Newsline Volume 32, Number 4

Book Reviews

A Review by Amy Robison, a 30 year-old self-advocate with Down syndrome.
Link to logothrough our web site at and up to 6% of your purchase will help support the Federation.

The Girls' Guide to Growing Up: Choices and Changes in the Teen Years
By Terri Couwenhoven, M.S. Woodbine House, 2011. 54 pp.

The Girls' Guide to Growing Up: Choices and Changes in the Teen YearsThis book is about girls growing and having problems, such as puberty. Puberty is both a problem and something good because it means you are becoming a woman. You get body hair. You have to take a shower every day to stay clean, fresh, and sparkly.

I read in this book that you have many different moods, like anger, love, sad, and happy. You have to learn how to react to your moods. When you are sad, go to a show or a movie, or have time by yourself. When you need help, ask an adult who cares about you like your mom or dad, or your grandparent.

The book talks about love and romance. When you have a crush like a boyfriend or a boy who is a friend, you need to admit your feelings to them. If the boyfriend turns out not nice, you must break up with him.

You need to keep your body right, especially at work or school. It's OK to touch your own body parts, but no one else is allowed unless you give them permission like with a doctor or nurse. This can be confusing, so it's good to talk to your mom, your dad, or your sister.

Girls start having periods once a month and they have them for many years. They are messy but they are normal. You have to choose a pad which is comfortable and you don't mind wearing. The good thing is periods are over in a few days.

I recommend this book because it is educational, fun to read, and you can learn from it.


Woodbine House has donated a copy of this book to the Federation. Call 617-236-7210, to borrow the copy. Learn about other Woodbine House selections at