Changes in You and Me: A Book About Puberty Mostly for Boys


64 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-921051-95-6
DDC j613.9'55




Illustrations by Kam Yu and Louise Phillips
Reviewed by Alison Mews

Alison Mews is co-ordinator of the Centre for Instructional Services at
The Memorial University of Newfoundland.


These two books were written to demystify the process of puberty and to
provide understandable sex education for young people. They were
co-authored by Paulette Bourgeois, a well-known author of Canadian
children’s literature, and Dr. Martin Wolfish, a professor of
Pediatrics who founded the Adolescent Clinic at the Toronto Hospital for
Sick Children. The authors have chosen to present their informative
guides in two separate books, one for each sex, in order to speak
directly to young girls or boys about what is happening to their bodies.
The organization of the books is excellent, with a detailed table of
contents, plenty of line drawings, a glossary, and an index. A special
feature is the inclusion of three full-color transparent overlays: male
and female body changes; internal reproductive organs (female in the
girls’ book and male in the boys’); and fertilization of the ova.

The information is presented in a clear, nonthreatening manner that
incorporates the correct terminology but also includes the common words
and phrases more likely to be heard by young people. Italicized and
slang words are defined in a glossary. The chapters of both books are
roughly equivalent: Chapter 1 contains a general description of puberty;
Chapters 2 to 6 detail the bodily changes specific to each sex, provide
a guide to sex education, and answer commonly asked questions about
tampons, shaving, pimples, steroids, and so forth; Chapter 7 describes
the changes taking place in the opposite sex; Chapters 8 and 9 explore
some of the social issues surrounding sex and love. The information and
illustrations are explicit and straightforward, and uncomfortable topics
such as masturbation, homosexuality, and AIDS are dealt with
non-judgmentally. Each topic is introduced with true-or-false questions
that challenge the reader to examine his or her own knowledge before the
facts are given. This enables the authors to dispel many of the commonly
held fallacies young people assume are gospel.

These are well-constructed, age-appropriate guides to knowledge every
preadolescent should possess. Teenagers past the puberty stage could
also benefit from reading them, as the material is not presented in a
juvenile manner. Recommended.


Bourgeois, Paulette, and Martin Wolfish., “Changes in You and Me: A Book About Puberty Mostly for Boys,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,