A Boy Today, a Man Tomorrow

Boy Today, Man Tomorrow

A Boy Today, a Man Tomorrow
Hayes
1959

Submitter: I found this 1959 puberty manual when cleaning out an old closet at a public library in North Carolina I worked at a couple summers ago. It had long been weeded–I brought it home to read aloud to my 12-year-old, who was sufficiently horrified!

Holly: What were they saving it in the closet for?? It warms my heart to know it got a second life through your tween.

woman doctor talks about life

Doctor’s Orders

A Woman Doctor Looks at Love and Life
Hilliard
1957

This book is awesome. I hadn’t heard of Marion Hilliard, until I was taking a close look at this book. For 1957, this book is amazing. As an obstetrician, she developed the simple PAP test, educated women on sexual health, delivered babies, and advocated for women on a national and international level. This book is a compilation of the many articles she wrote for Chatelaine. Although medical information is always suspect (especially after 60 years), this might have a place in some libraries because of the author.

sex is not a four letter word

Let’s talk about sex, baby

Sex Is Not A Four-Letter Word!
Miller
1994

This isn’t too bad for the time. This book is surprising as well, since this is the first one I have had on this site that is Christian (Catholic) based and NOT terrifyingly homophobic. The author actually pushes parents to love their child unconditionally, even if they are uncomfortable.

However, all books that are about sexual health issues are automatic weeds when they are over 20 years old. I would also say this is particularly important when coming from a religious perspective. Cultural influences on young people need to be addressed in books about sexual health. It’s a weeder, but I have hope when a Christian parenting book talks about unconditional love from parents and acceptance of those who are different.

How to tell your children about sex

Talking Sex to the Kids

How to tell your children about sex
Narramore
1958

In another throwback to the 50s, we have a book about talking to your kids about sex, aimed at Christian parents. It’s not the worst I’ve seen, but is seriously dated. The general advice is pretty sound: answer questions as they come up and don’t get fearful or defensive. This is probably pretty good advice for any question kids have.

Naturally, there is emphasis in staying within strict guidelines of acceptable behavior. Modesty, particularly for the girls, should be emphasized early and often. I can’t imagine too many modern parents getting upset at kids for pretty normal stuff like shedding clothes, discussion of genitalia, and toilet habits. If this guy ever showed up at my story time, he would see the occasional disrobing, kids showing me “big kid underwear,” and lots of unladylike behavior. No big deal. It’s what toddlers and preschoolers do.