Utilizing puberty books to help you give your child “the talk” once they reach the appropriate age can make the situation significantly less embarrassing for both you and them. Especially, when describing the physical and emotional changes their bodies are about to go through.
Puberty is a transitional period of life when our bodies and our minds start preparing for adulthood and sexual maturity. Although every person goes through puberty, we don’t all experience it the same way or even at the same age.
We are all unique, so our puberty experiences differ. For boys, many of the changes are physically obvious. They start to notice hair appearing where none existed before, growth spurts, and a deepening voice. Other changes are less noticeable to an observer but can be just as dramatic. Especially, those relating to hormones and mood.
Best puberty books for boys to read
In the past, conversations about body changes were reluctantly initiated by mumbling, embarrassed parents. Or, it was left to the health teacher or school nurse. Nowadays, we have many great books that inform kids about what to expect as they grow up.
We looked at nine books to help you and your kids debunk the myths surrounding puberty. We did this to make sure your guys are well-informed and empowered as they traverse this exciting but challenging stage of their lives.
1. Growing Up Great!: The Ultimate Puberty Book for Boys
Scott Todnem, the winner of the 2019 National Health Teacher of the Year award, has written Growing Up Great! as an inclusive, body-positive guide to puberty for boys aged 8-14.
This puberty book can assist your son in transitioning from childhood to maturity while being self-assured and appreciative of themselves. It explains the basics in simple, easy-to-understand terms, including topics such as well-being, hygiene, emotions, and privacy.
Growing up Great! contains suggestions for dealing with difficulties such as peer pressure and social media security. In addition, it includes a list of coping methods for dealing with powerful emotions. The book is age-appropriate, inclusive, and thorough, making it an excellent resource for boys and their parents.
2. Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff: A Guide to Growing Up
Jacqui Bailey’s Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff is a fantastic pick that speaks to teens in their own language. It’s aimed at children aged 10 and up and tackles a topic that’s on many teenagers’ minds: sex.
There are separate chapters titled “Boy Stuff” and “Girl Stuff” that describe body changes during puberty. These chapters include frank discussions about male and female genitals, how they feel, and how they function.
The book has a relaxed, almost comic-like feel and deals with crushes, pimples, dating, sexual activity, and contraception. The new edition also includes information about online safety, maintaining a positive body image, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
3. The Boy’s Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up!
The Boy’s Body Book, the 5th edition, is an updated version of the previous #1 bestselling book for boys navigating adolescence, written by nurse and author Kelli Dunham. It’s ideal for youngsters aged 10 and up. Unlike locker room talk or an online search, it gives you all the answers you need.
The illustrations are ethnically diverse, ability-inclusive, and body-positive. Apart from discussing puberty and body changes, the book deals with evolving relationships, appreciating different bodies and brains, and helping kids deal with bullying, stressful situations, and peer pressure.
Internet safety, making good choices, setting personal boundaries, and advice on planning for the future are all part of this comprehensive guide for boys as they enter their teen years.
4. Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys
New York Times bestselling author and pediatrician Cara Natterson has written Guy Stuff to provide the answers boys need as they enter puberty.
The book begins with some basic rules that will guide boys (as well as girls and adults) towards cultivating good habits. It emphasizes taking control and respecting your body with a special note about privacy and boundaries.
The author discusses topics like hygiene, personal care, and nutrition before moving to important conversations on subjects such as emotions, dealing with conflict, and the expectations that exist about “how boys should be.”
Suitable for boys over the age of 9, the book is illustrated in an engaging way, and the information is age-appropriate and easy to understand.
5. What’s Going on Down There?: A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up
Karen Gravelle, who is also the author of The Period Book, offers a boy’s guide to growing up that has been described as “part manual, part older brother.”
What’s Going on Down There? was written in consultation with pre-teen boys and gives practical answers to common questions boys have as they enter puberty, including what puberty is like for girls. Funny and informative illustrations appear throughout the book, and the content prepares readers to make informed and smart choices about sex.
Recommended for readers from 10 years of age, the revised edition of What’s Going on Down There? also includes sections about body image, sexual harassment and consent, and social media safety.
6. The Boys’ Guide to Growing Up
Phil Wilkinson has written The Boys’ Guide to Growing Up in a positive and normalizing manner, doing his best to address any worries boys might have as their bodies change and develop. The illustrations aren’t too graphic and aim to show boys that not everyone is the same, even when it comes to growth and development.
Body changes and hormones, personal hygiene (including a section on shaving), emotions, sex and reproduction, privacy, and a section about puberty in girls are all included in the book.
It is recommended for boys aged 9 and older, but as with all books, you may want to select sections to discuss with younger preteens rather than simply providing them with the book to read all at once.
7. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Puberty―and Shouldn’t Be Googling: For Curious Boys
If you have boys who don’t like to read or prefer their information in bite-size chunks, the graphic novel-type format of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Puberty―and Shouldn’t Be Googling by Morris Katz is bound to appeal to them.
The book uses honesty, humor, and a bit of irreverence to cover topics that include body changes in puberty, gender, sexuality, emotions, and well-being. A “puberty goggles” feature in the book provides some insight as to how a tween might view themselves and the world around them.
8. I’m a Boy series
The I’m a Boy series of Anatomy for Kids books is a good choice for parents who want to focus on biological body changes associated with puberty.
Educator and anatomist Dr. Shelley Metten introduces boy anatomy and terminology in the 1st book in her series, I’m a Boy, Special Me. Featuring age-appropriate text and illustrations, the book is aimed at boys ages 5-7.
Next in the series is I’m a Boy, My Changing Body for kids ages 8-10. This book takes a direct and honest approach to preparing boys for the body changes they can expect as they enter puberty. The illustrations are age-appropriate, accurate, and helpful for learning more about the male anatomy.
I’m a Boy Hormones!, the final book in the series, is for boys aged 11+. The author explains to older boys how hormones are changing their bodies and what they can expect to experience. Subjects like body odor, skin changes, voice deepening, and growth spurts are covered together with conversations around how the male reproductive system functions.
9. What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: Revised Edition
In this bestselling growing-up guide for preteens and teens (age 10+), Lynda and Area Madaras provide information and insight in a reassuring, easy-to-read style. The book features detailed illustrations and real-life stories plus an introduction for parents and a resource section.
Topics ranging from puberty to relationships and sex are discussed, ensuring that teens are informed and empowered with knowledge. The book also offers insights about recognizing and regulating emotions and discussions around consent and safe sex. Topics such as body changes, feelings, and puberty in the opposite sex are approached in an open but sensitive way. For older readers, there is information on subjects including sexually transmitted diseases and birth control.
This book is not a light read and is incredibly informative. There may be information that can be skipped over for a later stage or that needs to be revisited. What’s Happening to My Body? is the perfect resource to answer the intimate and embarrassing questions tweens and teens may have.
There are plenty of books that discuss puberty for both girls and boys, so you should take some time to select the one that is right for you. Not all books discuss topics such as gender and sexuality, and others may not represent neurodiverse and differently abled individuals. Some don’t include a discussion about consent and boundaries, and this might be a conversation that you need to have separately.
Many books about puberty do contain anatomically correct images, so be prepared to encounter these in the books described above. As a parent, I would recommend pre-reading any book about puberty before giving it to your child. That way, you are familiar with the content and can prepare for any questions or discussions that may arise.
By making sure that kids are knowledgeable about their bodies, how they function, and what to expect, we prepare them for adolescence in a way that best supports their physical and emotional well-being.