A book about Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health, for children

This newest edition of IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL now includes the most up-to-date information—including information on how to stay safe and healthy on the Internet—that today’s kids and teens need to have to make responsible decisions about sexual health. Click here for more information about the changes in this newest edition: Download the Anniversary information sheet

IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL began one day when I was sitting in an editor’s office. He asked me if I would like to write a book on HIV and AIDS for elementary school age children. I had never intended to write a book on this topic, but I had an immediate response. I told the editor that if I were to write a book on the topic, I would write a comprehensive book on sexual health that, of course, would include HIV and AIDS. I told him that kids and teens did need to know about the virus, but that they also needed to know a lot of other things about their changing bodies, growing up, sex, and sexual health in order to stay healthy. That night at supper, I told my family about my idea for this book and asked my husband and children what should be in a book on sexual health for kids 10 and up. My children were in high school at the time. And that started my research, which continued over the five years it took to complete this book.

That evening I called several of my children’s elementary school teachers (including their science teacher), librarians, several pediatricians I knew, people in the field of reproductive health, and parents who were friends. Over the next few weeks, I met with each of them and I asked them the same question I asked my family: “What should be in a book for kids and teens on sexual health?” Again, their thoughts and expertise were invaluable. While writing the book, I went back to these people over and over again, to make sure my facts were accurate and up-to-date and that the text was age-appropriate. Their expertise and answers to endless questions were invaluable. That’s because unless I really understand something well — be it a chromosome or gene, or love or sadness — I cannot write about it well. Each time I meet with one of these experts, I learn new and fascinating things that somehow slip into my books.

When Michael Emberley created the art for this book, we also showed it to the same experts. This process went on throughout the creation of this book and it is one I use for all my books, nonfiction and fiction. Maybe this explains why it took five years to create IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL! I worked on it for five years, and Michael Emberley worked on it for almost three years! While working on the revisions for the 20th anniversary edition of IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL and the 15th anniversary edition of IT’S SO AMAZING!, yet again I met with experts to find out and figure out what needed to be updated in these new editions. I do this every time IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL and the other two books in this series, IT’S SO AMAZING! and IT’S NOT THE STORK! are about to be reprinted as a way of providing kids and teens with the most up-to-date and accurate scientific and psychological information.

It’s Perfectly Normal

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