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Puberty is Gross, But Also Really Awesome

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Puberty… is pretty gross for pretty much everyone. It’s a smelly, hairy, sticky, and (worst of all) totally confusing time! But did you know there’s a lot about puberty that makes it REALLY AWESOME?

Get the whole picture with this honest, humorous, and empowering survival guide to the tween years. It’s packed with straighforward illustrations, easy-to-understand scientific
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 23rd 2021 by Rodale Kids
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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Jessica Haider
Ah puberty. Such an exciting time in our lives. Am I right?

I have an 11 year old son so we are just about RIGHT THERE, RIGHT NOW. So, when given the opportunity to get a review copy of this new book targeted at kids on the cusp of puberty, I was like "Yes please, I will take all the help that I can get!".

I was VERY impressed with this book. It is very well done and talks at the kids' level but in a very engaging, interesting and informative way. The book is even inclusive of gender fluid and tr
Ash Otterloo
Jul 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A factual, gender-savvy book that lays out body change info in a matter-of-fact way that's the opposite of intimidating or agenda-laden. I appreciated that it addressed a whole array of growing-up issues--such as body image issues, body care, and mental health--in a way that includes all genders and orientations. This book sticks to the changing body basics without delving heavily into the practicalities of sex, making it perfect for the 8-12 crowd. Nicely done! ...more
Apr 14, 2022 rated it it was amazing
If you are a parent with a child starting puberty ... You NEED this book! It's super informative and inclusive! It covers a HUGE range of topics and is engaging. I gave it to my almost 11 year old daughter today. I read it before I gave it to her because I went for a snippet and couldn't put it down. ...more
Theresa Hegel
Apr 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is such an awesome, inclusive book about puberty. It's sparked some great conversations with my 9YO. The graphics are fun, and everything is broken down into easily digestible chunks, so kids can learn what they need to when they need to. Highly recommend. ...more
Shannon Doleski
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For tweens when asking questions is tough. For parents when answering questions is tougher. Puberty Is Gross, But Also Really Awesome is an inclusive, helpful manual for navigating puberty!
May 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for upper elementary/ middle schoolers/young teens to find answers to their questions about puberty. It's straightforward with plenty of humor, sidebars, graphics, colors, anecdotes, stories, and cultural references to keep everything highly interesting and informative. The author uses inclusive language for gender and offers plenty of resources and cited references in the back of the book. She also offers tips for teens and adults. This is more of an introduction/brief over ...more
JoAnne Boulware
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
While my students may be a little young for this book, I would definitely recommend it families with children nearing puberty. The facts were presented in a way that gave all the needed information to make you feel comfortable with what's happening to your body. I especially appreciated that this book addressed assigned and identified gender in a way that helped ALL readers tackle the feelings that puberty may bring to the surface. ...more
Jun 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juv, non-fic
A few too many mentions of obesity when I think the term unhealthy could have been used.
Alyssa Zaczek
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Marvelously inclusive, bursting with humor and fun factoids, and packed with thoroughly researched, reassuring knowledge, PUBERTY IS GROSS, BUT ALSO REALLY AWESOME is the all-things-puberty book I wish I had as a kid. PUBERTY acknowledges that not every child's experience of growing up will be the same, and treats every permutation of that weird and wonderful age with joy and tenderness. I've never read a puberty book so dedicated to gently reinforcing body positivity and self-love on every page ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well, I don't know if kids will agree with the 'awesome' part, even after reading this book, but it is a good introduction to anatomy and physical changes. Topics include breast development, menstruation, ejaculation, gender identity, sweat, hair, and more, all presented in an age-appropriate manner. Great for late elementary-aged kids, not a lot of sex details, but does explain consent, harassment, and abuse, with resources and help lines.

Rebecca Siegel
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gina Loveless has given us the puberty survival handbook we all needed as teens. It’s inclusive, empowering and often laugh-out-loud funny. Loveless tackles everything from periods to gender identity, all while reassuring her readers that puberty can actually be really awesome. File this title under: Must Read.
Jessica Rinker
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Puberty is Gross is an inclusive, humorous and yet sensitive guide designed with fun in mind, something one might not expect with puberty, but that Loveless handles with ease. The conversational, confident tone makes it possible for any child to pick it up, find themselves in the pages and laugh, while also understanding they are not alone in this sometimes uncomfortable stage of life.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Puberty may be gross--but it's easier to understand than ever before thanks to Gina Loveless and her comprehensive, inclusive guide. This book will answer pressing questions about puberty and prompt important discussions about what it means to grow up. Any tween who is currently experiencing puberty needs their own copy. ...more
Nicole Valentine
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I could’ve used this amazing book twice in my lifetime, as a kid myself, and as a mother. Loveless has managed to capture both lighthearted humor, in-depth research and full inclusivity in this ‘perfect for all’ guide to puberty.
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this book and learned some things that I didn't already know. I also like how it talks about everything and even includes diagrams if the writing is confusing or needs more clarification.
Riley June
So glad this is finally over...
Aug 13, 2022 added it
I'm far too old to be the intended audience. I read this book because it is one of several that a group is attempting to ban from our public library.

