Little Black Book for Girlz, The Share this with a friend

A Book on Healthy Sexuality


by St. Stephen's Community House

Our Choice List, Canadian Children’s Book Centre New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

Check it out: not just a book about sex, but a look at girl culture by youth themselves. No stuffy school textbook. No nosey adults. Just a diverse group of teen girls from a community youth project who had questions about sexuality. To find answers, they collected stories, poetry, and artwork from other youth. They also interviewed frontline health experts to get solid facts about the stuff young women have to deal with.

It’s a great mix of real-life examples and life-saving info. Topics include: • Relationships • Periods • Sex • Birth control • Pregnancy • Sexually Transmitted Infections / AIDS • Sexual assault.

Everything has been vetted by doctors, and the book is endorsed by health professionals, so you know you’re getting good info. There’s also a section at the back with places you can contact to find out more.

It’s all stuff that youth need to know, and it’s all decked out in a compact, easy-to-browse ’zine style. The Little Black Book for Girlz is a super-important, take-anywhere empowerment guide for girls. Don’t leave your teen years without it. 

FAQs about the Little Black Book for Girlz

Who is this book for? The Little Black Book for Girlz is for young women who are already in a sexual relationship or for those who are contemplating entering into one. It is also a valuable source of information for girls who are simply curious about what is happening to them physically and emotionally as they enter their teens. How is this book different from other books on sex for girls? The Little Black Book for Girlz was written for girls by girls.

The book was created by a group of young women who hung out at the St. Stephen’s Community House Youth Arcade Drop-In in downtown Toronto. Many of these women expressed frustration at the lack of material they could relate to on sexuality and relationships. After many discussions about their own lives, they decided to write a book that would be honest, nonjudgmental and encourage other young women to learn more about their bodies, their relationships and their sexuality.

Is St. Stephen’s House affiliated with any religious organization? No. St. Stephen’s is a community-based, non-profit, non-denominational social service agency that has been serving the needs of Kensington Market and surrounding neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto since 1962. In addition to providing services to youth, it also does outreach to the many different constituencies that live in the area, including recent immigrants, senior citizens and the homeless.

How do I know that the information in The Little Black Book for Girlz is accurate? All the information in the book was carefully reviewed by health professionals, including a paediatrician from the Division of Adolescent Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Why are there stories and poems in The Little Black Book for Girlz? This is not just a book about sex; it is also a book about emotions, personal growth, and shared experiences. Just as the book makes a point of saying that there are many ways to communicate, this book reaches out to the reader in many ways as well. Whereas factual information is useful and necessary, poems, stories and art often describe feelings and situations more easily and with much greater impact.

Does this book “encourage” girls to have sex? Not at all. This book is about girls taking control of their bodies, their sexuality and their relationship with others. It makes it very clear that each person has to make her own decision about if and when to engage in sexual activity. If anything, this book encourages girls not to have sex if they are not ready or interested in doing so.

Why is the language in this book so frank? The Little Black Book for Girlz was written by youth for youth. In order to give free rein to their voices, it was important to let the authors speak authentically, without imposing restrictions on the language used.

The Big Picture of The Little Black Book for Girlz: A Message from St. Stephen’s Community House
A backgrounder
In 2002, eight young women shared an idea to create a book on healthy sexuality that would be honest, non-judgmental and encourage other young women to learn more about their bodies, their relationships and their sexuality.

What began as a project by this group of young women, who hung out at St. Stephen’s Community House Youth Arcade Drop-In in downtown Toronto, is now widely available in book stores for young women, parents and health professionals everywhere. The new version was published by Annick Press and released in September 2006.

Vetted by doctors and endorsed by health professionals, the little back book for girlz offers reliable, no-nonsense information, as well as valuable resources where teens can go to find out more.

This book is about girls taking control of their bodies, their sexuality and their relationships with others. The book includes a powerful collection of stories, poetry and artwork, along with interviews with health experts about issues young women face today.

The Little Black Book for Girlz is a great example of how the young people who come to the Youth Arcade at St. Stephen’s Community House participate in the development and planning of our Youth Services.

St. Stephen’s Community House is an independent charitable organization in the City of Toronto that provides vital services and programs to help create a healthy and inclusive community for all residents. With the help of three levels of government, United Way, donors and community partners, St. Stephen’s provides a wide range of services including childcare, care for the elderly, youth specific programs, newcomer services, homelessness support and outreach, and employment training and job skills programs.

For more information about St. Stephen’s Community House, please visit their website at www.ststephenshouse.com.

Reviews:

“Teens, parents whose kids are reluctant to talk with them about sexuality, and high school and public libraries will want to buy this book.”
—Quill & Quire, 09/06


“[An] excellent book . . . sex-ed material that [is] equally positive and empowering . . . frank, girl-friendly but never cloying tone.”
—The Globe and Mail, 09/10/06


“Passionate, open, and honest . . . This book will undoubtedly have more teen appeal than a book on the same subject written by adults . . . Highly recommended for public library teen spaces and progressive high schools.”
—VOYA, 12/06


“What a great resource!”
—Karen Leslie, MD, FRCPC, Staff Paediatrician, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Associate Professor of Paediatrics, the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto


“There is much to rejoice in this book; and, despite the intensity of its subject and the emotional, legal, medical, and moral minefield it navigates, the reader arrives at the other side better informed about being female and better equipped to deal with everything else.”
—Resource Links, 02/07


“Readers would find it both informative and, dare I say it, entertaining. And, make no mistake about it, the language, emotions, and experiences detailed are frank. The voices are honest and uncensored. Most books on sexuality targeted at teen readers begin with the biology of sex and then move on to the psychology of sex. Perhaps because this book is written by and for young women, it begins with the context in which sexuality issues emerge – within a relationship . . . Highly Recommended.”
—CM Reviews, 06/07


“Solid info with a saucy attitude struts through the pages of two fantastic books about human sexuality for teens.”
—Canadian Children’s Book News, 02/09


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