Review Blog

Dec 04 2017

What's going on down there?: A boy's guide to growing up by Karen Gravelle

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Ill. by Robert Leighton. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781681193618
Recommended. Themes: Sex; Growth and Development. This is a very simply written, down-to-earth explanation of the growth and development that occurs during puberty, focusing on the circumstances for boys. It does also include brief discussions of the changes that girls will experience in puberty. It includes small humourous illustrations to make the reader comfortable with the emotionally charged revelations of all the changes that a young man's body will experience. With simple explanations of puberty, sex, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, what constitutes sexual harassment, making babies and 'normal', this book gives accessible information that is mostly helpful for a younger reader. This would also be a good reference for those who want to be ready for discussing these issues with a young boy in the pre-puberty or beginning puberty phase. Teachers and parents should probably pre-read this book before handing it over, to be sure they are ready for questions and to enable an open discussion about 'What is going on down there!' Some minor references to moral decision-making with regard to sexual choices is included, but the purpose of the book is primarily to discuss physical changes and to explain sex to a young reader.
Carolyn Hull

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