2023 ALA RAINBOW BOOK LIST
WINNER 2023 DOUG WRIGHT AWARD
A completely new approach to learning about puberty, sex, and gender for kids 10+. Here is the much-anticipated third book in the trilogy that started with the award-winning What Makes a Baby and Sex Is a Funny Word
"Silverberg's writing is fearless . . . Here is that rare voice that can talk about the hardest things kids go through in ways that are thoughtful, lighthearted and always respectful of their intelligence."
—Rachel Brian, The New York Times Book Review
In a bright graphic format featuring four dynamic middle schoolers, You Know, Sex grounds sex education in social justice, covering not only the big three of puberty—hormones, reproduction, and development—but also power, pleasure, and how to be a decent human being.
Centering young people’s experiences of pressures and joy, risk and reward, and confusion and discovery, there are chapters on body autonomy, disclosure, stigma, harassment, pornography, trauma, masturbation, consent, boundaries and safety in our media-saturated world, puberty and reproduction that includes trans, non-binary, and intersex bodies and experience, and more.
Racially and ethnically diverse, inclusive of cross-disability experience, this is a book for every kind of young person and every kind of family.
You Know, Sex is the first thoroughly modern sex ed book for every body navigating puberty and adolesence, essential for kids, everyone who knows a kid, and anyone who has ever been a kid.
About the Author
Raised in the 1970s by a children's librarian and a sex therapist, CORY SILVERBERG grew up to be a sex educator, an author, and queer person who smiles a lot when they talk. Cory received a master's degree in education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Cory is the co-author of four books, including the ALA Stonewall Honor Book Sex Is a Funny Word and What Makes a Baby, both with Fiona Smyth. Cory's life is full of kids. All of them know where babies come from. Some know more.
Toronto feminist painter/illustrator/cartoonist/educator FIONA SMYTH collaborated with sex educator Cory Silverberg on the kids' books "What Makes a Baby" and "Sex Is a Funny Word" (Seven Stories Press), 2016 ALA Stonewall Book Award Honor book and 2016 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction winner. Her comics appear in Francoise Mouly and Nadja Spiegelman's Resist #1 and 2, a thirty-year collection of her comics "Somnambulance" published by Koyama Press, and the anthology "Theater of Terror- Revenge of the Queers" with Mariko Tamaki. Fiona was inducted into the Doug Wright Awards' Giants of The North Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame alongside Alootook Ipellie in 2019. She teaches illustration and cartooning at OCAD U and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
"Cory Silverberg bucks decades of conventional wisdom on how to teach kids about intimacy."
—Elaine Blair, The New York Times Magazine
"The pure energy of Smyth's art set the tone for the entire work. . . Silverberg's writing is fearless, digging into the messiness of the human experience with an eye toward justice. Here is that rare voice that can talk about the hardest things kids go through in ways that are thoughtful, lighthearted and always respectful of their intelligence. . . . You Know, Sex is an important book, and not only for the breadth of issues it covers. Silverberg portrays adolescence with tremendous honesty, and demonstrates a clear love for young readers."
—Rachel Brian, The New York Times Book Review
"You Know, Sex is the most thoughtful and thorough book I have ever read on the subject of sex."
—Mariko Tamaki, author of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me and the Caldecott and Printz Honor Book This One Summer
"You Know, Sex covers enormous ground, using playful, inclusive images and clear, accessible, and up-to-date language to navigate the murky waters of growing up. I can’t imagine parenting without this duo’s pathbreaking work. I feel so fortunate that I don’t have to."
—Sara B. Franklin, LitHub
"Accessible, and palatable, . . . You Know Sex soars with the diversity of its characters, its vibrant colors, and its sensitive yet funny examination of gender, puberty, and, commendably, issues of consent. . . . [A] welcome alternative to the dry sex-ed texts of yesteryear."
―Mahnaz Dar, Kirkus Reviews
"You Know, Sex confronts those feelings of awkwardness and shame head-on and deals with them through care, playfulness, and approachable language. ... Instead of telling its readers how they should feel about something, it offers explanations on a given topic, then leaves it up to the reader to decide how to react. ... It can be deeply affirming, even as an adult, to read a book like You Know, Sex that talks about tender topics with you in mind."
―CBC Arts (Canada)
"In what many readers will recognize as their signature approach, they tackle often confusing topics (you know, sex) against a delightfully diverse backdrop of skin tones, body sizes, and abilities in a fun, text-heavy style infused with warmth, humor, and emotional intelligence. . . . A necessary invitation for young people to explore."
“You Know, Sex is comprehensive, nuanced, and expertly uses guiding questions to facilitate self-exploration around sex, boundaries, relationships, and more.”
―Dr. Joia Adele Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG, and Founder & President of National Birth Equity Collaborative
"Representative, inclusive, caring, honest, accurate, and affirming, You Know, Sex is the book that every young person will connect with, and every caring adult wants for the young person in their life...You Know, Sex is what sex education is, can, and should be."
―Sara C. Flowers, DrPH, National sex educator and researcher, Black momma & auntie, and anti-racist public health practioner
"You Know, Sex is a beautifully inclusive, thoughtfully-crafted, engaging book that provides tweens and teens the holistic, timely sex ed they deserve. Parents and caring adults will also benefit from reading this book to support the talks and receive the sex ed they wish they'd had."
―Melissa Pintor Carnagey, LBSW, Founder and Lead Educator at Sex Positive Families, parent of three, and author of Sex Positive Talks to Have With Kids
“We need to recognize that young people have a right to information they can use to make choices that work for them, and they deserve to have information delivered in a way that connects to their lives and communities. This isn’t just a nice thing, it’s a form of violence prevention. This is what we are trying to do.”
―Cory Silverberg in The Toronto Star