Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 9
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 authors
Fiona Smyth is a Toronto-based illustrator whose work has been published across North America. The Never Weres is her first graphic novel for young people.
- Winner, Doug Wright Award for Best Book
"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