Chauncey's Reviews > It's Perfectly Normal: A Book about Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health

It's Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris
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M 50x66
's review
Dec 06, 2011

it was amazing

Summary: This is the second time I've been asked to read this book as part of a graduate school assignment, and I was pleased to read it again. It is filled with a tremendous amount of factual information about sex, sexual health, the changes people go through during puberty, where babies come from, and personal health. Although it's very factual, the book is not dry or clinical. The two characters that guide the reader through the book (a bird and a bee, appropriately) offer their thoughts on each topic, which keeps things interesting. The illustrations that accompany the text are accurate, and the text is written at an age-appropriate level for tweens and young teens.

Personal Reaction: I wish I'd had this book when I was 13. My family didn't discuss matters of sexuality openly, and a book like this one could have answered many of my questions without causing me any embarrassment. While many people find the drawings too graphic, I think they're a perfect choice. Because they're drawings, they leave a certain level of detachment that would have been wiped out if the authors had chosen to use photographs.

Classroom Extension: Because of the sensitive nature of the subject and the fact that many parents would rather address this subject in the way they believe appropriate, I would not assign this book as mandatory reading. I would, however, have it available in the classroom or the library. I think it's important to be honest with children when they ask age-appropriate questions about sex and sexuality, and this book could be very useful for that purpose.

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