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The Preteen's First Book About Love, Sex, and AIDS

Michelle Harrison, M.D.
Illustrated by Lynn Beckstrom

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-698-9
  • Item #8698

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Who will love me?
Is sex the same as love?
Who can I trust?

These are just some of the questions that preteens often ask—hard questions that parents do not always feel comfortable answering. Whether the topic is love, sex, pregnancy, AIDS, masturbation, dating, homosexuality, or sexual abuse, Dr. Michelle Harrison gives preteens the information that they need to make intelligent, responsible choices.

Dr. Harrison stresses that finding out what is best for oneself is the best way to grow up. She aims to help preteens believe in themselves and face the sometimes difficult choices presented to them in today's world of media influence, drugs, and sexually transmitted diseases. She speaks to preteens in their own language about what it means to be in love, to confront sexuality, and to act responsibly, hoping to set the preteen on the right path toward a loving and fulfilling adolescence and adulthood.

Sensitively illustrated by noted illustrator Lynn Beckstrom, The Preteen's First Book About Love, Sex, and AIDS is a book for parents to share with their children—a book that can bridge the gap between the best efforts of a parent and the peer pressure of the schoolyard.


  • Introduction: to the reader. Why take care of your body? About love. Sex: brain, body, and behavior. Signals from the body. Bodies that are challenged. What your parents worry about. Sex. Pregnancy. AIDS. The stages of teen sex. Before you even start, Ghosts from the past. Games in the dark. Kissing games. Going out. Cuddling. Going all the way: for sexual feeling; for intimacy; for attraction; for feeling grown up; for spite; for babies; for fear; for gifts; for boredom; for love. Gay feelings. Sex all alone. No sex. Abuses of sex. Sex and AIDS. The end and the beginning.

About the Authors

Michelle Harrison, M.D., a psychiatrist and family physician, is the author of A Woman in Residence and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Dr. Harrison is currently the Director of Medical Affairs for Johnson & Johnson Worldwide Absorbent Products and Materials Research. She also holds an appointment as Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentristry of New Jersey.

Dr. Harrison is the mother of two daughters. This book began as a dialogue with her daughters when she could not find a book that said what she wanted to tell her own children.

The Preteen's First Book About Love, Sex, and AIDS is a very informative book because it answers questions that teens may have, such as what it means to be sexual, is sex the same as love, how to be safe from AIDS, and a lot more. Dr. Harrison doesn't tell only about the bad things that can happen if you have sex nor does she seem to condemn teens who are sexually active, but she does make sure that a sexually active teen who reads this book will be aware of what could happen.—JAMA

Written by a sophisticated and caring adult physician for teens or about to be teens, it covers the questions that are on the minds of such readers in language that will neither bore nor overstimulate them. . . . [T]his book is recommended to parents, to students, and patients. It conveys its clear and unambiguous message in language acceptable to teens and adults. The author is not hesitant about articulating her point of view about love, sex, and AIDS.—American Journal of Psychiatry

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