Racially and ethnically diverse, inclusive of cross-disability experience, these books are for every kind of young person and every kind of family.
A note from author
We just don’t talk about them nearly as much as we talk about other aspects of our lives. So, I want to point out a few things before you start reading this book. Read the letter >>
You Know, Sex
Ages: 10–14 years old
Sex is a Funny Word
Ages: 7–10 years old
What Makes a Baby
Ages: 3-7 years old
Sex is a Funny Word has won the following awards:
• ALA Stonewall Book Award, Honor Book
• ALA Notable Children's Book
• Winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction
"You Know, Sex is an important book, and not only for the breadth of issues it covers. Silverberg portrays adolescence with tremendous honesty, and demonstrates a clear love for young readers." —New York TImes
"Exciting, enlightening, and innovative, [Sex is a Funny Word] addresses timeless questions about sex for a new generation of kids who are increasingly aware of the broad spectrum of gender and sexual identities."—School Library Journal, starred review
“Emphasizing the importance of trust, respect, justice, and joy—as well as open communication—[Sex is a Funny Word] is a thoughtful and affirming exploration of relationships, gender identity, and growing sexual awareness.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Representative, inclusive, caring, honest, accurate, and affirming, You Know, Sex is the book that every young person will connect with, and every caring adult wants for the young person in their life...You Know, Sex is what sex education is, can, and should be.” —Sara C. Flowers, DrPH, National sex educator and researcher, Black momma & auntie, and anti-racist public health practitioner
“You Know, Sex is comprehensive, nuanced, and expertly uses guiding questions to facilitate self-exploration around sex, boundaries, relationships, and more.” —Dr. Joia Adele Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG, and Founder & President of National Birth Equity Collaborative
“You Know, Sex is the most thoughtful and thorough book I have ever read on the subject of sex.” —Mariko Tamaki, author of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me and the Caldecott and Printz Honor Book This One Summer
"Sex is a Funny Word is nothing short of revolutionary. Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth’s newest book is brilliant in its approach to giving caregivers and educators the tools they need to talk to kids about their bodies."—Kristin Russo, Buzzfeed
"In the Youth Services division of the Brooklyn Public Library, we have an unwritten policy. If we have books on a topic, we can build a program around it. My venture into menstrual advocacy and sexuality education travelled down many different roads to where it has arrived today.
Every spring, there would be flustered fathers or determined mothers looking for books on puberty for their daughters. They would use every euphemism before I could decipher what they wanted. Their discomfort inspired me.
First, I’d boldly put the books on display behind the reference desk to take out some of the embarrassment. Secondly, came booklists and finally I started offering puberty and sex ed programs for caregivers and for teens. Fun, inclusive, and informative non-fiction books like Cory Silverberg’s books make a daunting topic easier to approach.
When the kids and parents see the bright colors and cartoons, they see something non-threatening. However, something as natural as sexuality, physical intimacy, and menstruation shouldn’t be thought of as threatening in general. Out of my sex ed workshops, I developed the teen advocacy program Cycle Alliance to destigmatize conversations about menstruation and to tackle period poverty. Sometimes, it takes just one book to launch a whole library movement."
—Senior YA Librarian at Brooklyn Public Library
"For years I have assigned Cory Silverberg's book Sex is a Funny Word in my college course, Human Sexualities and the students write a paper about the book. They also are required to complete the exercise on page 39, which entails drawing a picture of what your outside body looks like and also what the stories inside feel like. I have been collecting the drawings for years, and it is amazing what they create. I love this assignment because students at first balk at the fact that they are reading a children's book, but are then blown away by how introspective, powerful and informational the book actually is. They often state that they wish they could have grown up with this book!
Another common comment from my students is that they actually learned something new from the book I am excited to also assign You Know, Sex and to continue adding to their learning. These books are life-changing and great for adults too!"
—Assistant Professor, University of Virginia
"You Know, Sex is invaluable in teaching sex ed to middle schoolers. In particular, its matter of fact, inclusive coverage of the changes young people can expect to experience in puberty is unlike any other resource I’ve used. My students really took to heart the message that all bodies are good bodies and brought a newly-sharpened critical lens to some of the other materials we used throughout our unit. With You Know, Sex, learning about sexuality, puberty, and relationships can be silly and joyful, without sacrificing honesty about difficult subjects.
I grew up on Our Bodies, Ourselves (and the companion book for teenagers, Changing Bodies Changing Lives) andYou Know, Sex brings a similar comprehensiveness that I’ve not seen elsewhere, with critical updates for today’s youth. Like the Boston Women’s Health Collective, Silverberg intuits the ways that kids are ready and willing to understand that bodies and relationships are simultaneously deeply personal and broadly political."
—Social Worker & Healthy Sexuality Middle School Curriculum Specialist
"Sex is a Funny Word provides a developmentally-appropriate way for elementary-age students to learn about issues like respecting boundaries and the diverse identities we can embrace in ourselves and others. Whether it's having proactive conversations about consent or reactive conversations about different ways to express oneself in creative and inclusive ways, this can be an effective and engaging resource. Along with students and caretakers/families, pre-service & in-service teachers, as well as guidance counselors, should take the opportunity to review how this can help guide individual, small group, and whole-class conversations about health and wellbeing.
You Know, Sex picks up where the previous book leaves off, allowing students to expand their understanding as they encounter developmentally-appropriate questions about puberty and navigating healthy relationships. By providing information through body-positive depictions, inclusive types of relationships, and various safe sex options, students have the tools and resources to continue to have meaningful conversations with trusted adults and make choices that are best for themselves and their well-being."