The What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents and Sons Info

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Discusses the changes that take place in a boy's body during
puberty, including information on the body's changing size and shape,
the growth spurt, reproductive organs, pubic hair, beards, pimples,
voice changes, wet dreams, and puberty in girls.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.22

251 Ratings

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Reviews for The What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents and Sons:

3

December 22, 2001

Not for preteens
I bought the third edition of this book hoping it would be something my ten year old son could refer to if he has questions he is embarassed to talk about. The book is very factual without being overly clinical, but some of the topics discussed at lenght are more suited for older teens. The exhaustive list of slang names for male and female body parts really isn't necessary -- adolescent boys seem to do well in that department all by themselves! I also feel that the chapter "Girls and Puberty" has far more detail than a pre-teen boy needs or can handle. The book would be much better if it were presented in a loose-leaf format so I could give my son the sections he is able to handle at his age. I also wonder why the author has removed chapters on the important topics of birth control and STD's, which she says were in her previous edition. The book will certainly help me in my talks with my son, but I'm still looking for the right book for him to read on his own.
4

November 17, 2000

Very complete information - better for older kids.
This book seems to be very complete in its information, but I cannot agree with the reading level (9-12) for it! My son is almost 11 and is simply not ready to absorb this much detailed information. Some of the chapters I would love for him to read on his own, yet I cannot give him the book and tell him to avoid certain sections. So, I am keeping it for the future when I feel he is ready, maybe a year or so, and in the meantime am using it as my own reference for discussions with him. I am getting some other books that are aren't as "mature" for him to peruse right now... such as the workbook by the same author.
3

July 29, 2004

GEESH!
I ordered this book thinking that my 9 1/2 year old would learn a thing or two as the recommended age started at 9 years. This book is well written but for much older teens. I want my son to realize and understand about the changes in his body but at this age he doesn't need all the info on sex! Plus at this point in his young life he really doesn't need to learn slang words associated with these changes. This book is definitely too old for him. I'm returning my copy!
5

March 14, 2002

Great Book
I thought this book was great. I read through it together with my son who is 11, then let him read it again afterwards. The author brings herself down to the childs level, using humor to keep their attention. I really appreciated the fact that she kept the whole book real, and in tune with the child and what he might have heard in school, or any other place, where the information might not be correct. She identifies the myths and then presents the information correctly. I felt that this book was definatly age appropriate for an 11 year old.
4

December 9, 2004

Never Too Old To Learn
This was an excellent book for my stepson who will soon turn 13. It may be a little too advanced for younger boys unless you pick and choose what to discuss with them. I wouldn't hand over the book until they were at least 12, but that's a parent's choice. And yes, the book was a little shocking at first, but my parents never explained my body or sex the way this book does. It is very clinical, but do we want our kids to learn the "street" terminology or the actual words? They DO need to know that a woman's breasts are not just objects of desire, but a source of nourishment for children. Understanding our bodies is half the battle to sexuality. Instead of turning a blind eye to why my son was always in the bathroom, we now understand what he is experiencing. This book has helped our family have an open and honest discussion that was free of judgment and shame. We want to ensure that what he learns about sex comes from his parents and not what he hears from his misguided friends.
3

March 24, 2006

Like a textbook
My 12 year old son keeps this book in a stack by his bed, but finds it too clinical--like a textbook. He likes "What's Going on On There" better because it's has a more humorous approach. As time goes on, however, he may appreciate the deeper lever of detail and information provided here.
3

January 9, 2007

Very Surprised
Overall, the book was informative. Me being a single mother I knew I could't answer everything about development in males for my boys. I bought the book thinking I would be able to answer some of their questions or be able to underline certain sections for them to cover without me being present. I was very surprised to see 2 subjects covered in this book. I was so surprised that I will not allow my boys to read the book alone.

The title led me to believe that everything in the book pertained to BOYS! The sections covering the female body and "how many types of hymens" there are took me by SURPRISE! Also, the sections covering homosexuality I felt were not age appropriate for this book. These 2 subjects, expressed opinions on sexuality, and contacts listed in the back of the book should be for males in their 20's or older.

I am rating this book as a 3, because it does contain alot of material. I must say if I wanted to get my boys a book on sex I would have chosen one with that type of title. I'll be putting this book up until they are ready to graduate high school and entering college.
5

February 27, 2006

A helpful resource
While no book on this subject is going to cover everything exactly the way you might prefer, this book does a very good job of covering a variety of topics related to sexual development. The material is presented in an easy-to-read, factual manner. After reviewing the book myself, I gave it to my 12 year old son, who looked at me as if to say "I know this stuff already". Yet the next day, he thanked me for giving him the book and said it had cleared up some misunderstandings he had. We were then able to talk about some of his questions and impressions from the book.
5

Jun 30, 2007

Ok, here is what happened: in hopes of avoiding any awkward talks, my mother dealt with her two pubescent children by buying us books. My brother got What's Happening To My Body Book For Boys, I got What's Happening to My Body Book For Girls. We both read our respective gifts avidly. Then we switched.

