Age Appropriate Books to Talk to Your Kids about Sex

Rachel Nafziger Hartzler, RN, MDiv, an ordained minister in the Mennonite Church USA, has compiled a list of books to help parents educate their children about sexuality. She encourages parents to “read the books yourself before reading them to your children to ensure that the book fits your theology and philosophy about life:”

Ages 4 to 10. Makes the content of sexual anatomy, sexual development, and reproduction seem like normal conversation for children and adults. Sensitive reference to masturbation and intercourse.


Ages 9 to 12. An updated edition of what is called the definitive book on kids’ sexual health. Includes a brand-new chapter focusing on safe Internet use. Universally acclaimed classic that is a cutting-edge resource for kids, parents, teachers, librarians, and anyone else who cares about the well-being of tweens and teens. Offers young people the information they need to make responsible decisions and stay healthy. A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year and An American Library Association Notable Children’s Book. 


Ages 6 to 12. An enthusiastic bird and reluctant bee narrate the comic cartoon panels that illustrate human bodies and reproduction with an emphasis on how families are created, including adoption, with an overall spirit of celebration. Specific topics covered include intercourse, birth control, chromosomes and genes, adoption and adjusting to a newborn sibling. Masturbation, sexual abuse, HIV and AIDS and homosexuality are handled intelligently and sensitively. 


Ages 8 to 12. The story line is of a nurse talking to a class of young children, approaching the subject like a scientist (for example, scientists don't say "yuck!" they say "interesting!"). Providing pertinent information without getting into topics a young grade-schooler might not be ready for.


The Amazing Beginning of You by Matt Jacobson and Lisa Jacobson (Zonderkids, 2002)
Ages 8-12. Illustrated with photos and diagrams and drawings. Explicit illustrations of prenatal growth and development. Explains the amazing truth about life before birth with respect for life and for the Creator who made each person unique. 


Ages 9 to 12. During the past 30 plus years, more than a million preadolescents and adolescents (and their parents) have benefited from the humor and honesty in this straightforward book.  A few things are dated, e.g., the age of puberty has decreased, but reading it together continues to be a good way for parents to talk with children. 


Ages 4 to 8. Now in use for a second generation, this easy to read and very explicit book with its silly but tasteful cartoon images covers the basic facts from love-making, orgasm, conception and growth inside the womb, through to the actual birth day. Gives the names and shows the important parts of the body.


Ages 4 to 8.  “A first guide to body awareness for preschoolers.” Straight forward without giving more information that most preschoolers would ask for. Good information for parents included. The text includes, “Lots of people have their own special names for their private parts, but it’s a good idea to know what the real names are, too.”


Categories: Big Kids