The Best Books About Puberty for Girls
Growing up is hard to do. There’s never been an easy time in history to go through puberty, and generations of parents have struggled with the best way to talk about body changes with their children.
Puberty is a very different experience for girls and boys, but in both cases, fluctuating hormones, crushes, body hair, body changes, pimples, and mood swings are par for the course.
If you are the parent of a tween or teen girl, you are probably wondering, what’s the best way to discuss all the ins and outs of puberty with my daughter? If your daughter is already experiencing changes and asking questions, it is best to answer them as honestly as possible at their level.
Like many parents, I often turn to books as a source of inspiration for parenting and other life challenges. So to help you out, we have put together a list of the ten best puberty books covering everything from sex education to body image to allow you and your preteen to navigate the murky waters of the teen years.
Here are our top ten books about puberty for girls.
Top 10 Picks
- Best Overall Book on Puberty: The Girls Body Book: Everything Girls Need to Know for Growing Up!
- Best Book on Menstruation: HelloFlo: The Guide, Period.
- Best Book for Body Positivity: Celebrate Your Body (and its changes too!)
- Best LGBT+ & Gender Identity Book: The ABCs of LGBT+
- Best Book for Young Readers: Girl to Girl: Honest Talk About Growing Up and Your Changing Body
- Best Tween Book: The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls
- Best Book for Neurodivergent Girls: What’s Happening to Ellie? A Book About Puberty for Girls and Young Women with Autism and Related Conditions
- Best Book for Sex-Ed: American Medical Association’s Girls Guide to Becoming a Teen
- Best Self-Esteem Book: Empowered Girls: Activities and Affirmations for Empowering Strong, Confident Girls
- Best Book for Parents: Parenting Through Puberty: Mood Swings, Acne, and Growing Pains
- The Period Book by Karen Gravelle
- The Care & Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls by Cara Natterson
- It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris
What to Consider When Purchasing a Puberty Book for Girls
Consider your personal beliefs and how much you are comfortable sharing with your daughter. For example, some families are open and frank about sexuality, menstruation, masturbation, etc., while others may wish to dish information in small segments.
Is your child already showing an interest or concern about what is happening to their body, or are these changes not even on their radar yet? There is nothing wrong with preparing a child for what will start happening, but too much information too soon may make them nervous or even scared.
Consider your daughter’s personality. Some books are presented funny yet informative, while others read a bit more like textbooks. Many books will have illustrations and pictures, so you might want to page through them to see if there are any you don’t think are age-appropriate yet.
Lastly, do you plan to read the book together, or is this something you will pass off to your daughter with the understanding that she can ask any questions she needs clarification on?
The Girls Body Book covers all the bases and the information presented in a colorful, illustrated textbook style. There is also have a book for boys published in the same format, so if you have a son who will be going through puberty at some point, you’ll already be familiar with the way content is presented. In addition, the book is updated every few years, so the content stays fresh and relevant.
“My daughter is about to turn 10 and has started asking questions, and this book is very age-appropriate. I’ve read it through and happy to leave her to read as she wishes. Very basic knowledge and guidelines. Doesn’t discuss sex at all but does discuss boundaries. Doesn’t explain how a baby is made but does explain changes to the body emotionally and physically, as much as a 10year old needs to know. Also gives a little advice about social topics, home, and school. Recommend!”
HelloFlo is presented in a fun yet educational way. The illustrations are colorful and will help girls understand the text. In addition, it is an extremely affordable book, selling for under $10, and it is available in hardback, paperback, and on Kindle. Naama Bloom, the author, also runs HelloFlo.com, an educational health site for girls and women. The book is aimed at girls roughly 10-13, but slightly older girls might find the humor amusing as well. The material will stay relevant so you can pass it on to another child in the family when the time comes.
“This is a good book. It explains the changing body and brain in a way that tweens and young teens won't be too embarrassed to read about. It doesn't try too hard to speak in their voice but at the same time doesn't come across as some old lady preaching at them. I particularly enjoyed that the book ended with discussing the importance of female solidarity and of having good friendships with other girls. “
Celebrate Your Body does precisely that; it celebrates the female body of all shapes and sizes. To be an American girl means combating the constant barrage of images from Hollywood, pop stars, social media influencers. Sonya Renee Taylor uses fun, colorful illustrations and puts a positive spin on puberty in a reassuring and supportive voice. As a bonus, she discusses ways to stay safe on social media and dealing with peer pressure.
