By Author / Illustrator
Justin Hancock, Fuchsia MacAree
Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
Paperback / softback
What exactly is consent? Why does it matter? How can you respect other people's boundaries, and have them respect yours?
Can We Talk About Consent? breaks down the basics of how to give and get consent in every aspect of life for readers aged 14 years and older. It's a powerful word, but not everyone understands exactly what it means. This stylish guide explains clearly why consent matters - for all of us.
With honest explanations by experienced sex and relationships educator Justin Hancock, you'll learn how consent is a vital part of how we connect with ourselves and our self-esteem, the people close to us and the wider world.
The book covers a broad range of topics, including:
- how we greet each other
- how to choose things for ourselves
- how we say no to things
- communicating and respecting choices in sexual relationships
- the factors that can affect a person's ability to choose
- how to empower other people by giving them consent
And - there's a whole lot of pizza.
This guide to consent gives you all the tools you need to build consensual relationships.
This book, aimed at the 14+ readership group, is an invaluable addition to any school library and also those in charge of the Personal Development area of the curriculum. I admire the way this is written in an engaging manner whilst dealing with the very important topics of consent and agency. I found it very informative and it made me pause and reflect very quickly upon my own behaviours, how I approach asking others to make decisions, how I answer others' questions about decisions. Justin Hancock uses the analogies of pizza and movies to get his clear messages across. This is perfect to give such important heavy concepts some levity without detracting from them. He unpicks all sorts of social situations considering the best way to approach them for all parties involved. The upbeat message is that if you come to a mutual consent with full agency, then it helps to make everyone involved in the decision happier and more content. The book takes you through separate topics from a decision between two friends, greeting people, as Hancock describes it 'The sex bit', peer pressure and agency to choose, and gender rights, through to how consent empowers people in a positive way. It is written in a way that enables the reader to pick and choose what they wish to read but also engages the reader to keep on reading. The pages are fully illustrated, often using slogan-style pages to get key points across. It is a fast read but also something that I can easily see readers coming back to and dipping into again and again. In addition to all of this there is a glossary of terms and a resources section at the end signposting useful websites and services. I whole heartedly recommend this book is in every secondary school and that not only students have access to it but also that all of the staff who support them in whatever capacity take the opportunity to read it. Thought-provoking and providing an opportunity for us all to reflect on our own practice. 159 pages/ Age 14+/ Reviewed by Sharon Bolton, School Librarian
Suggested Reading Age 11+