Tuesday, January 19, 2010
When Lisa @ Books on the Brain contacted me and offered me the opportunity to review this book for a TLC Book Tour, I didn't hesitate. While this is not the type of book I normally read, I do have a daughter who is about to turn 12. I'm entering scary territory here people! She and I had the period talk a couple of years ago, and that, by itself was wrought with angst. My daughter is a worrier, so I had to convince her, at least fifty times, that she wasn't going to die from the pain, and arrange a secret code word that she could whisper to me over the school phone if she ever had a period emergency.
But then the school chose, this past summer, to send out Catholic-sanctioned booklets about sex to the parents of all the upcoming sixth graders. The intent was that the parents read the info, then discuss it with their kids. Now you know, and I know, that there are parents who, rather than have the difficult discussion, simply handed the booklets to their kids and told them to have at it. So essentially the cat was out of the bag, and therefore forced my hand. And this is a slippery slope. You talk about sex, then you have to talk about reproduction, disease, peer pressure, the whole bit.
The Body Scoop for Girls was a breath of fresh air. Written by an OB-Gyn that specializes in adolescents, this lady is hip and current. She wears leopard-print skirts and strappy heels. She gives her patients lattes and fuzzy robes! I want to go there! She also, in concise, no-nonsense language, tells is like it is to a generation of girls who are growing up under a different set of circumstances than we did.
All the bases are covered. She covers the basics, such as breast development, periods, body hair and changes in the appearance of the body. But she also addresses waxing and grooming, piercing, excessive cramping, infections, breast exams, drugs, alcohol and smoking, the importance of eating healthy and about body image. But the heavy stuff? A good third of the book is dedicated to sex. A list of reasons to wait until you are 18. Safe sex, the dangers of oral sex, how to talk to your boyfriend about your decisions, birth control A to Z, and STIs. No stone is left unturned. Yes, it is all bound to curl our hair as parents, but I don't think we can hide our heads in the sand. There is too much at risk.
The book is written as if Dr. Ashton is speaking directly to the teen. Will a teen really read it? Perhaps not the entire thing, because there is alot of information here to digest at once. But the language is not preachy and not overly technical, so it would be easy enough for a 14 or 15 year old to comprehend. Practically, I think the book is perfect for a parent to read, and armed with the facts, speak with their daughter about the topics that are applicable. Maybe even have them read a chapter and then talk about it afterwards.
One particular aspect of the book that demonstrates Dr. Ashton's progressive attitude is that she answers questions as they pertain to those girls who are lesbians. Nobody is left out in the cold with Dr. Ashton.
I'd like to thank Lisa and Beth at Avery for the opportunity to review this book, and keep as a very important reference and guide to get me through the minefield of the teenage years.
4 out 5 stars