Sunday, March 07, 2010

Nonfiction Monday: Girl in the Know

Dewey: 613

Girl in the Know: Your Inside-and-Out guide to Growing Up, written by Ann Katz, R.N., PhD., illustrated by Monka Melnychuk, KidsCan Press, 2010

Growing up is personal. I cannot imagine a better source to have at hand than this informative, interesting and completely helpful little book.

Katz gets to the "The Body" facts right away. She reviews a girl's anatomy and describes the changes that will occur along with puberty. Melnychuk's drawings illustrate clearly without threatening a parent's tender sensibilities.

There is so much more to growing up though and Katz addresses the changes in family relationships, friends, nutrition, hygiene, exercise, sleep patterns and academic challenges that can occur. She succinctly reviews the issue of physical and sexual abuse and harassment as well as sexual attraction. Readers are urged to discuss their feelings on these issues with a parent or trusted adult.

The text is very engaging and the overall design of the book is excellent. Melnychuk draws young women from diverse ethnic backgrounds, underscoring that puberty affects all girls. The book is nicely sized at just under 21 cm., just right to fit on a nightstand, in a purse or a backpack.

This is a terrific resource. I hope it also makes its way into pediatricians' offices so doctors can recommend it to the families they serve.


Anonymous said...

What age level, would you say? My children's room goes up through grade five.

Camille said...

I personally wouldn't have an issue with it at grade 5, even grade 4. These physical changes seem to hit girls earlier and earlier. The advice is so practical and the majority of it is about dealing with menstrual periods, eating disorders. There is a chapter on "crushes" and the fact that not everyone is ready for them at the same time and the possibility they could have a crush on another girl. It emphasizes respecting yourself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Camille--it's helpful to hear from someone who's seen the book. I'm always looking for good growing-up types of books.

lillibet said...

I find there are more of these kind of good/sensitive books for girls...have you found a decent one for boys?