Whenever I meet someone who also read American Girl's The Care and Keeping of You growing up, it feels like we discovered we went to the same school without realizing it.
What drew us to the book — which may or may not have been subtly planted on her bookshelf by her mom — wasn't just the information it included, but the way it was written: intelligently, accessibly, and non-condescendingly.
But we were also captivated by its honesty. It showed bodies in all their glory, most notably in its illustration of how to insert a tampon, which is coincidentally the part I learned the most from.
We expected it to have all the answers, because in many ways, it did.
As I've gotten older, I and many other readers have wished for a similar how-to guide to dating, college, and everything beyond.
Even though we now have to figure stuff out???? on our own???, remembering its lessons kind of feels like revisiting memories of a favorite club or collective friendship from childhood.
According to American Girl, The Care and Keeping of You has sold more than 5 million copies in the past 20 years.
And its not going anywhere, either. Heather Alberda, a sexuality educator with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health in Michigan, told the Atlantic that she still recommends the updated versions of the book to parents.
That means many generations to come will get to read the book, either alone, or with a best friend, and start the journey of at least attempting to understand their bodies.
Do you have a favorite memory or part of The Care and Keeping of You that had a big impact on you? Share in the comments!