Book about teaching pre-teens and teens about sex, homosexuality, and everything else


The book is titled It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris

It was recommended to me today (without my asking for any type of recommendation btw!!) by a friend of mine. Now, I love this friend dearly but we have many differing views about sex, abortion, birthcontrol, religion, etc. So, I have a gut feeling that I would not want to get this book for my 13 year old albeit she wasted no time in giving it to her 13 year old.

From what I hear, and from what I could pick up on Amazon, the book is graphically illustrated (drawings), naked pics of male and female bodies and all ages, how to masturbate, how to have sex, homosexuality, STD’s, birth control, etc.

What I don’t know is how it’s presented - from a standpoint of “this is all OK” or from a standpoint of “chastity rules”.

I wasn’t even thinking about anything like this for my 13 year old. But…should I be??

I do believe that knowledge is power - that maybe if she found herself in a “situation” (kids joking around or making fun of her naivete, a bad date, whatever) it would be easier for her to tell the offending party to GET LOST if she knew what they were talking about and already knew whether it was right or wrong and how she felt about it.

What I am looking for here is comments from anyone who might be familiar with the book and what you might think of it - good or bad.

And who is Robie Harris anyway??


i don’t know the author either, but if it’s something you aren’t sure your child should have why don’t you just read it first? the best screener is you! good luck…


This does not sound anything at all like a chastity rules book. Knowledge is a good thing, but I think I would give knowledge of God’s plan for our sexuality before anything. Try Jason Evert Romance without Regret or If You Really Loved Me. Also, the ABC’s of Choosing a Good Husband/Wife is a great for a 13 year old. Kids will respond better to an inivitation to say yes to chastity than say no to sex.


I don’t know anything about Robbie Harris, but I’ve heard of the book and I’d say any Catholic should stay far away from a book about sex that preaches the mentality that everything (including masturbation and sodomy!) is “perfectly normal”! :eek:

At that age, your best bet is openness with your daughter in conversation–but honestly, having been there, having good Catholic resources which were age-appropriate that I could pick up and look through on my own time, when I chose to, was most helpful to my moral development. I know there are plenty of good resources out there–here are a few recommendations!

I think for that age, “Did Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons?” by Matthew J. Pinto is a good choice. It has concise answers to all kinds of questions about the faith, but definitely sufficiently covers sexual morality issues. I received it as a gift when I was younger and it was really very helpful.

Other ideas…

“We’re on a Mission from God” by Mary Beth Bonacci

“If You Really Loved Me” by Jason Evert. Also a question and answer format, and if you go to you can read most of the Q&As online.

I’d have to disagree with another poster who recommended “The ABCs of Choosing a Good Husband”. It’s definitely not my book of choice for younger teens, but maybe that’s because I just didn’t like it in general. I’m 20 and in a serious relationship, and received it as a gift, and I have to say that I’m not impressed with it at all. It seems sometimes that the target audience is older women who have been ‘unsuccessful’ at love (there’s a chapter on ‘online courtship,’ which I’m sure the author thinks is very ‘modern’ or ‘hip,’ but comes off as the opposite). It didn’t even do that well…some of the ‘tips’ were, IMO, silly and/or not useful (and I’m not one who subscribes to the modern ‘dating’ culture, either!).

For an older teen, I’d recommend “Theology of the Body for Beginners” by Christopher West, or even “Love & Responsibility” by JPII if they’re up for a whole bunch of philosophy :).

The tricky part is that at that age you want to preserve the naivete of your daughter, but then provide solid resources to strengthen your daughter’s faith. What I mean is that you don’t need to give her a book that goes too in-depth about the immorality of oral sex or contraception at that age if she has never been presented with those issues before. I know I had not been at that age… but I know even in the last 7 years that teens are learning about (and doing things…) younger and younger!


I don’t know about that book, but I do know that Colleen Mast who hosts The Doctor is In on Catholic Radio has a program for teens. You might check out her website at

Robie Harris has a website.

Read all the reviews on amazon. It does not sound like something to rush out an buy. Actually it sounds terrible the more reviews I read.


I bought “Lintball Leo’s Not so Stupid Questions about your Body” by Dr. Walt Larimore for my 11 year old DS. I - obviously - have the boy version. I assume there is something for girls.

It is written from a Christian perspective with Bible verses sprinkled liberally throughout. It approaches the “M Word” somewhat cautiously. It does say that it doesn’t cause blindness, etc, but that it may lead to spiritual or psychological harm. It stops short of calling it a sin, but points out that it may lead to looking at impure images and that those images stay with you and negatively affect other relationships. It points out that sex was given to us by God only to be used within the context of marriage.

This particular book is published by zonderkidz.


Planned Parenthood features this book-- and they brought this lady to Houston, TX, as a speaker. Our pro-life group protested. There are several pro-life groups who successfully had this book removed from school libraries because of its offensive, pornographic nature.

I have personally seen this book and would not even use it as a door stop. Do not get this book for your daughter!

You are correct. I feel sorry for the lady’s 13 y.o. if she gave her thatpiece of trash. She’ll be sexually active in no time.

No, it most definitely does NOT teach chastity. It teaches a very promiscuous lifestyle. Promiscuous sex–* that *is what the book is telling young children is “perfectly normal”.

Absolutely NOT.

Then get her some books by solid Catholic authors and discuss these things with her.

A Planned Parenthood lapdog.




Thanks so much to all who have posted so far. I certainly had plans to read the book before I gave it to my teen, but after some of these posts here, I don’t even think I need to do that!

I was curious to know what some people who have already seen the book thought, and that is where this thread has been very helpful.

I have taken note of these Catholic authors with books from a chastity standpoint and will proceed accordingly!:smiley:

To that end, does anybody here have teen who visit the Pure Love Club on the CA site?

Thanks again.:slight_smile:


Hey Little Mary! Have the day off work today??? :slight_smile:

My dd has perused the Pure Love Club site, heard Jason Evert speak, AND has his book. At first, I was a little nervous that he gave too much info, but she absolutely loves his stuff. He can really speak to this generation, and is strictly in line with Catholic teaching on chastity. I highly recommend Jason Evert!


Hi Giannawannabe!! Yes I am off today - MLK Jr. day so kids are out of school.

I am going to get to know Jason Evert. Thanks for the heads up!!


a better book is love and life-a guide to Christian Sexual Morality by Coleen Mast from Ignatius press, this is a program meant for Catholic schools in Jr Hi, with a student book, teacher guide, but the parent guide has the “birds and bees” stuff, the physical aspects of reproduction, because the author, like the Church, feels that is the parental responsibility to impart at home, not at church or school.


Thank you puzzleannie. This reminds me of an exchange I had with a mom the other day - she was angry b/c her catholic high school assigned her ninth grader the assignment of writing a report on NFP - a detailed report as I understand it; the class also taught that birth control pill are an abortificant (which is what I’ve always understood as well)

The mom was very angry - didn’t think a ninth grader should have to delve that deeply into NFP - she was also angry b/c her doc told her bc pills are NOT abortificants and they are OK to use, which is also what she is telling her daughter. The mom uses them herself and I think all this got started when the student, after learning that in class, approached her mom and asked her why she used them. So there is some defensiveness and a perceived need for damage control on the mom’s part.

I got into the middle of it until the mom became so upset her voice began to raise higher and higher and told me to stay out of it unless I’m a doctor too (I’m not) so I left it alone after that.

But I am tempted to ask to if I can talk to her doctor b/c I would like to hear his explaination of it all.


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