The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Deeply informative, reassuring puberty handbook for girls.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Thorough guide to self-care including personal hygiene, handling up-and-down moods, choosing a bra, staying fit, and developing a positive body image. Detailed info on reproductive health, including explanations on how hormones work, how to insert a tampon, and how to prevent and treat pubic area infections. Aims to provide specific, accurate terminology (though it presents the ovulatory sensation mittelschmerz as "middleschmirtz"). Table of contents and glossary make it easy to find information.

Positive Messages

Respect your body by taking good care of it and making thoughtful choices. Different types of bodies are beautiful and healthy, and what you look like shouldn't define how you feel on the inside. Make an effort to nurture self-esteem, friendships, and family relationships. Seek out trusted adults who can be confidants and share helpful, constructive advice.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Narrative voice is supportive, empathetic, and reassuring. Girls are shown practicing good self-care and sharing time with family and friends. Adults are depicted as helpful guides who can help girls get answers and resources as needed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Presents using drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes as unhealthy behavior.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls is a concise yet detailed guide for girls going through puberty. Written by pediatrician Cara Natterson, it's the sequel to American Girl's companion book for younger girls. The book does not touch on sexual behavior: It doesn't explain intercourse, address sexually transmitted infections, discuss choices about sexual activity, or reference hetero or same-sex relationships. It does, however, provide a wealth of information about how girls' bodies change through puberty and how to embrace -- or at least adapt to -- these changes as gracefully as possible. Colorful illustrations depict ethnically diverse girls with a modest range of body types, and show basic female anatomy, how to do a breast self-exam, and how to insert a tampon.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThemomyouwishyouhad March 29, 2019

For older girls- read book one first

We started with book one for preteens/early teens when my oldest was 10. This has some deep information that might overwhelm your daughter. This book should not... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byRySav31 February 3, 2019

Great book!

this book helped me through my tough times being a girl and going through puberty. Girls under the age of 12 should definitely read the part one of this, the o... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bymileyodom44224422 December 7, 2019

This book is for 6th graders and up

Just cause it says "Vagina" doesnt mean ts bad. by the age of 8 or 9 you should know your own body parts. and i mean its by american girl, A DOLL COM... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU 2: THE BODY BOOK FOR OLDER GIRLS is a comprehensive overview of self-care for girls going through puberty. The first section reviews the basics: girls' changing appearance, staying clean, coping with acne, good sleep habits. The second section dives into female anatomy, hormones, breast development, periods, and infections. Then it's on to brain development, emotions, and body image. The final section discusses relationships, peer pressure, body modifications (like ear piercing), and learning to love your changing body.

Is it any good?

Puberty will always be both a little exciting and anxiety provoking, but this easy-to-read guide makes it less mystifying by explaining exactly what's going on -- and how to roll with the changes. The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls -- written by pediatrician Cara Natterson -- equips girls with the biological information they need to better understand why they're changing and how to adapt. 

Natterson's reassuring, knowledgeable style makes the content matter-of-fact and accessible, with a boost from Josée Masse's friendly illustrations. The book offers some excellent tips on preserving closeness with family, respecting privacy, and when to break a friend's trust. Originally published in 2013, the book barely touches on screen use and social media, and it provides outdated advice on breast self-exams. It also sidesteps sexual behavior, so families seeking information on sexual activity will need to look elsewhere.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the biological details in The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls. Does knowing how and why your body is changing make it easier for you to embrace it?

  • Do you feel as if you're treating your body respectfully? What changes could you make?

  • Do you feel confident about yourself? Do you compare yourself with other girls? How can you cultivate a healthy body image?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strong girls and coming-of-age stories

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