The best puberty books

7 authors have picked their favorite books about puberty and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of The Breast Book: A puberty guide with a difference - it's the when, why and how of breasts

The Breast Book: A puberty guide with a difference - it's the when, why and how of breasts

By Emma Pickett,

Why this book?

Whoever said ignorance is bliss was lying! Ignorance about one’s body is a massive obstacle to breastfeeding. As a newly qualified breastfeeding counsellor I remember being amazed at how many women become mothers without really knowing anything about how their breasts work. But why would they? In formal lessons about ‘growing up’, breasts are hardly mentioned (beyond the fact that they will appear at some point) – almost nothing about how they function, and even less about what they’re for. And, of course, most children in the UK never get to see breastfeeding in action. Emma’s book is the antidote…
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Book cover of Celebrate Your Body (and Its Changes, Too!): The Ultimate Puberty Book for Girls

Celebrate Your Body (and Its Changes, Too!): The Ultimate Puberty Book for Girls

By Sonya Renee Taylor,

Why this book?

I love this book because it encourages body positivity among girls who represent a vast variety of identities, especially when it comes to size. I appreciate that Taylor honors the possibility that a female-bodied girl may actually feel like their body and sex assigned at birth does not align, sometimes or all of the time, with how they feel about their gender. Not only does this book include “fascinating facts” boxes of practical and medically accurate information—and empathetically assures readers that “you have company” and are not alone—it pays tribute to body diversity and encourages body pride with its inclusive…

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Book cover of Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys

Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys

By Cara Natterson, Micah Player (illustrator),

Why this book?

This book, for boys 8+ years, is a great ice breaker and conversation starter in preparation for the change puberty brings, by providing practical information for growing up in a safe and healthy way. Natterson’s down-to-earth tone and illustrations create the right balance of facts and humor. Topics cover everything from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to shaving, acne to voice cracking, pubic changes to moodiness, peer pressure to bullying, and everything in between. Many times, our society leaves boys out of the puberty discussion. It’s important to change this social norm and include boys in this dialogue…

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Book cover of Taking Up Space

Taking Up Space

By Alyson Gerber,

Why this book?

Body image and eating disorders are complex subjects that a lot of parents wait too long to think about, let alone talk to their kids about. I love how this beautiful story shows that grownups are figuring things out, too-- that parents aren’t perfect nor do they have to be for kids to grow and change. I look forward to reading this one with my kids so that we can have the language to talk more openly about our relationships with food and our feelings about our bodies. It’s more important than ever to call attention to diet culture and…

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Book cover of The Moon Within

The Moon Within

By Aida Salazar,

Why this book?

I love how this book presents a girl’s first period as a beautiful and positive experience, while realistically showing her fear and nervousness as she anticipates this event. The main character is so relatable: she’s unsure about her first crush, she has a snarky rival, and she struggles to be supportive when her best friend needs her the most. This book in verse is musical, magical, and hard to put down.

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Book cover of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

By Judy Blume,

Why this book?

This groundbreaking book is the reason I wanted to write for teens long before the “young adult” genre existed. Judy Blume, who hails from Elizabeth, New Jersey, inspired me to become the kind of adult and author who never forgot what it was like to be a kid. I first read this coming-of-age story in fifth grade and from the very first sentence,12-year-old Margaret spoke to me. Her worries about growing up and experiencing the mental and physical changes foisted upon her by puberty were also my worries. Her hopes were my hopes. And it didn’t hurt that she lived…

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Book cover of Let's Talk about It: The Teen's Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human

Let's Talk about It: The Teen's Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human

By Erika Moen, Matthew Nolan,

Why this book?

Most of the people I’ve spoken to received terrible sex and relationship education. This is the comic book to rectify that. Buy it for young people so that they have a better experience than you did, and buy it for yourself to make up for what you went through back then.

Let’s Talk About It is an awesome inclusive, accessible graphic book, and beautifully illustrated throughout. Erika and Matthew do a great job of covering the questions young people really want answered, through dialogues between a beautifully drawn cast of characters who are navigating their own way through this complex,…

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Book cover of All Over Again

All Over Again

By A-dziko Simba Gegele,

Why this book?

This has often been recommended for boys (including by me) but, since there is no such thing as exclusively boy books and girl books, I’m calling this a good book period – with a highly entertaining and deeply endearing adolescent-ish boy, surrounded by a robust cast of supporting characters, at its center. More vignettes than plot, it is rooted in character and voice – in this case, the rare and highly effective use of the second voice. Tonally, it’s a callback to the adventures of boyhood captured in Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and the mostly harmless incorrigibility of the boy…

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Book cover of Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History

By Florence Williams,

Why this book?

This book exploded my beliefs about breasts all that they are and all that they’ve been through and where they are headed next. Williams is a fabulous guide, taking the reader on an adventure as she uncovers the anatomy and evolution of the breast, and even the pollutants found inside her own breastmilk. Knowing the vulnerabilities – and history! – of my rack made me appreciate it all the more. 

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Book cover of Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up

Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up

By Heather Corinna, Isabella Rotman,

Why this book?

This fun and approachable book is fantastic! A prime pick for any preteen or young teen. Inclusive of many different genders, orientations, and other identities, this book covers relevant and important topics like body and body image, the media and cultural messages (in particular around bodies and sex), sexual and gender identity, gender roles and stereotypes, crushes, relationships, and feelings, as well as how to be kind, empathetic, and mature. The characters, Malia, Rico, Max, Sam, and Alexis, support each other while figuring out confusing feelings and experiences. What sets this book apart is not only how beautifully inclusive and…

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Or, view all 11 books about puberty

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