Review: The Body Scoop for Girls by Jennifer Ashton

26 Jan

There’s nothing like reading a book about sex aimed at girls like your daughter to make you feel old!

The Body Scoop is about a lot more than sex, of course.   It covers many aspects of the life of an adolescent girl, including physical changes, nutrition, eating disorders, grooming, and so on.  I  didn’t read the whole thing, but I will before my daughter does.

I think The Body Scoop is aimed at 14 to 18 year olds, with useful content for girls  a couple of years on either side. Girls vary in their development and interests, of course. It seems to be directed a a girl that has started her period, has thoughts about hair removal (including pubic hair),  is familiar with a gynecologist and the concept of a vaginal exam, and is in a place where she’s making decisions about sex.

There is a lot of good information in The Body Scoop.  The big question is: will older teens find this book interesting and useful?

I think they need the information that is in here. In the chapters I read, the author goes into details on what is normal for periods and other associated issues. She makes a medical case for keeping your virginity until at least age 18 (she deliberately avoids the moral issues associated with that decision, which probably helps many girls keep from tuning out all of her advice on the subject). She gives details on sexually transmitted diseases and how to prevent them, and on birth control (always use two methods: a condom as well as another one).

The Body Scoop is well organized for browsing. It looks like the author has her facts straight (I’m fairly well informed, but far from an expert!).

There are times that the author’s attitude bothered me a bit. Her friendly persona seemed slightly condescending in some places, and like she was trying to hard in others. Then again, I’m old and cynical, so maybe that doesn’t come through to her intended audience. I also didn’t like her recommendation of weight loss surgery for teen girls, but that’s a personal hot button.  Many important ideas are repeated multiple times, which is slightly annoying when reading the book straight through, but is useful for a girl picking up the book and just reading certain sections.

Last night, I handed The Body Scoop to my daughter, and asked her to glance through the first few chapters and tell me what she thought.  At first she was interested.  She asked a couple of questions (from the grooming section, fairly innocuous) as she went along.  Then she handed it back to me, and asked why there was so much information on each page.  Tonight she asked if she could look at it again when I finished my review.  She asked what a gynecologist is.  She commented that the author’s office sounds really nice (it does!). Then she asked again why there was so much information on each page!

It isn’t the book I’m currently searching for, one that is what my 11 year old needs right now. I’m hanging on to this book and making it available to her, whenever she is interested.   I hope she’ll always be willing to ask me, but I think having a backup plan always a good thing. This book also will answer some questions it might not occur to her to ask, or to me to bring up.

(As a side note, for girls just showing signs (physical or emotional) of starting puberty, I’d recommend the American Girl book The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls. I recently purchased the AMA’s Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Teen for my daughter, and it looks like a good next step.)

TLC Book ToursI received The Body Scoop as part of a TLC Book Tour.  Thank you to Lisa for this opportunity.  Take a look at the other tour stops for other perspectives on the book:

The Body Scoop for Girls: A Straight-Talk Guide to a Healthy, Beautiful You by Jennifer Ashton, M.D., Ob-Gyn


Posted by on January 26, 2010 in books, reviews, tour


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6 responses to “Review: The Body Scoop for Girls by Jennifer Ashton

  1. Susan

    January 26, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Good, thorough review.

    I also reviewed this book and shared it with my daughters. It will be a good reference book in our home.

  2. Pam

    January 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I think I should read this. Get a scoop on the ‘to come’ for Adisyn. Thanks for the info.

  3. Lisa

    January 26, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    You’re daughter will probably find the information in this more of interest in another year or so. I felt like it was set up to appeal to girls younger than my almost 15yo at the beginning and certainly to (I would hope!) older girls at the end. But at her age, it’s never too early to talk about a lot of these things. I had her put the book in her room so she can reference it when she’s ready.

  4. Lisamm

    January 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Laura, you sound like a mom with a ton of common sense. Thanks so much for the review. I hope the book proves to be a useful reference down the road, when your daughter is a little older.

    PS I’m with you on the weight loss surgery issue.. that seems completely out of place in this book and not something teens should concern themselves with


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