Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up by Heather Corinna
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up" is the book I wish we all had when we were in middle school. And if you have a middle school human in your life, you should get them this book.
One of the first pages, page 9 to be exact, sets the tone of the book. That humans develop in all ways at a different rate from each other. Some of us mature physically, some of us mature romantically earlier, and that's all ok.
Heather & Isabella take great care to talk about all things puberty-related with not just great care, but in a gender inclusive manner. Vaginas are not talked about things women have, rather vaginas and breast development are things that happen to humans and if that what you are experiencing, great! If not, maybe you have a penis and other stuff is happening. Don't get me wrong, there are pages that talk about boys and girls, but in a way that allows each reader to identify how they feel, including that some people feel feminine one day and masculine the next.
One of the favorite parts of the book are the discussions around consent and relationships. Consent treated not just as a topic in order to reduce sexual assault, but woven in to how we relate to each other in relationships. At the most basic level it is that you need someones consent to be in a relationship and everyone has the right to not be in a relationship. It makes you imagine how much dating would suck less if we all learned how to talk to each other about our expectations for relationships when we were 12 instead of in therapy in our 30s or 40s.
I attended the Chicago book party. Instead of Heather & Isbella reading everything, they asked for volunteers to read for different characters. Hearing the story from the mouths of tweens was everything. It cemented how perfect the narrative is in helping middle schoolers understand that puberty is a hot mess, but you're going to be just fine. Even if you don't have a Superteam like we one we follow in "Wait, What?"
Disclaimer: I received a review copy, but did purchase a copy for myself. Also Heather is a friend and someone whose work I have greatly admired for many years.
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