Author helps reveal facts of life to boys with special book
Posted: January 31, 2013
The Winchester Star
Winchester — For parents who are clueless on how to discuss the facts of life with their sons, author Terri Shearer Trenchard has a book that might make the process easier.
“Bork Reveals the Real Deal about the Facts of Life” is a nonfiction book aimed at young boys to help answer questions about everything from puberty and shaving to sex and reproduction, all from a level they can understand.
To help open that discussion, Trenchard is inviting boys ages of 9 to 13 to a discussion and interactive reading from the book from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Winchester Book Gallery, 85 N. Loudoun St.
The book, which was published in 2012, will be on sale for $12.99.
“I do certainly encourage parents not to put blinders on and encourage parents to face the fact that your kids are hearing references to all of these things,” said Trenchard of Ellicott City, Md. “It is better to open up the doors when they might be a little less sensitive to some of these topics.”
Certainly as boys are learning about puberty in fifth and sixth grade, parents need to start having discussions with their sons about it, she said.
Trenchard had her first question when her son, Brady, who is now 13, was in first grade.
“He asked, ‘Mommy, did you take that pill to have me?’” she said. “That is what first got me thinking that these questions are going to come earlier than I expect and I need to be prepared.”
Trenchard started looking around for books to help guide her through the potential minefield, but wasn’t happy with what she found. Either they were written like a dry textbook or went into more detail than she wanted.
“I did not find anything that I felt comfortable giving to my son that would have everything he needed to know but just what he needed to know at that age,” she said.
Trenchard has a master’s degree in education and human development from George Washington University and spent the past 10 years writing in the behavioral health field. So, she decided to write something for her son.
But as friends with children heard about it, they asked to see it too, and the idea for a book was born. She self-published.
The person driving the discussion in the book is Bork, a fictional young boy who speaks about factual topics in the “friendly yet edgy” style made popular with books like the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, Trenchard said.
The book approaches the sensitive topics of puberty, adolescence and reproduction with humor and wit, giving boys the facts they need without going into so much detail it makes parents cringe, she said.
Christine Patrick, co-owner of Winchester Book Gallery, read the book as the store owner and the mother of a 9-year-old boy. She saw it as a great opportunity for boys to learn a little bit using a fun activity instead of an awkward conversation.
“There was enough silly that a little boy will find it interesting but also very honest,” Patrick said. “It is very matter of fact. There are not nicknames for things or made up things. It is very straightforward and honest, which I like.”
One of the underlying themes in the book is not only that everything is normal that is happening but that the more children know the facts, the more knowledge they have and the more empowered they feel, Trenchard said. That makes them confident with their friends.
In addition to giving boys facts about the changes they are going through, Bork gives them “real deal action challenges,” Trenchard said. These are interactive activities that encourage the boys to talk to their parents about things, such as when they had their first growth spurt, asking about shaving, and discussing if they have encountered peer pressure.
“There is a little thing like ‘go look at the pores in your skin’ when there is a section about acne and pimples,” she said.
Boys who come to Saturday’s activity will complete a few of those activities as ice breakers and to encourage boys to feel open to talk to their parents, the author said.
Parents can give the book to boys to read on their own or use it as a tool to open discussions as topics come up, she said. Some boys develop faster than others, and especially if they have older brothers, their awareness might be greater.
It might even be a good tool for parents with younger boys, because some of those “questions” come earlier than they expected, she said.
She is currently developing a similar title, “Corky Gives the Whole Scoop about the Facts of Life” for girls.
Boys ages 9 to 13 may bring their parents to a discussion and interactive reading from the book, “Bork Reveals the Real Deal about the Facts of Life,” with author Terri Shearer Trenchard from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Winchester Book Gallery, 85 N. Loudoun St. The book will be on sale for $12.99. Contact the bookstore at 540-667-3444.
— Contact Laura McFarland at firstname.lastname@example.org