Growing Up Books to Gift Boys and Girls

Adolescence is an exciting phase of life but also a time when children face confusion about their body, emotions and much more. These books will help your child make a smooth transition to the teens

By Sahana Charan

Growing Up Books to Gift Boys and Girls

When parents are sitting together and the topic of discussion veers towards their adolescent children, most of them put up their hands in frustration or sigh with helplessness. We all know that the pre-teen and teen years can be quite challenging for both children and their parents, and can put their lives totally off gear. Children in the 10 -14 year age group undergo many changes – physical, emotional and cognitive. Some may have problems coping with studies while others struggle with their feelings and behaviour.

Often, parents feel out of sorts and do not know how to handle the situation. According to the booklet, ‘Helping Your Child through Early Adolescence,’ published by the US Department of Education, research has shown that “the journey through these years is easier when parents, families and caregivers learn as much as they can about this time in children’s lives and when they give their children support.” Parents can find out about what happens in these years and also help children understand.

These helpful books about the growing up years for both boys and girls, will tell them all they need to know and make a great gift to your child –

For Girls

1. Girl to Girl: Honest Talk about Growing Up and Your Changing Body by Sarah O'Leary Burningham

Publisher: Chronicle Books

This is a book with a difference and all girls who are ill-informed about what is going on in their lives, will love the frank conversations in it. In this book, the author turns coach to pre-teens and guides them through all the tricky situations. The book has real-life letters and testimonials from girls and sound advice from the expert. It is a fun, conversational book with lovely illustrations by Alli Arnold.

2. Just for Girls: A Book about Growing Up by Sarah Delmege

Publisher: Parragon Publishers

If you are hesitating to approach the subject about growing up with your little girl and want her to get the right information about puberty, this is the book you can give to her as a gift. When children know what to expect during the adolescent years and have the right information, growing up is not as difficult as it seems. The book has lot of advice, tips, facts and answers to common tween questions about what is happening to their body. It also talks about usual concerns such as menstrual cycles, training bras, embarrassing experiences and how to handle them and many more topics, in a straightforward and fun way. It is an apt book for girls in the 10-13 age group.

3. The Period Book: A Girl’s guide to Growing Up by  Karen Gravelle and Jennifer Gravelle 

Publishers : Bloomsbury Publishing

This is one of those classic books that never go out of fashion. Despite being in print for over 20 years, the book is still quite popular for all puberty-related problems of today. The latest edition has been updated with content that is relevant to the modern, technology age.

Girls often loose their confidence in the adolescent years because they are confused about their body and their emotional feelings. And if their concerns are not addressed, they might become withdrawn or extremely awkward. That is where this book comes in -- written in consultation with preteen girls, this guide offers a practical approach and offers clear and sensitive answers to a lot of issues that often parents may not talk about -- getting braces, shaving, periods, pimples and mood swings and so on. It also has important tips on romantic feelings, friendship, dealing with sexual harassment both in the physical media and on social media.

4. Growing up for Girls by Felicity Brooks

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

This one is a straight-talking guide to the ups and downs of the teenage years and covers almost everything that girls need to know -- body changes, mood swings, exercise, healthy eating, self-confidence, periods, bullying, social networking, drink, drugs, stress, STIs, hormones, relationships, sex, contraception, brain changes, feelings, friends, break-ups, fashion, safety, spots, exams and much more. One of the highlights of the book is that it includes links to authentic websites that give in-depth information on all the topics dealt with in the book.

For Boys

1. The Body Book for Boys: Everything You Need to Know About Growing Up by Rebecca Paley, Jonathan Mar and Grace Norwich

Publisher: Scholastic

When to start shaving? What is happening to my voice? Do I need to get braces? This book is an essential guide to adolescence and talks about everything from body changes, shaving and school to braces. One of the highlights of this book is the ‘When to Expect What’ section, which gives a timeline on changes will appear approximately, at a particular age. The book deals with various parts of the body chapter-wise, and has a separate section on emotional changes that occur during that time. Written is an easy and simple language, the book has useful advice for the pre-teen and teen years. This colourful book will make a great gift for your boy and also to any adolescent boys in the family.

2.Boy’s Guide to Becoming a Teen: Getting Used to Life in Your Changing Body by Amy B. Middleman and Kate Gruenwald Pfeifer

Publisher – Wiley

Puberty is a time of many changes and sometimes both parents and teachers are not able to handle developments occurring in the body and mind of an adolescent boy. This book is a comprehensive guide to the various physical and emotional changes and covers many other topics. It talks about eating healthy and taking care of the body, pimples and how to take care of skin, body changes, reproductive system and so on. The information is in a reader-friendly and in a colourful format. Promoted by the American Medical Association, the book contains a useful glossary of important medical terms and

3. The Boy’s Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up YOU

by Kelli Dunham 

Publisher: Cider Mill Press

Not very different from the other growing up books, this one has all the answers to the questions that every pre-teen and teen is afraid to ask but wants to know about. That includes -- body changes, changing emotions, friends, expectations and so on. But there are some unique topics dealt with that makes the book stand out which are as varied as hair care and athlete’s foot to talking to parents and teachers, keeping friendships, morals, dealing with peer pressure and how you can excel in a variety of sports. The book also has lovely illustrations by Steve Björkman which makes it an interesting read.

4. What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys by Lynda Madaras, Area Madaras

Publisher: Harper Collins

This is the question that every teen wants an answer to and this book addresses the various queries that adolescent children may have about their physical and emotional state. Written by a senior educator and her daughter in an easy-going style, there is plenty of information in the book about the growth spurt, diet and exercise, body hair, confusing feelings and many other topics concerning teenagers. The book is targeted at children aged 10 years and above, and also includes information on acne treatment, sexual health and other medical issues. Featuring detailed illustrations and real-life stories, it also has an introduction for parents and a helpful resource section.