About the Book
Title: Bork Reveals the Real Deal About the Facts of Life (For Boys Only)
Author: Terri Shearer Trenchard
Publisher: Independent – CreateSpace
Publication Date: February 27, 2012
A humorous, fact-filled description of puberty, adolescence, and reproduction. With all the essential facts and easy-to-understand format, the witty and edgy style of this book will appeal to boys ranging from nine to thirteen years old. Puberty and adolescence have never been told in a more fun and relaxing way! The reader will understand that a boy’s physical, emotional, and social development during puberty is normal and common to all. Main character Bork empowers the reader with all the necessary and objective facts, and includes an interactive element to engage the reader in simple and entertaining activities. This book is a great resource to introduce the topic to younger, pre-adolescent boys, and also serves as a perfect complement to the sex ed courses taught in the upper elementary grades. Using a unique and careful approach, the author includes only the basic, factual necessities of sex and reproduction without venturing into other subjective areas—and the many values and judgments that often accompany this topic. This is the one guide that provides boys with everything they need to know without delving into the more complex areas that can surround this important and sensitive topic. For all families with boys, this is a book that should remain on the shelf as their pre-teens mature and become more inquisitive about their bodies. The book also serves as an effective resource for parents, pediatricians, librarians, and school counselors.
My Thoughts: Can I begin by saying “I am soooo not ready for this!”? As you may or may not know, I have a daughter who is 10 and a son who is turning 7 this year. Talking to my daughter about “the facts of life” is no problem at all. I get “girl stuff” and can easily talk to her about girl physiology and biology and entertain all sorts of probing questions. “Boy stuff”?! Oh dear… Thank goodness there are books like Bork Reveals the Real Deal About the Facts of Life.
Bork is a pre-adolescent (tween) boy who shares all there is to know about puberty ranging from the easy stuff (e.g., changes in hair, voice, and size of penis) to the harder stuff (e.g., S-E-X). As we know from experience, talking about puberty and sex with our parents or another grown-up (i.e., someone who has been through it) can be quite an embarrassing experience. My Mom quietly handed me the same book she gave my sister (who was 12 years older!) and told me to read it. That was that!
For a bit of a treat, I came across this 1957 video called Boys Growing Up, a Medical Art Production. I must say that I’m actually quite impressed. The information, in general, is very similar to what is found in Bork Reveals the Real Deal, but the difference is all in the presentation.
The information in Bork Reveals the Real Deal About the Facts of Life is presented in an off-the-cuff, fun way that would certainly appeal to the target audience of tween boys. I really like the relaxed, matter-of-factly way that Bork presents information. I also really liked that the author/Bork encourages discussions with parents or with other grown-ups, presenting them as knowledgeable allies. There are also “Real Deal Action Challenges” many of which provide cues for what questions to ask parents/grown-ups. Very well done!
Another great feature of this book is that it goes beyond telling “what happens” and really delves into the “why this is happening”. A great example of this is, as we all know, when boys hit puberty their voice changes. Here is the explanation (and normalization) of why a boy’s voice changes:
During puberty, your larynx gets bigger and your vocal chords get longer, thicker and wider. As your larynx grows, you also grow a permanent lump in the middle of your throat. Don’t panic. This is perfectly normal. It is called your Adam’s Apple.
Look around. Notice all the Adam’s Apples in older guys and men? See, it’s normal. And, when you notice your Adam’s Apple, you’ll know you’re in puberty.
The author does a great job of covering off almost every topic related to the onset of puberty in adolescent boys, including both physiological and emotional changes. I thought the discussion of sex was very well done. There was quite an extensive discussion of pregnancy, labour, and delivery, including cesarian births, which I felt may have been unnecessary for the purposes of this book. Interestingly, while there is a discussion of these “female” topics, there was no discussion of menstruation or female puberty (which I think was very well-handled in the video above).
My Bottom Line: I think that Bork Reveals the Real Deal About the Facts of Live is a fun and informative resource that will be well-received by pre-adolescent boys. I think the quirky and fun presentation of information will help decrease any anxiety that kids (and their parents) may have about having “that talk about the facts of life” and will actually teach them what they need to know! I feel much better prepared myself and I look forward to the day when I can share this book with my son. Ages 9+
*** This book was provided to us free-of-charge by the author in exchange for an honest review.***
About the Author
Author Terri Shearer Trenchard. Terri Shearer Trenchard has a master’s degree in education and human development from The George Washington University. As a former teacher, manager, and organization development specialist, her background is useful in her current pursuits involving educational, leadership, and spiritual settings with children. As a mother of two, she realized the need for an objective, comprehensive book covering puberty, adolescence, and reproduction told in a light-hearted and fun way. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland with her husband and their two children.