Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, June 16, 2023

Naked: Not Your Average Sex Encyclopedia by Myriam Daguzan Bernier

Naked: Not Your Average Sex Encyclopedia
Myriam Daguzan Bernier; Illustrated by Cécile Gariépy

Orca Book Publishers. 2022 (Originally published in France, 2019)

I was reading through juvenile nonfiction reviews on the SLJ website and this book popped up. Of course, I had to request if from the library. I am so glad I did.


Bernier, a Canadian author studying sexology at Université du Québec à Montréal, has written this very informative book for teens. The book covers 155 body-related terms covering practical information about sexuality specifically for teens. Bernier wrote Naked for the teenager she once was. “I wish the teenager I was had been told that nothing is all black and white. That identities don’t restrict themselves to two closed groups. That sexual orientations are diverse and fluctuating.” 

Each alphabet covers a specific topic. Set up a bit like a dictionary, the word appears in bold type followed by its meaning. For example: 


Application: noun, from Old French application, “act of applying something”

The paragraph that follows offers a more detailed explanation on what it is and how we can use it to our advantage. Some topics will highlight ways to seek help. Also included when applicable highlights other ways to find information the author curated from other sources. 

Bernier’s straightforward, honest explanations are very empowering, even for an elder like me. Naked offers readers answers to questions about sexuality that teens are often too afraid to ask. 

Peppered throughout are vibrant cartoon-like illustrations. 

Bernier’s narrative reinforces to teens that a fulfilling sex life has nothing to do with finding the perfect body. That love is not always all about sex. That knowing yourself, honestly knowing and loving yourself in all your glory is the best tool in having a life full of love.

Included is a list of resources by topic and an index.

Though the cover might steer librarians away, Naked is an essential purchase for today’s teens.

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