Naked: Not Your Average Sex Encyclopedia

Orca. May 2022. 256p. tr. from French by Charles Simard . pap. $29.95. ISBN 9781459831018.
Gr 10 Up–This lively compendium is described in the text of one entry as “intended to be the most inclusive and the least gendered of encyclopedias,” though it’s not meant to serve as a textbook or exhaustive guide. There is an entry for cervical mucus, for example, but not a separate entry for cervix. The tone throughout is sex-positive and non-clinical. Many entries are provided for sex-adjacent terms and concepts, such as bathrooms, fatphobia, and victim blaming. While some descriptions are no more than a couple of paragraphs, many are longer and more comprehensive, such as a six-page chart on contraception methods, for example, or three pages on STDs and STIs. With author and publisher from Canada, most references are to Canadian laws and institutions, though many allowances are made for U.S.-based readers, and many resources are not country-specific. Daguzan Bernier uses the extended initialism LGBTQQIP2SAA+ to refer to the spectrum of traditionally marginalized sexualities and gender identities. Cartoon illustrations by Gariépy are fun, colorful, and off-beat, lending a cheeky irreverence to often difficult subjects. The text concludes with three pages of resources, broken down by topic, such as eating disorders, crisis lines, and mental health, and includes web addresses and phone numbers. No source citations or bibliography are provided. Though less valuable as an academic resource, this is a solid choice for independent reading and browsing.
VERDICT Highly recommended for high school collections.

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