8 Books on Puberty for Boys

If puberty has made its entrance into your son's life then you might be wondering where to look for straightforward answers to some of the most toughest questions. These books will give your kid the facts to navigate to teenhood.

Puberty has hit my house. My oldest son has entered the tween years and seemingly overnight he went from my sweet little boy who wanted to bake with Mom to an eye-rolling pre-teen who keeps stealing my iPhone charger. But puberty for males isn't just a time of shadowy mustache lines on upper lips and talks of buying deodorant. It's an opportunity to teach our kids more about how to take care of themselves physically, emotionally, and mentally.

These conversations aren't always easy to have for both kids and adults. But parents can use the power of books to help get those important and sometimes awkward conversations started.

boy reading book
Getty Images/Rubberball/Alan Bailey

"Books help break the ice and open up the discussion about the sensitive topics all kids face," says Ansley Feldman, M.D., FAAP, a pediatrician practicing at Sanders Court Pediatrics in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. "It is important to point out to the young adult that body changes happen to everyone."

For Black, Indigenous, and parents of color, it can be challenging to find books that cover certain topics specific to their kids. "In today's climate, interactions with law enforcement and authorities are paramount issues to discuss with family," says Tobi Adeyeye Amosun, M.D., a pediatrician and medical director of Academy Children's Clinic in Nashville, Tennessee. "From a medical standpoint, there are skin and hair issues specific to Black teens that [many] books do not address."

But she advises parents look for a book that discusses issues of race and racism, tackles nutrition, exercise, gender, sleep, eating disorders, and mental health, as well as sections on sexuality, consent, dating, contraception, and LGBTQ concerns. Don't forget about driving safety, social media, and substance use. And opt for a book that talks about all stages of puberty. "Puberty can start as early as 9 or 10 for [males]—even earlier for [females]—and continues until your early 20s," says Dr. Amosun.

That's why it's important for all parents to start talking about body development early and with proper terminology. "My cue is to start the conversation when they start having body odor," says Dr. Amosun. Chances are your kid has already been discussing these issues with their friends, but "it's always helpful for them to have input from a trusted adult," adds Dr. Amosun.

With that in mind, here are seven titles that parents can feel good about reading with their tween. Each of these books offers factual information that covers a wide breadth of topics about puberty that most boys will find they can relate to.

1. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Puberty―and Shouldn't Be Googling: For Curious Boys

Published in 2020, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Puberty―and Shouldn't Be Googling: For Curious Boys promises to take the voice of a cool, older brother to walk boys ages 10 and up through "their first armpit hair to their first wet dream—and beyond." It's laid out in a graphic novel style and tackles tough issues like social media and cyberbullying.

2. Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys (American Girl) By Cara Natterson

"The American Girl Body Book has always been my choice for girls and there is a boys' book titled Guy Stuff: Body Book for Boys," says Dr. Feldman. The author, Cara Natterson, is also a pediatrician, a mom, and a "go-to puberty expert," as her website states. "These easy reading books provide basic information every tween needs to approach this next phase in life and feel confident while doing it," adds Dr. Feldman.

3. The Boy's Body Book (Fifth Edition): Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up!

Updated in 2019, the The Boy's Body Book (Fifth Edition): Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up! provides information on issues like changing bodies, personal hygiene, self-confidence, leadership, school safety and personal boundaries. It's geared towards middle school-aged boys and if e-books are more your family's style, there's also a Kindle edition available.

4. What's Going On Down There?: A Boy's Guide To Growing Up by Karen Gravelle

You could call What's Going On Down There? a classic now that it's more than 20 years old (but don't worry: it's been updated for modern-day families!) and has sold more than 150,000 copies. It has been described as part manual and part older brother with its funny and relatable illustrations and interviews with real pre-teen boys. It's filled with all the facts that every boy needs to navigate their way from boyhood to manhood with confidence. The latest version includes new sections that cover body image, sexual harassment, consent, and using social media safely.

5. Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff: A Guide To Growing Up by Jacqui Bailey

Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff is a solid choice because it gives boys a chance to learn not only about their own body changes but also about what their female peers are going through too. Talk about an opportunity for teaching respect and empathy! Geared toward 11- through 16-year-olds, Sex Puberty, And All That Stuff covers some awkward topics for parents to talk about, including sex, STDs, and pregnancy. But don't worry, the authors do a great job of taking some of the fear out of the conversations by also including funny cartoons to help defuse any awkwardness.

6. Middle School Makeover: Improving the Way You and Your Child Experience the Middle School Years By Michelle Icard

Middle School Makeover is targeted more toward parents and teachers to give them an empathetic understanding of the pressures that boys face while navigating new social situations, a changing body, and the awkwardness of puberty. Published in 2014, Icard blends personal experience with research on how kids' brains grow and change over time to give parents and teachers a tool kit on how to understand and work with the wonderful tweens and teens in their lives.

7. Growing Up Feeling Great!: The Positive Mindset Puberty Book for Boys

Published in 2022 and authored by a licensed therapist, Growing Up Feeling Great!: The Positive Mindset Puberty Book for Boys is a helpful one to add to your list because it focuses on emotional and mental health, while helping young boys understand why puberty may affect feelings of anger, embarrassment, and more. Plus, it provides practical ways to manage difficult emotions like deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises.

8. It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie Harris

In the 2021 version of It's Perfectly Normal, parents can expect many inclusive updates, such as gender-neutral language, LGBTQIA topics, and discussions on gender identity, sex, and sexuality. The authors tackle important topics ranging from abortion, sexual abuse, gender identity, masturbation, and HIV/AIDS, to name a few. Some parents may find a loss of words for how to explain some of these kinds of topics and so having an expert voice guide those conversations in an articulate and thoughtful way can help boys' separate fact from myth as they journey through their tween and teen years.

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