Cover image for Changing bodies, changing lives : a book for teens on sex and relationships
Changing bodies, changing lives : a book for teens on sex and relationships
Bell, Ruth.
Personal Author:
Expanded third edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Times Books, [1998]

Physical Description:
xix, 411 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Candidly discusses teenage sexuality and the many physical and emotional changes that occur during adolescence.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ35 .B44 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
HQ35 .B44 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



"It seems like everyone else has the script. Everyone else knows what's happening and I look around and say, Duh."

Of course, the truth is that no one has the script because there is no script to follow. Chances are you'd find that almost everyone else has questions and worries a lot like yours, if you could get them to admit it. This brand-new, completely updated and revised edition of Changing Bodies, Changing Lives is full of honest, accurate, nonjudgmental information on everything teenagers need to know about today.

Am I the only one who

can't get up the nerve to ask someone out?
got my period so early?
doesn't even know the right way to kiss?
feels pressured to use drugs?
still hasn't hit puberty yet?
wants to avoid the gang scene?
worries when my mom doesn't come home at night?
is scared that I might have AIDS?
can't decide what form of birth control to use?
has no idea how to tell my friends I'm gay?
goes on eating binges?
has never had an orgasm?
is shut out of the popular crowd?

Changing Bodies, Changing Lives has helped hundreds of thousands of teenagers make informed decisions about their lives, from questions about sex, love, friendship, and how your body works to dealing with problems at school and home and figuring out who you are. It's packed with illustrations, checklists, and resources for the answers you really need. Best of all, it's filled with the voices, poems, and cartoons from hundreds of other teenagers, who tell you what makes them feel worried, angry, confused, sexy, happy, and, yes, even excited and hopeful about their lives. (Check out the first two pages for a sample of the quotes you'll find inside.)

Being a teenager is tough. With the information and the ideas inside this book, you'll have what you need to make these years the best they can be.

Author Notes

Ruth Bell is a member of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, which authored Our Bodies, Ourselves. She has worked for many years in the field of health and sex education, especially in programs for teenagers. She is the mother of a son in his twenties and a teenage daughter.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 9^-12. Although there's evidence of updating, reorganization, and rewriting in this revision of the 1987 edition, much of this comprehensive landmark book on sex, physical and emotional health, and personal relationships remains the same--including many of the original quotes, most of which seem to have worn surprisingly well. The relaxed yet authoritative tone has been preserved, as has the level of detail, which is still very explicit. The authors have included more about eating disorders and AIDS; the section on drugs has been expanded, as have the lists of recommended readings; and a new chapter on violence combines discussion of gang violence and sexual harassment with material on rape (which also appeared in the earlier book). There are also a few new illustrations. Why the authors changed the names of some of the teens who are quoted (in one instance Elaine becomes Ellie) is a mystery, but that certainly won't bother today's readers, who will find emotional support as well as specific answers to most of their questions in this nonjudgmental resource that proceeds from the assumption that thoroughly informed teens can make better personal choices. --Stephanie Zvirin

Library Journal Review

Written by members of the Teen Book Project and inspired by the classic Our Bodies, Ourselves, this third edition of a book first published in 1981 provides information about health and sexuality for teenagers. Presented here is the latest information on the physical and emotional aspects of puberty, sexuality, healthcare, sexually transmitted diseases, safer sex and birth control, living with violence, mental health, and eating disorders. Artwork by and quotations from teenagers about their experiences in these areas bring the content to life and set the book apart from more standard works such as Richard Walker's The Family Guide to Sex and Relationships (LJ 2/15/97). Each chapter has a list of associations and print and nonprint resources. An excellent, extremely useful source for young adults and educators; highly recommended for all collections.‘Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.