“The text is written in a very warm, reassuring, and straightforward way. The pictures are great, showing girls of different races, sizes, shapes, disabilities, different degrees of femininity, etc., so that I think there is something that every reader could relate to. My daughter immediately wanted to look at the book and talk about what she saw in it with me. The body positivity message is reinforced throughout- something that I try to do with my daughter, but I think it sinks in more when she reads it in a book independently. I am very happy I bought this book, and I think she will be referring to it for years to come.”
If you are the parent of an LGBT+, non-binary, or transgender child, you likely have many questions, and this book can help guide you. It is also a book that teens can read as well. Even if your child identifies as heterosexual, they probably have friends going through puberty as LGBT+ individuals, and this guide can help them support their friends. The ABCs of LGBT+ is a #1 bestseller and has been touted as “essential reading for questioning teens, teachers or parents looking for advice.
“The author really put a lot of work into this book and defined everything they thought readers wouldn't understand at first. Each term is talked about and explained thoroughly throughout the book. Within this book are personal accounts of the author and other real people who share their experiences.”
Girl to Girl is an excellent book for your young tween. Sarah O’Leary Burningham is a big sister and writes the guide as if talking to a younger sibling. This book includes real experiences but keeps things at a more kid-friendly level than some other books. A fun bonus is the myth-busting sidebars added throughout the book to help dispel confusion about what’s happening to a girl’s changing body. It is available in paperback and Kindle format.
“Best book ever! Don't think twice, buy it. My daughter refers to this all the time, and everything is laid out in such a wonderful, conversational manner. She is far better informed now than anything I could have mumbled through!”
The Care and Keeping of You has been a bestseller among puberty books for nearly a decade. Valorie Schaefer’s guide is specifically aimed at pre-teen girls ready for answers about their bodies. The recommended age per Amazon is 8-10, but most parents state in reviews this was better for at least a mature 9 or 10. It is a great book that covers a wide gamut of topics from breast development to pimples.
“This book is an amazing tool for educating and opening dialogue with your young girls as they approach puberty. There is a ton of great education, and the book approaches everything from the head down. In addition, the book approaches everything in a way that appeals to young readers but remains real.”
If your daughter is on the spectrum or lives with another neurodivergent capability, it can make understanding what is happening to her body more challenging. What’s Happening to Ellie, written by Kate Reynolds, is designed specifically for parents of girls with autism and related conditions. The colorful and cute illustrations will help you explain the changes in your daughter’s body as you read the book together.
“Excellent, simple, straightforward book on the coming changes and how to use feminine products. My daughter has a lot of anxiety about the unknown and is a visual learner, so the illustrations of how a tampon fits inside your body was useful. Some may be surprised to see such literal illustrations, but that is how children on the spectrum think and what they need to understand.”
The AMA’s Girls Guide to Becoming a Teen does not fall into the books for kids category. While it covers some essential topics related to puberty, such as periods, how the reproductive system works, and physical and emotional changes, it also addresses some more grown-up topics such as eating disorders and sexual health. Parents recommend you read it first to make sure you are comfortable with your child learning about the terms and topics presented.
“This is a very good book for young teenagers! Purchased it for my 13-year-old granddaughter and glad to know that she has read it and has shared it with her girlfriends! Recommend this book to answer all those questions that sometimes don't get asked!”
Empowered Girls is not a puberty book in that it talks about body changes, sex, or hormones but addresses young girls’ mental health and well-being. This book can be a powerful tool for a girl struggling mentally or emotionally as she approaches puberty. Empowered Girls can help her reach and maintain self-confidence and self-esteem through these changes. It is an excellent book to promote positive mental health.
“I bought this book for my granddaughter, who will be turning nine soon. She loved the book and immediately started working on it. I have read this book from cover to cover myself. I am very impressed with the content and the artwork. The affirmations are not only inspiring for children, but adults could also benefit from them as well. I highly recommend this book to people of all ages.”
Puberty isn’t easy on parents either, and it’s been a long time since we’ve gone through it ourselves. As a result, we may not know how to be the most supportive, and most of us are not sex educators! Each generation of children faces puberty differently than the one before, and Parenting Through Puberty is there to help us navigate this new terrain. Written by Dr. Suanne Kowal-Connelly, this book is chock full of advice and tips for parents of tweens and teens.
“I am a pediatrician and I really enjoyed reading this book. As a mom of two girls, this book brings many important information together, namely the milestones of teenage physical and emotional growth , and fun tips on how to embrace this critical period . A must read!