cover image The Big Questions Book of Sex and Consent

The Big Questions Book of Sex and Consent

Donna Freitas. Levine Querido, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64614-018-3

“We need to acknowledge and embrace our vulnerability if we are going to have challenging, important conversations about sex and consent,” explains Freitas (The Healer), a scholar and teacher, before she launches into complex topics, often considered uncomfortable, to guide readers in “build[ing] a framework” regarding relationships, identity, and consent that respects and values a diversity of experiences. Addressing the reader directly and sharing personal anecdotes, Freitas positions herself as both authority and friend. She informs readers while using herself as an example to subvert and respond to misconceptions and assumptions, including frequently conflicting messaging around religion, sexuality, and romantic and sexual relationships. Diving into topics such as relational ethics, sexual identity, stereotypes, feminism, fear, shame, and the inequalities that people of color face, Freitas offers opportunities for reflection and real-life application of the ideas discussed through journaling exercises and suggested resources, as well as messages from a variety of prominent authors to their 12-year-old selves. Though Freitas’s frequent reminders that she cares about the reader may distract, this volume actively works to affirm and explore ideas surrounding sex and consent thoughtfully and accessibly. Ages 10–up. [em](Sept.) [/em]