This is by far the most inclusive of the books that the group is attempting to ban. The author warns you up front and certainly tells the readers that questioning their birth-assigned gender is ok. The graphics are teen friendly (or what an adult thinks is teen friendly). The book cover, however, does not invite teens to pick it up. (Actually, I thi
Mary Havens
Jan 19, 2022 rated it really liked it
I picked this up from the library because it's right in line with my kids' ages and it was on display.
I prefer the other puberty book that we read over this one because it was more comprehensive. However, this book made such a huge effort to be inclusive when it described family situations, gender, and the myriad of feelings of children during this time. I really appreciate Loveless's efforts to be so inclusive.
Both of my children saw me reading this and want to read it so I think that's a win
Julia Pika
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a non-fiction title that goes into all angles of puberty. What makes this book really unique is that it's inclusive of all genders, which is really awesome to see in this day and age.

The artwork and doodles all around made it feel less intimidating and less "textbook-y" which will be more friendly to younger readers.

I really like the use of real-life analogies to help familiarize audiences with complex topics. The history ti
Elise Burmeier
Jan 01, 2022 rated it it was amazing
*I read the ebook version, which was a bit irritating when the graphics and design didn't align on the screen properly.

I found the content to be well explained, using language appropriate for the expected audience of tweens. The author chose to use accurate terms for body parts as well as varying sexualities, which some people may find off-putting. I found this use of accurate language to be refreshing and most helpful to an age group that is wrought by hormones, which muddle everything. Deligh
I recently bought this book to supplement the very old and very boring books that were on offer for our Middle school students about puberty and body changes. Luckily teens can now have more inclusive books around this topic and this book hits all the spots.

* Well designed with a great font and layout
* Illustrations are appropriate at just the right amount of detail
* Tone is child friendly without being too patronising
* On the spot with the topics that are likely to be "hot button" items with t
Aiyana PZ
Jul 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me for its inclusiveness and approach to gender during puberty. I really appreciated its inclusiveness and thorough list of resources. I will say it’s definitely geared toward audiences on the younger side of puberty. I liked the continuous message that multiple outcomes are ok and that there really is not one set of normal. The author dealt with many topics such as mental health, consent, eating disorders, harassment, bullying, and the Internet in addition to body c ...more
Nov 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Who knew drinking milk may cause pimples? Or that everyone can grow boobs but male boobs usually disappear in 18-24 months? Extensively researched, tons of resources, eye-catching graphics, hilarious chapter titles - my favorite: chapter 16 "In My Day, I had to Walk Uphill Both Ways to Get a Book (all about technology)". Most uncomfortable chapter for me: chapter 9 "I is Who I Is and I Like Who I Like (All about Gender Expression, Gender Identity, and Sexual Expression)." Still, straightforward ...more
Jan 17, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2022
Honestly… I think there’s too much information here for younger kids hitting puberty. In the very first chapter it talks about “penis-in-vagina intercourse” with no explanation, but in chapter 15 describes kissing as “pressing lips together with someone.” Too much scary stuff too, eg: you see a hair where there shouldn’t be one, you could have (insert scary scientific disease name).

In high school I probably would have appreciated this book but I wouldn’t have read it because of the title…

I won’
Heydi Smith
May 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It's very progressive and quite down to earth. It doesn't feel like a biology book but a conversation about what's what and what options there are. It does get kind of tedious with the repetitive nature of 'you have option' and 'it's your choice' about a trillion times but at the same time you're probably not going to read it cover to cover so its totally understandable. I would give this to young people I know to start the conversation. ...more
Sep 22, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Juv-teen non-fiction
Really well done. This is the book that everyone I've talked to has said, "I wish I had this when I was going through puberty."
It is graphic in text and sketches. It is probably more than many kids want to know. But it is very instructive about what is going on with your body, when and which adults to talk with, and fact based.
Katie Olson
Jul 14, 2022 rated it really liked it
This is a great introduction in sex education books for younger kids, age 9-11. It mostly focuses on puberty, changes in the body, consent, and overall health and balance in your life.
This book is a little information dense for kids between the ages 9-11 years old.
Apr 08, 2021 marked it as incomplete
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Jun 22, 2021 added it
Shelves: parenting
Not sure how I feel about this one.
Sep 06, 2021 rated it it was ok
I did not care for this. Inclusive but not very body positive (which I should have guessed from the title). Bodies aren't gross or awesome they just... are. I liked the typography, though! ...more

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It was five years after Gina Loveless earned an MFA from California Institute of the Arts that she realized her mission as an author was to write books that helped all the weird kids of the world feel less alone. When she’s not writing or reading, Gina can be found in Eastern PA, boogying at concerts with her husband, tending to their awesome produce garden, or snuggling with her rescue dog Gerdie ...more

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