Book Review – It’s Perfectly Normal



It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health

Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley

Hardback, 1994, 2009

So, we’re back to the Banned Books List.  My library actually had an old copy and the new second edition, so I got them both to compare.  The only difference is an added chapter on the Internet and updating medical information and the resource list at the back of the book.  I ended up reading the newer one, for pretty much no specific reason.  They were both sitting there, I grabbed that first.

Anyway, IPN is a 90-ish page hardback book geared towards kids just about to start puberty.  All of the visuals are illustrations, some a little more cartoon-ey than others, but all drawn quite well.

At the very start of the book, we meet (what else?!) a bird and a bee, and they get to interject their comments for most of the book.  (The Bee is a little less willing than the bird, which is sort of odd since the bee is supposed to be male and the bird female, but whatever…)

As we go through the book, we get chapters on just about everything that somebody needs to grow up – puberty, both for boys and girls, growing up, sexual feelings, etc.

The drawings throughout the book include everything from anatomy to – my personal favorite – the page with male and female in all kinds of shapes and sizes and ages and colors.  A couple of the pics my knee-jerk reaction was OMG!, but really, I thought about how I was raised and what I’m doing at my age to feel okay with my body and myself still, and I think that a book like this would have helped so much.

So this is another book that’s on the banned books list because parents don’t want their kids to understand life when they’re at the right age to get that information, and as I’ve said before, that’s just really sad.

So share this book with any of the kids in your life – but do it the right way.  Have the adults read it too, and be grateful for the opportunity it gives for open, honest communications.  5/5 pages.


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