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A Celebration of Becoming: Best Puberty Books for Girls
Last updated: 8 Jan 2024
Growing up has its fair share of challenges. Just because we all have to do it, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Going through puberty is so much more than just adapting to the body’s physical changes. It’s an emotional journey of discovering who you are and that involves a lot of uncertainty and discomfort. The online world can often set unrealistic expectations and even make the time of transition a hurtful one rather than a celebration of becoming.
With physical changes, hormones, and emotional triggers all in play, many parents struggle to find the right way to talk to their children about body changes. We’ve picked out the top puberty books for girls in 2024 to help both you and your adolescent navigate these murky waters. These books appeal to today’s generation of tweens and teens in a friendly, gentle, and empathetic way to help make this an exciting time of celebrating who she is.
Body hair, pimples, mood swings, hormones, breasts, periods, and crushes; how do you discuss the world of puberty with your tween or teen girl? The help of a good book written specifically for young girls undergoing puberty in the digital age is just what you need.
Although bodies change in the same way during puberty as when you were young, today’s tweens and teens may have some different questions and concerns than what you had at their age. Besides dealing with body transitions and navigating sex education, some of these books will also address cyberbullying, internet safety, and personal boundaries. This will not only help your tween, but it can also give you a better understanding of what they’re going through and how to support them in the right way.
Here’s what to look for when choosing the most inspirational puberty book for girls
Tone and Approachability
One of the most important things to look for in a good puberty book for girls is the tone in which the writer approaches the subject matter and the reader. This book is not a scientific report, but a kind, friendly, and approachable discussion with a trustworthy friend who understands.
Although the book will not replace your role in providing a secure environment for your adolescent to raise concerns and ask questions, it should provide a safe space. The book should portray this life stage as something to celebrate and be enthusiastic about. Make sure the writer uses positive language that is always encouraging and uplifting.
You may want to scan the book to ensure the writer does not approach any topics from a personal conviction, conformist, or biased point of view, but rather has an inclusive and accepting approach.
Puberty books for girls are targeted to tweens and teens. The information provided should be accurate and honest, but also light-hearted and easy for adolescents to understand. The author should use language that appeals to your tween as opposed to something that seems outdated or extremely complicated. This is especially important if they are reading the book by themselves.
Illustrations and Images
Images and illustrations make any puberty books for girls more appealing and fun to read. They make loads of boring text exciting and bring an uplifting feel by integrating colors and creativity. Illustrations also play an incredibly important role in facilitating understanding.
Hormones, body changes, menstruation, sex, and even emotional topics can all be much more easily understood with the help of illustrations. In addition, images, graphs, diagrams, or infographics can help reinforce healthy self-care practices such as exercise and beneficial foods for healthy development.
Just as the text should be light-hearted, images and illustrations should be too. Again, the point is simply to facilitate an understanding of how their body is changing rather than an in-depth scientific explanation. The latter is not necessary and will be too overwhelming.
Some puberty books for girls come in a series of two editions. The first is an introduction for younger pre-adolescents, while the second book deals with more in-depth questions and topics that teenagers may be curious about.
Children undergo puberty at different ages, some a little younger than others. Choose a book that is age appropriate for your child both in the topics it tackles as well as the level of language used.
Although the book will provide a target age range on the cover, everyone is different. Reading the book first is the most ideal way to ascertain whether it’s age appropriate for your child and where they are at.
While most puberty books for girls cover body changes that occur during adolescence, some include a much wider range of topics than others. The book should at least cover an understanding of biological changes such as body hair, skin breakouts, breast development, menstruation, and personal care. They should also touch on emotional well-being, how hormones can affect moods, and spread body positivity. Some books go a step further to cover topics such as internet safety, cyberbullying, boundaries, stress management, and sex education.
Puberty books for girls also vary greatly in the amount of detail they go into regarding boys’ and girls’ anatomy, menstruation, and sex. Younger children often find too much detail overwhelming, so make sure to read through the book yourself first. There are many books that offer great explanations for younger kids without going into too much detail. These books are often a good starting point and an introduction to possibly uncomfortable topics, until your child is a little older.
“Celebrate Your Body (and Its Changes, Too!)” by Sonya Renee Taylor has earned the top spot on this list for its body-positive language that prepares young girls to love their bodies with practical self-care tips. Instead of fearing the changes that are coming, or already happening, tweens can feel excited and empowered. This puberty book for girls is ideal for ages 8 to 12 and covers everything from mysterious hair growth, periods, and bras to social skills, managing feelings, peer pressure, sleep, exercise, and nutrition.
Author Anita Naik is a puberty and parenting expert. Her puberty book for girls, “The Girls’ Guide to Growing Up” is a friendly approach to navigating all the changes that can sometimes be confusing or uncomfortable as an adolescent. Anita reassures every reader that these changes are completely normal and puts any worries to rest with her knowledgeable, yet approachable and empathetic tone. Besides addressing physical body changes she explains why the age you experience these changes may differ from your friends. She also covers personal hygiene and coping tips, discusses healthy boundaries, privacy, and the fact that boys have puberty challenges too.
Author Shelley Metten is a recently retired medical educator and anatomist. As a mother and grandmother herself, she knows the challenges that come with talking to kids about puberty and sex. Her book, “I’m a Girl, Hormones!” is ideal to put girls at ease about having their periods and equipping parents to be the most important source of encouragement and security. She perfectly translates her in-depth knowledge into an easy-to-understand format for young girls in this colorful, user-friendly puberty book for girls.
“The Care and Keeping of You” by Valorie Schaefer is beautifully illustrated and perfect for pre-teen girls. The book focuses on caring for your body and mind as puberty starts to set in. It offers practical personal health tips that apply to young girls while remaining body positive and emphasizing the beauty of each person’s uniqueness. Valerie has also published a second edition for slightly older girls who have worked through the first puberty book for girls and are ready for more advanced topics.
“The Girls’ Body Book” by Kelli Dunham covers a wide range of topics and serves as a comprehensive guide for tweens and their parents in navigating the years of adolescence. While the book puts girls at ease with all the physical changes during puberty, it also addresses their emotional needs, friendships, and healthy boundaries. Kelli offers guidance on dealing with internet safety and cyberbullying. She understandingly encourages body positivity and self-care practices that embrace the changes of puberty.
Q: What is the right age to give a puberty book for girls?
A: This may depend on your individual child. Some children as young as 10 may be mature enough to read these books, while other children may need to wait longer. Different books are written for different age groups, so it is important to consider the book’s recommended ages.
Q: How do I approach my child when presenting her with a puberty book?
A: Your adolescent or pre-adolescent may be too shy to approach you with their questions. The most important thing you can do is to make them feel comfortable and assure them that you are always there to talk or ask questions when they need.Have an open conversation with your child before she begins puberty, so she knows the unavoidable changes are absolutely normal and even something to be excited about. Let her know that if she is not comfortable approaching you she can find answers in the book. You can also ask her if she prefers working through it on her own or together.
Q: Should my child read a puberty guide on her own?
A: Regardless of whether your tween or teen reads the book alone or with you, you should glance through it beforehand to make sure it is appropriate. Ask her what she prefers. You could always offer to sit with her while she reads it to clear up any questions that may come up straight away.
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