HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Sex, A Book for Teens: An Uncensored Guide to Your Body, Sex, and Safety
Author: Nikol Hasler
Publisher: Zest Books, republished 2012
Illustrator: Michael Capozzola
Related website(s): http://www.zestbooks.com (publisher)
Language level: 5
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Said to be for ages 15 and up
Rating: 0 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
Disclosure: Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion. Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library. No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.
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Hasler, Nikol. Sex, A Book for Teens: An Uncensored Guide to Your Body, Sex, and Safety
(published in 2010 by Zest Books, an imprint of Orange Avenue Publishing Company LLC, 35 Stillman St. Suite 121, San Francisco, CA 94107). Why would I read a book such as this? Someone wondered if it would be appropriate to use with a young teen for opening a discussion on matters of sexuality, so I decided to tackle the issue. My conclusion is absolutely NOT if your goal is to bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. First of all, I would not trust a book with a drawing on the cover of cows copulating. Secondly, I would not trust a book written “By the host of the popular online comedy series Midwest Teen Sex Show.” And third I would not trust a book with the following endorsement by M. Joycelyn Elders, MD, former Surgeon General of the United States: “What a clever, well-written and creatively illustrated book that speaks to teens and their parents about teenage sexuality! This book should be on all school library shelves and makes an excellent birthday present from parents to adolescents. Both the content and form are superb.” Sex, A Book for Teens comes from a totally secularistic, humanistic, relativistic, supposedly “values-neutral” worldview. The author begins, “This book is not here to tell you to have or not have sex—it’s to tell you what you need to know if you are having sex, or ever will.” There is no such thing as “values neutral.” If something doesn’t teach Judaeo-Christian values, it teaches purely worldly, ungodly values.
Throughout the book, Hasler endorses the trans-gender and fluid-gender movements, saying, “There are no specific rules for what to do if you identify with the opposite sex,” and “some people go through life going back and forth;” promotes kissing, groping, touching, rubbing, fingering, hand jobs, and anal play as acceptable teen behavior; discusses in detail fisting, anal sex, and oral sex, even giving tips for them; is definitely “pro-choice” (i.e., pro-abortion); undermines the role of parents (“Your parents will always think that they know what is best for you—sometimes they are right, sometimes they aren’t”); mentions kinks, fetishes, and fantasies, including BDSM; says that “looking at porn can be a healthy habit;” and cites Planned Parenthood as a good resource. While the book offers some of information that is helpful, especially about hygiene and body parts, it is more like a “how to” book. The answer to a question asked about the kids wanting to have sex in their house and the parents not allowing it concludes, “You may be tempted to have sex in cars or other places like house parties; it’s not ideal, but if you do that, always be safe and never have sex in public places or anywhere dangerous or secluded.” That sounds a lot like suggesting that they just “do it” in a car or a friend’s house.
One reviewer noted, “There is more information in there than most adults need to know!” Another reviewer who said, “I recommend this book highly,” also warned, “However, there are some sections of this book which I don’t think are appropriate for a 13 year-old to know about (BDSM, etc.).” This is enough for me to say thumbs down. Apparently, a revised and expanded edition by the same author was published in 2015 and entitled Sex: An Uncensored Introduction with the same endorsement by Joycelyn Elders. This updated version includes information about everything from STIs to sex-related legislation as well as brand new sections on sexting, online dating and safety, and sex-related bullying of all kinds, and School Library Journal recommends it as “a go-to resource for teens with questions about their bodies, someone else’s body, or, as Hasler describes it, ‘getting it on.’” One reviewer wrote, “This book is garbage! I would never recommend it for any teenager!!! I’m sorry but porn and anal sex are not for teenagers.” I would completely agree. Unfortunately, I am not aware of anything written for teens from a Biblical worldview that deals with these kinds of issues in a frank, forthright, detailed, and eye-catching, yet tasteful, way. Apparently in our bending over backwards to avoid appealing to anything deemed prurient, we have left the field wide open for the uninhibited teen sex purveyors. ‘Tis a shame and a pity.