Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever

Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever

4.8 5
by Mary Jo Rapini, Janine Sherman
A Q&A guide for mother-daughter conversations about female health and sexuality, this book targets both daughters and mothers. Start Talking contains more than 113 questions girls ask including questions about periods, sex, relationships, guys, eating, exercise, body development, along with similar questions verbalized by mothers. Each chapter contains basic


A Q&A guide for mother-daughter conversations about female health and sexuality, this book targets both daughters and mothers. Start Talking contains more than 113 questions girls ask including questions about periods, sex, relationships, guys, eating, exercise, body development, along with similar questions verbalized by mothers. Each chapter contains basic information accompanied by real-life vignettes, questions and answers for moms, questions and answers for daughters, "Table Talk" suggestions for moms on how to engage each other around these topics. This book differs from books targeting just girls understanding their own bodies, and from books targeting just mothers on what they should know: it is deliberately meant to spark conversations.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Many teens are exposed to information about health and sex from such unreliable sources as their peers or the mass media instead of from their parents. Psychotherapist Rapini and Sherman, an ob-gyn nurse practitioner, set out to facilitate communication about sex and health issues between mothers and daughters. The authors cover areas such as menstruation, routine health care, STDs, sexuality and relationships, birth control, and body image in a question-and-answer format. They also promote "table talk" as a means of encouraging discussion between mom and daughter and provide sample conversations on many topics. While the Q&A style makes the book easy to read and will be appealing to teens, there are daughter questions and mom questions in each section, which causes overlap and repeated material. Overall, this is a worthy addition for general information on teen health and sexuality. Recommended for larger public libraries and consumer health collections.-Dana Ladd, Community Health Education Ctr., Virginia Commonwealth Univ. Libs. & Health Syst., Richmond

Product Details

Bayou Publishing TX
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Mary Jo Rapini, M.Ed., LPC is featured on TLC’s new series, "Big Medicine". She is an intimacy and sex counselor, certified anger management therapist, and popular speaker throughout the country. A mom with two daughters, her passion is helping all girls become strong women. Janine J. Sherman, RN-C, MSN is a women’s health care nurse practitioner. Both her patients and her two daughters come to her for answers to their biggest questions about health and sexuality.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
I realized just this morning that I had never reviewed this book. Even though it has been some time since I read this book, this is a fantastic guide for mother's and daughters to discuss the important topics. While it is not a Christian book, it covers everything in an objective way. You make the decisions about what you share with your daughter. But this lets you know what needs to be discussed. My daughter is two years older since the time I read this, and the time is getting closer every day to the discussion about these important subjects. I have an open dialogue with her, and even at the age of ten, she knows she can ask me anything. I plan to keep this book handy for any moments when I don't know what to say.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
I am perhaps not the best person to review a book about health, hygiene, and sex instruction for teenage girls because first I am a guy and second I have only sons. However, it was sent to me, and I agreed to review it, so here are my thoughts. The authors cite some startling statistics which indicate how important it is for parents, and especially mothers, to talk with their daughters about these matters. "Recent studies repeatedly demonstrate that the average adolescent has sexual intercourse for the first time at 15 years of age" (p. 89). "Recent studies have indicated that 88% of people have premarital sex" (p. 118). Yet, as the Introduction points out, daughters are commonly reluctant to approach their mothers for advice due to fear of punishment or embarrassment, and mothers often hesitate to engage their daughters in health-related dialogue because they feel shy, inadequate, or poorly informed. Thus, the authors state, "The goal of this book is to empower mothers and daughters with accurate and comprehensive knowledge so that they can have the open, relaxed, and informative conversations about sex and female health that every young woman needs and deserves" (p. 14). There are chapters on menstruation, routine health care, sexually transmitted diseases, sexuality and relationships, birth control, body image, and developing one's passions. As I read through Start Talking, which won both a Mom's Choice Award and a Parenting Media Award, I found that it contains a lot of very useful, practical information. However, there are a few areas where some people may strongly disagree. For example, "As parents, abstinence until marriage sounds like a great idea for our daughters. Unfortunately, as a public policy, it has not proven particularly effective" (p. 13). I have seen numerous studies and surveys with copious statistics which reach an entirely different conclusion. In the chapter on birth control, the authors do say, "The thought of abstinence is a wonderful one; we support it" (p. 117). Yet they also say, "If your child is thinking of having sex, it is reasonable to strongly encourage abstinence, but making it the forbidden fruit will not keep her from doing it..If you feel she is having sex or about to have sex, then-yes-equip her to be safe. Let her know you may not agree with her decision, but she and her safety are extremely important to you" (pp. 135-137). Based on deeply held religious convictions, some parents may simply not feel comfortable with this approach. Also, in discussing abortion as a form of "birth control," the question, "How do I decide if I should terminate a pregnancy?", is answered, "It is the woman's choice, since she will have to ultimately live with whatever choice is made." Of course, it is a woman's choice, but, again, there are those with the deeply held religious belief that it is always a wrong choice. Obviously, a family's religious views must be taken into consideration when making these kinds of decisions. As with any other work by human beings, one may utilize those suggestions which are applicable and reject those which are deemed inappropriate. But the main conclusion of the book is still quite valid. "The best steps to prevent sex before the age of eighteen [or we might add before marriage, WSW] involve good communication between you and your daughter" (p. 112).
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
I so wish that Start Talking - A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom, about Health, Sex, or Whatever had been available when I was young, not that my mother would have read this book, but it certainly would have been worth my while to nab it from the local library. Mary Jo Rapini and Janine Sherman have written a sex guide that answers every question from menstruation, health care, STD's, birth control, and body image; to general information on sexuality and relationships. A Girl's Guide is refreshing and straightforward in its approach, using both a question and answer format, and hypothetical dialogues between a mother and daughter. The authors begin by explaining that where you hold this conversation is just as important as the actual discussion. Putting aside time to take a walk, meet at a coffee shop, or take a drive in the car are some of the suggested settings. As for the basis for this conversation, mothers are encouraged to listen with an open mind to what their daughters have to say before responding. And if you aren't up on all the latest information, Rapini and Sherman supply an answer for almost every topic - from date rape, to condom use, to vaginal infections - and they do so in a non-judgmental manner. Each issue is answered accurately and succinctly and with a dose of common sense. I actually learned quite a bit about sex thanks to this book. If you have never heard of the term "secondary virgin" you're in for an eye opener. Although I enjoyed the many hypothetical conversations between a mother and daughter, I did wonder how a mother could remain calm and rational upon hearing her high school daughter reveal that she is pregnant. Minor objections aside, this book is an excellent resource. The authors emphasize several points: make certain your daughter knows she is loved and supported by her parents, let her know that sex is more enjoyable when she has reached emotional maturity (after the age of eighteen), and remind her that should she have questions about sex, you are always available and open to listen. Most importantly, you need to approach your daughter as a parent, not a friend. It is your knowledge and life experiences that will help inform your daughter. With honesty, and a willingness to listen, AND this book in hand, you and your daughter will be able to navigate this challenging topic together. Quill says: While this conversation with your child may be daunting, with the aid of this book, your prospects for success are much more likely.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very easy to read and very informative! I wish I had this when I was young!