Sex Ed Books

It’s a tricky topic, but kids deserve to know the facts about reproduction, sex, gender, relationships, and consent. Here’s a collection of books that your shelves should hold for kids to educate and empower themselves.

How Do You Make a Baby?

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 7
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

A factual and funny book for children aged 4 and up that answers the questions all children are curious about.

How does a baby get into the mother’s stomach? Who can make a baby, and how is it actually done?

With comic illustrations and a playful tone, this book is a great conversation starter for families and classrooms approaching the topics of sex education, human anatomy and how babies are made. Informational, funny and warm, How Do You Make a Baby? is an intelligent introductory teaching tool that keeps the topic light and easy through humorous language, illustration and inclusivity.

How Do You Make a Baby? gives parents, teachers and children a starting point for open and inclusive discussion on topics including different ways to be a family, same-sex parents, IVF treatment, adoption and a diverse cast of illustrated characters.

“Finally: a ‘where do babies come from’ book that doesn’t mince words—or pictures.”—Kirkus Reviews

Any Body: A Comic Compendium of Important Facts and Feelings about Our Bodies

  • Interest Level: Grade 5 – Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

Humor combines with accurate, digestible information in this honest comic reference for children and early teens who want to understand and feel at home with their own bodies.

The author’s many years of experience working with children as a sex educator are the basis for this witty encyclopedia. The illustrations are relatable and funny, including charts, cartoons and more.

This compendium is an encouraging starting point for conversations with children, laying the foundations for body acceptance in a straightforward and highly entertaining way.

Do Animals Fall in Love?

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

Best Middle-Grade Nature Books of 2021, Kirkus

The birds and the bees, literally. A fully illustrated compendium of fascinating and astonishing facts about animal reproduction for the whole family.

Bats give birth upside down. Swifts can mate while plummeting through the air. Scorpions attract their partners with a romantic dance. Male humpback whales sing together for days to bring females from many miles away. Dolphin babies come out tail first.

From sex education expert Katharina von der Gathen, Do Animals Fall in Love? is a compendium of all the weird and wonderful ways the animal kingdom reproduces – courting rituals both elaborate and devious, extraordinary physiology, cleverly planned pregnancies, the most devoted fathers and the sweetest animal babies on Earth.

With frank and honest illustrations – some full frontal – there’s something to amaze on every page, making this an excellent resource for parents and teachers to explain puberty and sex education through the more neutral animal kingdom, to children age 6 and up.

Comic illustrations bring humor and contrast to the factual and frank text, exploring all the most fascinating and astonishing facts about animal reproduction, from seduction methods and anatomy to family life and animal babies, in a compendium for the whole family.

Structured from seduction and mating through family life and ending with a page of delightful animal babies, this is a topic that will guarantee to interest children and reads like a David Attenborough documentary on the page. Designed to be read alone or together with the family, this striking hardback compendium holds all the answers to questions children ask.

Consent: Deal with it before boundaries get crossed

From the Series Lorimer Deal With It

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 9
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

Consent isn’t just about sex. From an early age, kids are taught to respect personal space. They learn to express themselves and how they feel. While they must be taught that kissing, hugging, and touching are sometimes appropriate and sometimes not, it’s also important that they consider that consent is needed for interactions like borrowing things, sharing possessions, or sharing someone’s secrets. And that consent cannot be assumed, even if it has been given at a different time.

This illustrated book offers information, quizzes, comics, and real-life situations to help kids think critically about what consent is, and what it looks like and sounds like when it is given or not given.

Queer, 2nd Edition: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

Teen life is hard enough, but for teens who are LGBTQ, it can be even harder.

When do you decide to come out? Will your friends accept you? And how do you meet people to date? Queer is a humorous, engaging, and honest guide that helps LGBTQ teens come out to friends and family, navigate their social life, figure out if a crush is also queer, and challenge bigotry and homophobia. Personal stories from the authors and sidebars on queer history provide relatable context. This completely revised and updated edition is a must-read for any teen who thinks they might be queer or knows someone who is.

“A delightful collection of trustworthy and accurate information that tweens and teens need today, all told in a sort of quirky, sometimes goofy, and always approachable tone…a fun, easy to read, and occasionally hilarious guide that should be available on a shelf in every high school library.”
—Diane Anderson-Minshall, Editorial Director, The Advocate magazine

Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

“I didn’t hear the word transgender until I was eighteen, when a person I was dating came out as trans. My boyfriend came out as my girlfriend, and I thought, ‘What . . . is that?’ She said, ‘I just don’t think I’m a man.’ And I said, ‘Guess what? Neither do I.’ And then the skies parted, and I understood who I was.”—Katie Burgess, nonprofit director and community activist/organizer

Meet Katie, Hayden, Dean, Brooke, David, Julia, and Natasha. Each is transgender, and in this book, they share their personal stories. Through their narratives, you’ll get to know and love each person for their humor, intelligence, perseverance, and passion. You’ll learn how they each came to better understand, accept, and express their gender identities, and you’ll follow them through the sorrows and successes of their personal journeys.

