Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Most of the time, when I recommend books, I am sharing books that are fun to read with your children or to let your children read for themselves. If I am being totally honest, I don’t think I would call reading Not If, But When with my children fun. However, I do believe it was very beneficial, and I am grateful to Christian Focus for the opportunity to review the book.
Not If, But When is a hardcover book written by John Perritt that covers the topics of Biblical sexuality and pornography. The book is 56 pages long and includes a variety of full-cover illustrations by Alice Mastropaolo. It is designed to be read with children ages 7-11, though I got it to use with my twelve-year-old daughter because pornography was a topic that I knew we needed to discuss to make sure she knew how to handle it if she was accidentally exposed.
The book is divided into two main parts, one to be read with girls and the other part to be read with boys. They cover the same material and are written in very similar styles, but the girl’s portion of the story has a mom and daughter discussing the topics, and the boy’s portion uses a father and son.
Each story is divided into eight sections, each section teaches a lesson through the story and includes a Bible reference, main point, and question/statement about what was learned in that section. The story is based around a child seeing inappropriate pictures from friends, telling their parents, and then learning about God’s plan for sex and the sinful nature of pornography through a conversation with their parents.
For younger children, you may want to read one section at a time over the course of several days or weeks. It is carefully worded and appropriate, but it could be a lot of information to absorb at once. However, since I was dealing with an older child, we chose to go through it all in one-afternoon session. I would read the story, she would use her Bible and read the scripture reference, and then I answered any questions before moving on to the next section. I feel like it was a good way to open up the conversation in ways that were age appropriate and not overwhelming.
We also chose to go through parts of the book with my thirteen-year-old son. He had more background than my daughter, but there were some points that I thought were important for him, and this was a good way to get that conversation started. The story was written for a younger audience, and so it was a bit childish for him, but it did help us start the conversation, and we were able to have a good discussion.
Overall, I think this book is a great way to start a conversation with your child about the appropriate context for sex and the dangers and evils of pornography in a way that is developmentally appropriate and God-honoring. Christian Focus recommends this book for ages 7-11, and I think that it is a fair assessment. While this book does not need to be your only conversation about sex with your child, it can give you a good foundation to start on and open up the dialogue between you and your child.
Be sure to check out the Not If, But When book on the Christian Focus website to get more information. Don’t forget to click on the graphic below to check out the reviews from other Review Crew members who reviewed this book, as well as several other Christian Focus titles.