Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up

Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up

With artist Isabella Rotman, a graphic novel guide that covers essential topics for preteens and young teens about their changing bodies and feelings.

Friends Malia, Rico, Max, Sam and Alexis talk about all the weird and exciting parts of growing up! Using comics, activities and examples, they give encouragement and context for new and confusing feelings and experiences. This supportive group of friends are guides for some tricky subjects.

Inclusive of different genders, sexualities, and other kinds of identity, Wait, What? covers important topics like:

  • Bodies, including puberty, body parts and body image
  • Sexual and gender identity
  • Gender roles and stereotypes
  • Crushes, relationships, and sexual feelings
  • Boundaries and consent
  • The media and cultural messages, specifically around bodies and sex
  • How to be sensitive, kind, accepting, and mature
  • Where to look for more information, support and help

A fun and easy-to-read guide from expert sex educators that gives readers a good basis and an age-appropriate start with sex, bodies and relationships education. The perfect complement to any school curriculum.

Colored by Luke Howard.

Praise for Wait, What?

“Groundbreaking sexuality educator Corinna, founder of the website Scarleteen, works with cartoonist Rotman to bring [their] knowledge and experience to this slim but mighty guide…This book consistently puts the needs of its readers first, meticulously working to emphasize gender diversity, individuality, and the messiness of adolescence….Body parts are intentionally ungendered, sexual orientations are shown as fluid and joyful, and there is a constant emphasis on the importance of friendships and mutual support. While brief, this guide manages to cover crucial topics thoroughly and humorously, reassuring readers that while all of this is a big deal, it’s something they can handle. The cartoony illustrations are appealing and fun, the book includes interactive activities such as word searches and crossword puzzles, and there’s a fairly thorough glossary in the back. This extremely modern guide to growing up excels in its field. “– Kirkus Reviews

“Gr 4 Up–Inclusive, respectful, accurate, and informative—books about sexuality and puberty are held to the highest nonfiction standards. In addition to meeting those marks, this short graphic novel is also forthright and attractive. Expert sex educators Corinna (founder of scarleteen.com and author of S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know-Sexuality Guide To Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties) and Rotman (You’re So Sexy When You Aren’t Transmitting STIs) are funny but never flippant when answering typical tween questions. Unlike other titles, this text won’t force readers to scour the index for information on masturbation or gender. However, the authors are never confrontational, making room for all points of view. In the chapter on sexual identity, one character says, “I’m so tired of feeling like I have to label myself!” while another avers, “I like having shorthand I can use to describe myself.” The authors also stress the importance of respecting crushes or dating partners, a topic rarely if ever addressed in similar texts. The book closes with advice on finding trusted friends and adults in whom to confide. Cartoon-realistic characters representing a variety of orientations, genders, body types, and interests will validate readers. VERDICT Research shows that the earlier children learn about consent and body autonomy, the better. All libraries serving middle school and upper elementary school students will want this warm, candid guide.” – Reviewed by Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, School Library Journal

“It brings a loving, essential lens to matters of heart and soul, offering a roadmap not only to physical changes, but the complex social and emotional terrain of consent, crushes, and identity.” — Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, Nurture the Wow

“This dream team of creators came up with a book that is not only accessible but totally enjoyable to read! I’m so excited to see Wait, What? in every library, school and doctor’s office in 2019!” — Archie Bongiovanni, A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns

A wonderful guide to topics adolescents are curious about, presenting information in relatable, gender-inclusive text and clever illustrations. This is the book adolescents—and their parents—have been looking for.” — Melanie Davis, PhD, CSE, Our Whole Lives Program Associate

Wait, What? is straightforward and clear, exactly what’s needed to help kids develop authentic awareness and conversation about bodies, relationships, feelings and sexuality.” — Peggy Orenstein, Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape