Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human
Erika Moen & Matthew Nolan
Random House Graphic
How do you find the answers to all the questions you have about yourself, about your identity, and about your body? Let's Talk About It provides a comprehensive, thoughtful, well-researched graphic novel guide to everything you need to know.
Covering relationships, friendships, gender, sexuality, anatomy, body image, safe sex, sexting, jealousy, rejection, sex education, and more, Let's Talk About It is the go-to handbook for every teen, and the first in graphic novel form.
- Publishers Weekly 2/1/2021 - Starred Review
Moen and Nolan (Oh Joy Sex Toy, a collected volume of their webcomic, for adults) apply their signature corny humor and straightforward handling of sex to this accessible guide that covers the “in-between stages” of intimacy, “from having a crush to... putting a condom on something.” In bite-size sections that each begin with a question (“What is... aftercare?”), teen characters engage in meaningful and nuanced dialogues about aspects of identity and physicality (e.g., body image, gender and sexuality, kinks, and safe sex). Via realistic scenes and conversational dialogue balloons, characters create a blueprint for exploring their own vulnerability (“I haven’t done anything before? At all??”) and supporting others’ (“I’m really glad you told me”). Responsibly representing a wide array of anatomically diverse “generally estrogen-rich” and “generally testosterone-rich” bodies, this guide’s pale-hued art also showcases variations in ability, body shape, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, and pairings, creating a refreshingly inclusive read that takes individual desires and needs into account. Though some text-packed pages can be difficult to digest, they nevertheless provide vital information, embracing the complexity of relationships (“We’re all constantly learning and growing”) and offering comprehensive, no-nonsense information on sex and sexuality. Useful back matter suggests further reading and resources. Ages 14–up. Agent: Monika Verma, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary. (Mar.)
- Kirkus Reviews 1/12/21, Starred Review
A multiethnic set of realistic teen cartoon characters representing a wide diversity of body types (sizes, abilities, genders) have illuminating and honest conversations in this informative guide. The first chapter focuses on what sex is, how varied sexual expression can be, and what consent means. The second chapter nonjudgmentally explores various kinds of relationships, including monogamous, polyamorous, open, and companionate. Subsequent chapters discuss gender and sexuality (with joyful and varied illustrations), body image (featuring loving representations of many body types), anatomy (including outstanding drawings that are inclusive of trans and intersex people), masturbation (with how-to ideas presented), and thorough coverage of birth control and STI prevention. The book is rounded out with chapters on what to think about before having sex; orgasms; ground rules for sexting; kinks, fantasies, and porn; jealousy and rejection (including guidance on recognizing abusive patterns); potential impacts on friendship; and more. The tone throughout this colorful, visually appealing, and easy-to-read volume is honest, normalizing, and sex positive as it offers readers excellent and reassuring information. The married co-authors are known for their sex-education–related comic collaborations. While the dialogue can occasionally feel stilted as it conveys comprehensive content, the work is still crisp, breezy, effective, and noteworthy in a crowded field for its holistic emphasis on human, emotional aspects of sexuality.
Puts the graphic in the graphic-novel format, in the best and most educational way. (further reading, authors’ note, index) (Nonfiction. 13-18)
- School Library Journal, 12/1/20
Gr 9 Up-Don't be afraid. Yes, there are drawings of naked bodies in this book (mostly in the "Body Image" section), and, yes, readers will learn about some of the ways the human body is wired for pleasure. And the detailed drawings of genitals are not solely in service of explaining how babies are made. But every panel of this book, every anatomical drawing, every conversation over tea or in a tent, is loaded with crucial information about consent, respect, consideration, and boundaries. A magnificently varied cast of characters confess their insecurities to their best friends, siblings, crushes, lovers, and hookups and in return receive reassurance, information, and practical advice. Readers will learn about a laundry list of activities, including sexting, masturbation, gender, and fantasies, along with health issues such as safe sex and a couple of the less pleasant aspects of relationships: jealousy and rejection. Moen and Nolan have been making comics about sex for years-their comic Oh Joy Sex Toy has even been exhibited at the Tate Modern in London. Moen's richly individualistic characters keep the pages turning, despite some fat word balloons-the result of personality-rich dialogue and precision, which is important when it comes to topics like identity and relationships. A palette of browns, pinks, and grays continues the celebration of bodies of all shades and shapes. A sprinkling of profanity (including the odd F-bomb) must be noted as it may affect a school library's ability to shelve it. VERDICT Real talk about relationships and sex.Paula Willey, Enoch Pratt Free Lib
- ALA’s The Hub
Written by a married team of professional cartoonists who focus on sex education, Let’s Talk About It is an open and honest graphic novel guide to sex, consent, relationships, and everything in between and provides teens—or anyone who hasn’t had the chance to examine themselves or their relationships with others fully—an intelligent and easy-to-understand jumping off point to explore. The bright and colorful illustrations show a diverse group of characters representing various body types, genders, and abilities, covering topics which include not just consent, sex, and gender, but also consideration, boundaries, communication, and friendship-—things that are needed in order to build positive and lasting relationships, romantic or otherwise.
Not only does Let’s Talk About It approach this information in an inclusive and accessible way, it also has such a broad range of subject material that it is certain to have something for everyone. It normalizes discussion about subject matter that is important but often difficult to explore, and the tone is deeply nonjudgmental and reassuring. Any teen who may have questions about themselves, their identity, and their body will find a frank and sex-positive resource guide that makes room for necessary conversations.
This book is a great option for readers who liked Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide To Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up by Heather Corrina, Isabella Rotman, and Luke Howard; A Quick and Easy Guide to Consent by Isabella Rotman; and A Quick and Easy Guide to Sex and Disability by A. Andrews.—Denise Farley
Responses to Challenges
- Broward County removed it as pornography as labeled by governor’s administrations
- BookLook information on WHY it’s being challenged. Note the reference to BookLooks - this is a resource created and funded by extremist book banners. This is not a credible review source. It is included here to show how small portions of the text are taken out of context and used to manipulate emotions.
Book Resume created by New Jersey Association of School Libraries and PDSAL
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