In our most recent episode, LST listener Amanda talks about the many conversations she’s had with her 8-year-old son about sex. Amanda’s a librarian, and she wrote her master’s thesis on sex in YA lit, so we asked her to help us put together a reading list for both parents and kids, to help make the dreaded talk a little smoother. Here are her favorites.
Here are some great age-appropriate books (most with illustrations!) to give your kids when they start asking you questions. Or even before they start asking.
Ages 4-8. It’s Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends by Robie Harris; illustrated by Michael Emberly
Ages 7-9. It’s So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families by Robie Harris; illustrated by Michael Emberly (This is the book Amanda gave her son when he first started asking about sex and childbirth at the age of 7. That’s him reading it in the image above.)
Ages 9-12. Asking about Sex and Growing Up: A Question-and-Answer Book for Kids by Joanna Cole; illustrated by Bill Thomas
Ages 10-14. It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health Robie Harris; illustrated by Michael Emberly
Ages 12 and up. Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff: A Guide to Growing Up by Jacqui Bailey; illustrated by Jan McCafferty
Ages 14 and up. 100 Questions You’d Never Ask Your Parents: Straight Answers to Teens’ Questions About Sex, Sexuality, and Health by Elisabeth Henderson and Nancy Armstrong
If you want to arm yourself with some answers for those inevitable questions—or just have a better understanding of what’s going on with your child’s sexual development at every age—check out these books:
Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know about Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child’s Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens by Justin Richardson and Mark A. Schuster
Sex and Sensibility: The Thinking Parent’s Guide to Talking Sense About Sex by Deborah Roffman
Also check out our favorite online sex ed resources for kids and parents!
What are YOUR favorite books for talking to your kids about sex?
Add ’em to our list. In the comments.