Lemme tell you, bad line drawings circa 1980 have a funny effect on impressionable youths. I am still a little scared about what you guys got going on down there.
4

August 2, 2005

Scarily informative!
I read the book first, before giving to my 11 yr. old stepson. There were things I didn't even know! I think it will really be helpful in easing the awkwardness of the "sex talk" with preteens.
4

May 16, 2007

Good conversation starter.
My husband and I have always been very open with our son regarding sex and body issues, in an age-appropriate way. He is now nearly 11 and we got this book for him. He giggled a bit about it but when I let him know I'd be glad to talk about any of the chapters with him, I was a little surprised that the first thing he wanted to talk about was the section on girls..... being a boy, we'd been filling him in on what to expect from his own body but forgot that he'd be curious about the "gentler sex". It's been a nice tool and we have left it on the bookshelf in his room. He can peruse it at his own pace and when he's wondering about things, knowing that he can always come to us with questions about anything.

I think it's an informative book that is, like my title suggests, a good conversation starter. It's not a substitute for talking with your kids about sex and the things that happen during puberty and beyond.

We're very happy with this book and it fits our parenting style.
3

Nov 14, 2007

I read this while I was growing up.

Its frank and informative without being boring. It's useful if you happen to be a young teenager.

Includes many helpful illustrations for those visually minded.
3

Aug 26, 2013

Kids are getting the information from disreputable sources, so in light of that, I'd rather they get it from a decent, if graphic and straightforward text source. At least this information is correct. This is good and appropriately geared toward middle school students - but parents know their kids best, should preview this before handing it to kids and if only part of the book works for their purposes, then there's no rules saying they have to use the whole thing. I for one think it's a good Kids are getting the information from disreputable sources, so in light of that, I'd rather they get it from a decent, if graphic and straightforward text source. At least this information is correct. This is good and appropriately geared toward middle school students - but parents know their kids best, should preview this before handing it to kids and if only part of the book works for their purposes, then there's no rules saying they have to use the whole thing. I for one think it's a good idea to have honest, straightforward and judgement free texts out there for adolescents to use...instead of shady internet sources. ...more
5

Mar 21, 2016

This is a great book geared to boys age 11 and up (younger if they've begun puberty or are interested). Puberty is explained in age appropriate, matter-of-fact way. There are dozens of illustrations mixed in with the text to answer most questions. All the standard info is covered here. There is a short chapter at the end about what girls experience in puberty.

Was happy to see homosexuality and bisexuality included in the dating section. Would have been nice to have another section that has a This is a great book geared to boys age 11 and up (younger if they've begun puberty or are interested). Puberty is explained in age appropriate, matter-of-fact way. There are dozens of illustrations mixed in with the text to answer most questions. All the standard info is covered here. There is a short chapter at the end about what girls experience in puberty.

Was happy to see homosexuality and bisexuality included in the dating section. Would have been nice to have another section that has a less binary view of gender. ...more
4

Jan 11, 2009

I bought this book for Tyler. Since I know my hubby was not about to have "the talk" with him. We are reading it together and I am really happy with the fact that it explains things that I never had to go through. Tyler seems to really have an understanding and has lots of questions (which is sometimes uncomfortable), but the book really helps.
0

Jan 07, 2016

I've found out new things and I think it would be great for the target audience. I know it is way to early for us (baby is not even born yet but we do know it is going to be a boy) but it was on sale and I wanted to read it to know how to deal with different questions when they will arise. Its target is 9-15 year old boys and their parents:)
5

Apr 03, 2013

Maybe not for the elementary classroom but possibly a parent recommendation. It seems most children are getting their information from youtube or another internet source. Having this book lying around may spark a boys interest and inform a parent of their own child's development.
5

Feb 18, 2013

Great resource. We've already covered the basics with our son, so I think we'll hold off and get into this book when he's 13-ish when more of these changes and questions will be more relevant. It's a lot of information!!
3

Mar 18, 2014

Good solid information -- plus some interesting facts about circumcised vs. uncircumcised penises.
5

January 12, 2013

Informative
I read this book before giving it to my son. As a single mom I know that boys have the craziest myths/gossip of what is actually happening to their bodies and what they are supposed to do with it. I even learned some things that being a girl and mom I didnt know about the male body.
5

Mar 28, 2017

I almost teared up seeing the cover.

