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Banned Book Review: It’s Perfectly Normal

November 4, 2005

15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris

Reason:  Sexually explicit.

Book number 15 in the Banned Book List has been my first major snag in the review.  Which is weird, considering that it’s a children’s book.  I’ve thus far been able to track down plenty of the other children’s books and many of the books that I didn’t think I’d find in my local library were right there on the shelves.  There was an almost major set-back when “Heather Has Two Mommies” was apparently missing, and you don’t want to know where I found a copy of Madonna’s “Sex.”  The library’s online catalog swore that they had the book.  My first search request came back negative.  The staff of the library had no clue what book I was talking about.  The second try, using a different type of request, revealed that the book was missing and no one knew where it might be.  Despite all this, I felt for sure that I would be able to track down “It’s Perfectly Normal” long before the book was due to be reviewed.  The bookstore claimed to have it on the shelves the first time I checked, but couldn’t find it.  The second time, I got lucky.  The three copies in the computer revealed themselves to be one lone copy on the shelf.  After all the hype, the book was far from what I expected.

This is no mere pass over the trials and tribulations of a changing body.  The book explores in depth the female body, the male body, pregnancy, intercourse, AIDS, gay relationships, masturbation, and much more.  All with cartoonish pictures and a running commentary by a bird and a bee.  From the right time to say yes to how to say no, this book covers it all in language that a preteen can connect with.  Some of the topics are controversial.  The section on abortion isn’t as graphic as the rest, but it is still detailed and definately has a pro-choice slant.  The recommendation is for grades 4-8, but 7th and 8th graders might find it a little childish.  This is definately a book you want to check over to decide if it is right for your child, especially if you are uncomfortable with giving them a book full of naked cartoon characters.

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