Read at Washington Post
Robie H. Harris, the author of over 30 children's books, including "It's Perfectly Normal," has passed away at the age of 83.
Robie H. Harris, a children's author whose best-selling books introduced young readers to sex and sexuality with a candor that brought her praise as well as bans, died Jan. 6 at a hospital in Manhattan. She was 83.
Her most well-known book, "It's Perfectly Normal," first published in 1994, sparked debate with its open and honest discussion of topics such as puberty, sexual intercourse, homosexuality, masturbation, and contraception.
Nearly from the moment it first appeared on bookshelves, "It's Perfectly Normal," which was aimed at readers ages 10 and up, stirred debate with its frank discussion of topics including puberty, sexual intercourse, homosexuality, masturbation and contraception. Its illustrations, by Michael Emberley, were cartoonlike in style but equally frank in content.
Robie H. Harris believed that young children deserved honest and complete answers to their questions about sexuality, and she was willing to provide them, even though she knew it might end her literary career. She consulted with numerous experts while writing "It's Perfectly Normal" to ensure that children had accurate knowledge to inform their lives and improve their health.
As she anticipated, Ms. Harris was a perennial target of book bans across the United States, with her fiercest critics denouncing her work as pornography. But she emerged as a go-to source for like-minded librarians and families, especially parents who wished to speak openly with their children about sexuality but did not always know how.