Buy this for your daughter. Or you.

I'll update later.

3/29/17
4

Jun 23, 2018

I read this book as an assignment for a class on banned and challenged books. My desire is to teach middle school and I figured a refresher on puberty would be a good idea. Depending on what exactly I teach, this may end up being a reference book on my bookshelf that I could loan out. If I teach elementary, I may grab it for like 5th grade, but I felt that the target audience was boys aged 10-15.

While the subject matter was not something I enjoy reading about, this book presented it in a I read this book as an assignment for a class on banned and challenged books. My desire is to teach middle school and I figured a refresher on puberty would be a good idea. Depending on what exactly I teach, this may end up being a reference book on my bookshelf that I could loan out. If I teach elementary, I may grab it for like 5th grade, but I felt that the target audience was boys aged 10-15.

While the subject matter was not something I enjoy reading about, this book presented it in a rather painless way. The writer is a former teacher, and I learned so much about teaching from this book. There are quite a few anecdotes of her early teaching days, some quite funny, some quite embarrassing. I found myself thinking about how I would teach the material in a class. While I felt this book was more intended for boys and their parents, as a future teacher this material is exceedingly important. I believe this wholeheartedly because we need to meet students where they are. And sometimes meeting them where they are means meeting hormonal, smelly, and awkward students and telling them it’s going to be ok.

In today’s world, even less than 10 years since I was in middle school health, so much more is online. And as a bonus, more and more children have smartphones. I only wish the book talked about pornography and some of the research with that, because 90% of 9-11 year olds have been exposed to it.

Altogether this book is a great resource for boys and their families, and, well, anyone who works with boys. This book does find itself on the list of frequently challenged books. This tends to happen in more conservative areas. While I do believe parents and guardians should take control of teaching their children about growth and development, kids and teens will find things out on their own. Just look at the pregnancy rate in schools that are abstinence based sexual education.

4/5 stars.
...more
5

Jun 28, 2015

An excellent book about puberty aimed at pre-teen boys. It's explicit and openly discusses issues that come up with puberty, so more conservative families might not like this, but I think this information is necessary. It not only covers the stages of puberty for boys in great detail (including illustrations), there's a section that reviews stages of puberty in girls. The book is grounded, fact-based discussion about all the various ways that puberty might get talked about at school amongst An excellent book about puberty aimed at pre-teen boys. It's explicit and openly discusses issues that come up with puberty, so more conservative families might not like this, but I think this information is necessary. It not only covers the stages of puberty for boys in great detail (including illustrations), there's a section that reviews stages of puberty in girls. The book is grounded, fact-based discussion about all the various ways that puberty might get talked about at school amongst peers, and corrects common misconceptions, as well as puts to rest fears about being "abnormal" for not developing at the same rate as other boys. I recommend parents review this before handing it over to their sons, and be open to answering questions after your child has read it - if they have any. It's pretty thorough. we treated this as a follow-up book for our son. We gave him less detailed books aimed at younger boys a couple of years ago when he started to become aware of and curious about just puberty. Now that the basics of biological reproduction and stages of development have been covered at school, it became clear it was time to fill in the gaps. ...more
4

Nov 05, 2014

My daughter's pediatrician recommended the corresponding book for girls, so I decided to read them both. I will not be having my son read it yet, but I did think it was well-written and useful for boys who have already started developing and experiencing signs of puberty.

"What's Happening to My Body?" covers topics such as male and female physical development, puberty, growth spurts, romantic and sexual feelings. The author is clear that some people have different beliefs about certain aspects My daughter's pediatrician recommended the corresponding book for girls, so I decided to read them both. I will not be having my son read it yet, but I did think it was well-written and useful for boys who have already started developing and experiencing signs of puberty.

"What's Happening to My Body?" covers topics such as male and female physical development, puberty, growth spurts, romantic and sexual feelings. The author is clear that some people have different beliefs about certain aspects of sexuality, but presents the information in a straight-forward manner. Parents can provide the context of their own morals to their children as they discuss the topics together. ...more
4

May 14, 2013

Really good book about puberty for boys. Graphic and detailed, it does lay it all out there, but in a very matter-of-fact and easily readable way. I didn't love that all the slang was included (but I don't love slang anyway, and I guess I'd rather him hear it from me and understand what it means and NOT USE IT than not). Geared toward middle schoolers but thought I'd preview. This is probably one that I'll purchase so we can continue our discussions.

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