Cover image for What's going on down there? : answers to questions boys find hard to ask
What's going on down there? : answers to questions boys find hard to ask
Gravelle, Karen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Walker and Co., 1998.
Physical Description:
viii, 150 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
Describes the physical and emotional changes that occur in boys (and, to a lesser extent, in girls) during puberty and discusses sexual activity, homosexuality, AIDS, and other related topics.
General Note:
Includes index.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RJ143 .G73 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Family Place
RJ143 .G73 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
RJ143 .G73 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RJ143 .G73 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RJ143 .G73 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RJ143 .G73 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Puberty throws some pretty confusing curves at boys. This book offers boys the straight scoop on what these changes are all about, giving useful information and practical advice on relevant issues, such as growth spurts, pimples, body hair, their bodies, and understanding their own emerging sexuality.

Author Notes

Karen Gravelle is the author of Walker and Company's The Period Book and is the author of several other books about difficult issues facing today's adolescents. She lives in New York City.
Nick and Chava Castro are brothers who live and attend middle school in Los Angeles, California.
Robert Leighton is an illustrator and professional game designer who lives in New York City. This is his first book.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-9. Aided by two teenagers, Gravelle does for boys what she and her daughter did for girls in The Period Book (1996). As in the first book, the tone here is forthright without being sober or scary. Facts about puberty, sex, and sexually transmitted diseases, and also what happens to girls during puberty are presented clearly and completely, along with answers to an assortment of related questions. The authors also manage to slip in some counsel about wise decision making, though the emphasis is on information, not values. This is similar in scope to Paulette Bourgeois and Martin Wolfish's Changes in You & Me: A Book about Puberty, Mostly in Boys (1994), but it is much more thorough and contains a very detailed chapter on types of birth control, which Bourgeois and Wolfish barely mention. Teens looking for information about homosexuality will probably need to go elsewhere--to one of Thomas Ford's excellent books, perhaps--for a better discussion. Otherwise, this is a fine book, with lots of great cartoon artwork that adds fine comedy without compromising the importance of the subject. --Stephanie Zvirin

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-10-The author of The Period Book (Walker, 1996) teams up with two teenage consultants to provide a useful and readable guide to puberty for boys. Written in the voice of a trusted adult, this title deftly covers physical changes, sexual intercourse, peer pressure, and pregnancy and birth. Gravelle reassures readers that there are a lot of different ways to describe normal when discussing puberty, and that each person will experience changes on his own timetable. The book balances information about being a sexual person with that of being a responsible person. While providing detailed and accurate information on genital size, birth-control devices, and sexually transmitted diseases, there is also an emphasis on the psychological changes occurring at the same time. Homosexuality and bisexuality are covered in a frank and open manner. The chapter "Girls Are Changing Too" discusses changes readers can expect to see in their female friends and has detailed illustrations and information not typically presented in books for males. The text is complemented by comic-book style illustrations that serve to lighten the sometimes serious subject matter.-Katie O'Dell Madison, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

A Note from Karen with Nick and Chavap. vii
Introductionp. 1
1. Your Bodyp. 3
2. Body Changesp. 10
3. What's Going on Down There?p. 36
4. Girls Are Changing Toop. 48
5. Having Sexp. 62
6. Making (and Not Making) a Babyp. 73
7. Staying Healthyp. 90
8. "Is This Normal?"p. 108
9. "What If . . .?"p. 120
10. "If I'd Known Then What I Know Now!"p. 135
Indexp. 145