Book Review: Doing It!

Hannah Witton has a free-and-easy communication style that has attracted more than 545,000 subscribers to her video blog on YouTube. That same style translates beautifully into her first book, Doing It!, published in 2017. (Of note, in 2019, she launched a podcast with the same name.) In the book, Witton unapologetically shares bits of herself, her family, and her relationships, providing generational and emotional context. She also incorporates the perspectives of her followers, other authors, and topic experts. Her skillful interweaving of diverse worldviews with choice reference materials results in a vibrant tapestry of sexual information that will enrich a broad audience, but the target audience is late-teens and twenty-somethings who are navigating the challenges of young-adult sexuality in a digitally-dominant world. The book can be purchased here.

Book Review: On Blossoming: Frank and Practical Advice on Our Bodies, Sexual Health, Sensuality, Pleasure, Orgasm, and More

Gia Lynne released On Blossoming–part memoir, part self-discovery, -enjoyment, and -care manual–in May 2019. This, her first book, was well-researched and intentionally crafted with language inclusive of all genders and sexual orientations but will most likely appeal to feminine individuals who seek a path to improved mindfulness, body-awareness, and body-acceptance, particularly as they pertain to making room for pleasure in everyday life. Stand-out elements of the text include comprehensive (internal and external) clitoral anatomy and emphasis on feeling–rather than looking–good. Lynne also provides a detailed description of the unique practice of Deliberate Orgasm (DO), a communication-centered, partnered method of genital description and touch. Those who wish to learn more about DO can listen to a free RadioPublic podcast entitled “Deliberate Orgasm with the Welcomed Consensus” (the intentional community in which Lynne was raised) here. The book can be purchased here.

Book Review: Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids’ “Go-To” Person About Sex

Deborah Roffman, an experienced and respected sexuality educator, has crafted three books for parents interested in nurturing healthy sexuality in their children, with Talk to Me First being the most recent (2012). Roffman builds her text around five guiding principles — affirmation, information, clarity about values, setting limits, and anticipatory guidance — that nurturing parents can use to guide the sexuality education of their children. Dense with sample scenarios and references, the book could readily be used as a text and workbook for a parenting group; it can be purchased here.

Book Review: Beyond Birds & Bees: Bringing Home a New Message to Our Kids About Sex, Love, and Equality

Beyond Birds & Bees, a rare and special mixture of memoir and cross-cultural inquiry, provides a fresh perspective on comprehensive sexuality education as a catalyst for expanding social justice, eradicating body-based shame, and enhancing relationships between parents and children, through adolescence and beyond. Bonnie J. Rough‘s sense of humor, honesty, and humility shine through, simultaneously engaging and challenging readers to evaluate their own sexual values and explore their roles in helping future generations to achieve optimal sexual health and equitable sexual relationships. The book can be purchased here.

Book Review: George

Alex Gino’s timely — and unique — novel, written for children in grades 4-6, deserves a much wider audience. The New York Times agrees. However, because the title character, George, is a transgender girl, the novel made the American Library Association’s (ALA’s) top ten challenged books list three years running, reaching the #1 spot in 2018. I voraciously read the book in a single day, tears frequently stinging my eyes. Join me in purchasing the book here and gifting it often.

Book Review: Hair in Funny Places: A Book About Puberty

For about six months, my 9-year-old son read this book obsessively, giggling the whole time, and even my ultra-cool 5th- and 6th-grade students crack smiles when they see Mr. and Mrs. Hormone and their mischievous dog. Though this book is hetero-normative in its portrayal of romance (i.e., the romance of the main character’s parents), its light-hearted introduction of puberty secures it a permanent home on my book shelf. After all, shouldn’t every discussion of puberty begin with a smile or a laugh?!? A video of Cath Hakanson reading the book can be seen here. The book can be purchased here.

Book Review: What Makes a Baby: A Book for Every Kind of Family and Every Kind of Kid

Fiona Smyth’s rainbow of gender-spectrum characters pair perfectly with Cory Silverberg’s magical explanation of human conception, pregnancy, and childbirth. As the text does not specify how the egg and sperm come together, this book offers a unique opportunity for families formed through adoption, surrogacy, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, or plain, old penis-vagina intercourse to fill in the gaps to match each child’s unique life story. The book can be purchased here.

Book Review: Project Parent: Preparing Yourself for Your Child’s Sex Education

This 2017 release is a unique addition to the comprehensive sexuality education literature. Dr. Jovanovic succinctly tailors Values Clarification for parents who want and/or need to define and understand their own sexual values before diving into sexuality education for their children. The text provides exercises that parents can complete alone and/or with a co-parent and detailed lists of additional resources. The book can be purchased here.