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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Tell Me: What children really want to know about bodies, sex and emotions
by Katharina von der Gathen
Age Range: 9-11
As the subtitle indicates, Tell Me is a book made up of a variety of questions from children about what they really want to know about bodies, sex and emotions. As part of a sex education project with nine – ten-years-olds, German author Katharina von der Gathen, who has made a career in sex education, asked the children to write down their questions anonymously which she promising to answer.
There are a total of 99 questions covering sex, anatomy, puberty, reproduction, sexual and gender identity. The book opens vertically, and the questions are in no particular order which enables the reader to read the book backwards and dip in and out of it. There is also an index of the questions at the back of the book so you can look up specific answers.
The questions are very varied and range from: What makes sex fun? Why do people kiss? How do you know when you're grown up? Do babies get made every time you have sex? What is a hormone? What is porn? What is sexual harassment? What happens if you're pregnant and you don't want to have a baby?
Von der Gathen answers are direct and frank, and the accompanying lively and funny comic-style illustrations from German illustrator Anke Kuhl have been created in such a way as to avoid embarrassment. Tell Me is an important resource for children and teenagers, teachers and families.