Here are some of my favorite sex education and gender identity resources for kids and parents. For parents of trans or gender expansive youth, many of the puberty books are very cis-gender focused. With the exception of the books by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth. I always love to get new recommendations and read new books. What are some of YOUR favorites?
AGES 4 AND UP
What Makes A Baby? Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth.
“a book for every kind of FAMILY and every kind of KID,” this title has lofty aspirations that are mostly successful. It emphasizes that not everyone goes about having a baby the same way. Silverberg explains that the genetic material in a sperm or egg has stories to tell “about the body [it] came from.” The bold, stylized illustrations show non-gender-specific people in a rainbow of hues, some with internal parts to make a baby and others without.
It’s NOT the Stork! A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends. Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley.
IT’S NOT THE STORK! helps answer these endless and perfectly normal questions that preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school children ask about how they began.
AGES 7 AND UP
Sex Is A Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feelings, and YOU. Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth
A wonderful comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers.
It’s So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families. Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley.
AGES 10 AND UP
It’s Perfectly Normal. Changing Bodies, Growing up, Sex, and Sexual Health. Robie H. Harris & Michael Emberley.
At 93 pages this is a wonderful anthology of sexual health information for pre-teen and teens. Cis-gender focus. Again, Emberley’s illustrations on almost every page make the information interesting and colorful. This is the book to use for conversations that go beyond basic conception. It includes information on: menstruation, menstrual products,
PUBERTY RESOURCES FOR CIS-GENDER KIDS
The Body Book For Boys. Everything You Need To Know About Growing Up. Jonathan Mar and Grace Norwich.
This book talks a boy through all the physical, hormonal, and emotional changes his body goes through during puberty. The section, “Time To Get Private” includes factual, clear information on the bodily changes that occur, including erections, ejaculation, and wet dreams. What is missing is any information on masturbation and very little is said about sexual arousal.
By: Valerie Schaefer and Josee Masse.
From the description: “You’ll find answers to questions about your changing body, from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to bras, periods to pimples, and everything in between. Once you feel comfortable with what’s happening, you’ll be ready to move on to the The Care & Keeping of You 2!”
RESOURCES FOR AND ABOUT TRANS YOUTH
By: Seth Jamison Rainess
The first book devoted exclusively to issues of gender transitioning for youth. Real Talk takes early transitioning seriously and offers a roadmap of the issues that youth can expect to encounter in their journey. But Seth doesn’t stop there. He provides youth with a guidebook of sound advice to help them navigate various stages of gender reassignment, including treatment options for hormones and surgery, coming out to friends and family, and tips for dating and disclosure.
By: Susan Kuklin
A 2015 Stonewall Honor Book. A groundbreaking work of LGBT literature takes an honest look at the life, love, and struggles of transgender teens.
BOOKS ABOUT TRANS YOUTH
Seventeen-year-old Arin Andrews shares all the hilarious, painful, and poignant details of undergoing gender reassignment as a high school student in this winning first-of-its-kind memoir.
George. Alex Gino
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.
George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.
With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
Gracefully Grayson. Ami Polonsky
What if who you are on the outside doesn’t match who you are on the inside?
Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher’s wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?
Symptoms of Being Human. Jeff Garvin
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s really like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. And Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.
Other Teen resources
Resources for Parents:
PFLAG Largest LGBTQ family and ally organization
Did you like this page? You might be interested in my book, From Ouch! To Ahhh…The New Mom’s Guide To Sex After Baby.