Children's LiteratureAlthough factually accurate and interesting, this book suffers from a confusing and curious ideological focus. The first two chapters are dedicated to an ambivalent discussion of the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex education programs, cast in such cautious tones that even the adult reader is left guessing about where the authors' sympathies lie. The authors, while taking great pains to be evenhanded about the controversy, ultimately alienate the abstinence-only audience and frustrate the sex-educators. But this is an adult controversy; teens seeking information about safe sex may find this extended discussion about health education policy irrelevant at best, disconcerting at worst. A more appropriate and parsimonious approach would be a short discussion of the fact that while abstinence is the best emotional and physical defense against the dangers inherent in teen sex, abstinence pledges are often broken, and in such cases, accurate information about contraception and STD prevention is essential. As it stands, the presentation of this practical information does not begin until chapter six with a discussion of sexual anatomy and physiology, more than halfway through the book. Another caution is that the book is largely written from a girl's perspective (e.g., the majority of vignettes concern girls; the section on the challenges faced by teen mothers and fathers contains only one paragraph on fathers). The book's positive features are its clear, engaging style and informative photographic illustrations in the chapter on contraception. Once the book begins making good on the promises made in the title, it is a fine resource. 2006, Twenty-First Century Books, Ages 12 to 17.