras

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Synopsis

The mother and daughter sex educator team of Lynda and Area Madaras give girls all the information they need to understand the changes that their bodies go through during the years of puberty. From growth spurts to B.O. and zits, and from breast and public hair growth to menstruation, the authors help reassure girls that everything they are experiencing is normal and natural. They also include lots of quizzes, games, checklists and journal pages to make the whole learning experience more fun and interactive. Readers will also get to "hear" the voices of other girls who were part of the authors' sex education classes as they address their own personal experiences and concerns. My Body, My Self for Girls is a workbook for every girl who is about to go through or is already going through puberty and wants to know more about her body, the changes it is going through and how to care for it, as well as the parents and other adults in their lives, who care about them and want to help make this transition just a little easier.

Review

My Body, My Self for Girls is a great book for girls in the 9-14 year-old age range who want to learn more about the changes they can expect in their bodies during puberty, and for the parents or other adults who will be raising them through it. This book is written in a very easy-to-understand, conversational style that is fully accessible to it's target audience. I really liked that the authors frequently reassure girls that everything they are going through is perfectly normal and natural, and that they should be happy with their bodies just the way they are and not feel embarrassed about the things they are experiencing. My Body, My Self for Girls mainly covers the basics of the physical changes a girl can expect when going through puberty such as growth spurts, breast and pubic hair growth, and "The Big M," menstruation. The book does include detailed line drawings of the naked female body including both the internal sex organs and external genitalia. In my opinion however, it is all quite age appropriate, as there is nothing included about boys or sexuality, except for a couple of brief mentions of masturbation. The authors' companion book, What's Happening to My Body?, covers those types of issues, but I will probably wait a couple more years before giving it to my currently 11 year-old daughter until she has matured a bit more. Of course, this is just my opinion and every parent has their own ideas about the age at which it is appropriate to share such things.

My Body, My Self for Girls also contains lots of fun, interactive activities including quizzes, games, questionnaires and journaling exercises. There are some good ice-breaking questions to help open the channels of communication between girls and their parents or other adult role model in their lives to discuss the ofttimes difficult topic of puberty, and suggestions for getting a parent to open up when they seem embarrassed or unwilling to talk about it. Overall, I found My Body, My Self for Girls to be a very informative book. In spite of being a mom with 40 years of experience to back me up, I was still able to learn a couple of things from it that I didn't previously know. All I can say is that I wish this book or one like it had been around when I was my daughter's age and that my mom had given it to me. My Body, My Self for Girls can be used as a companion workbook for What's Happening to My Body?, or the two books can be read separately.

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