Transgender Lives helps you understand what it means to be transgender in America while learning more about transgender history, the broad spectrum of transgender identities, and the transition process. You’ll explore the challenges transgender Americans face, including discrimination, prejudice, bullying and violence, unequal access to medical care, and limited legal protections. For transgender readers, these stories offer support and encouragement. Transgender Lives is a space for trans* voices to be heard and to express the complexities of gender while focusing on what it means to be human.

You Do You: Figuring Out Your Body, Dating, and Sexuality

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

Teen sex. STIs. Sexting. Rape. Sexual harassment. #MeToo and #YesAllWomen. Today’s teens launch into their sexual lives facing challenging issues but with little if any formalized learning about sex and human reproduction. Many of them get their sex ed from online porn. Through this authoritative, inclusive, and teen-friendly overview, readers learn the basics about sex, sexuality, human reproduction and development, birth control, gender identity, healthy communication, dating, relationships and break ups, the importance of consent, safety, body positivity and healthy lifestyles, media myths, and more. Advice-column-style Q&As and real-life stories add human drama and authenticity.

Reproductive Rights: Who Decides?

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

Throughout history, men and women have always found ways to control reproduction. In some ancient societies, people turned to herbs or traditional rituals. Others turned to methods that are still used in the twenty-first century, such as abstinence, condoms, and abortions.

Legislating access to birth control, sex education, and abortion is also not new. In 1873 the US Congress made it illegal to mail ‘obscene, lewd, or lascivious materials’—including any object designed for contraception or to induce abortion. In some states in the 1900s, it was illegal for Americans to possess, sell, advertise, or even speak about methods of controlling pregnancy.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Margaret Sanger, Mary Ware Dennett, and others began to defy these laws and advocate for the legalization of birth control and for better women’s reproductive healthcare. By 1960 doctors had developed the Pill, but it wasn’t until 1972 that all US citizens had legal access to birth control. And in the landmark decision Roe v Wade (1973), the US Supreme Court ruled that women had a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

Disputes over contraception, sex education, and abortion continue to roil the nation, leading to controversial legal and political rulings and occasionally violence. As society changes—and as new reproductive technologies expand the possibilities for controlling and initiating pregnancy—Americans will continue to debate reproductive rights for all.

No More Excuses: Dismantling Rape Culture

  • Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

Soon after the sexual misconduct allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein became public in late 2017, the #MeToo movement went viral, opening up an explosive conversation about rape culture around the globe. In the US, someone is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. More than 320,000 Americans over the age of twelve are sexually assaulted each year. Men are victims too. One in thirty-three American men will be sexually assaulted or raped in his lifetime. Yet only 3 percent of rapists ever serve time in jail. Learn about the patriarchal constructs that support rape culture and how to dismantle them: redefining healthy manhood and sexuality, believing victims, improving social and legal systems and workplace environments, evaluating media with a critical eye, and standing up to speak out. Case studies provide a well-rounded view of real people on all sides of the issues.

Sex: An Uncensored Introduction

  • Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

Before you get busy, you need to get educated.

Thinking about having sex? Or just thinking about sex, period? Well, that’s certainly a good place to start — because there’s a lot to think about, and a lot to learn. And Nikol Hasler is here to help. This honest, funny, and uncensored guide covers everything from sexual orientation and masturbation to foreplay, first-time concerns, birth control, and protection against diseases. New sections in this revised edition also address online dating, sex-related bullying, important new sex-related legislation, and sexting — a topic of particular interest and concern today. No subject is off-limits and no question is taboo in this hilarious, in-depth, all-in-one guide.

“What a clever, well-written, and creatively illustrated book that speaks to teens and their parents about teenage sexuality! Both the content and form are superb.”—M. Joycelyn Elders, MD, former Surgeon General of the United States


From the Series USA TODAY Health Reports: Diseases and Disorders

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

USA TODAY, the Nation’s No. 1 Newspaper, reports that in the United States “about 19 million new [STD infections, other than AIDS] occur each year, about half in young people between ages 15 and 24.” Sexually transmitted diseases are bacterial or viral infections that can be passed from person to person. Understanding STDs—their prevalence, their symptoms, how they are passed, and how they can be treated—is an important first step in controlling the diseases.

In this book, you’ll read case studies and receive up-to-date information on the symptoms and treatments of major STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes, Hepatitis B, genital warts, and HIV/AIDS. You’ll also learn how to avoid catching the diseases and how people manage STDs for which there is no cure. All of these facts can help you understand what can be done if you or someone close to you has an STD.

UnSlut: A Diary and a Memoir

  • Interest Level: Grade 9 – Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

When Emily Lindin was eleven years old, she was branded a “slut” by the rest of her classmates. For the next few years of her life, she was bullied incessantly at school, after school, and online. At the time, Emily didn’t feel comfortable confiding in her parents or in the other adults in her life. But she did keep a diary… UnSlut presents that diary, word for word, with split-page commentary to provide context and perspective. This unique diary and memoir sheds light on the important issues of sexual bullying, slut shaming, and the murky mores of adolescent sexual development. Readers will see themselves in Emily’s story—whether as the bully, the shamed, or the passive bystander. This book also includes advice and commentary from a variety of distinguished experts.

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