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Australian Book Industry Names Adolescent Guide Welcome To Sex Winner ‘Book Of The Year For Older Children’

The ABIAs celebrate the most successful and impactful publishing of the year, and it’s the second time a title from the popular Welcome to series, co-written by adolescent health expert and former ‘Dolly Doctor’ Dr Melissa Kang and journalist Yumi Stynes, has been awarded Book of the Year (Welcome to Your Period won in 2020). Welcome to Sex was also shortlisted for Social Impact Book of the Year and Audiobook of the Year at the ABIAs.

The sustained book-banning campaign by fringe activists led to booksellers at multiple major retailers temporarily removing Welcome to Sex from shelves to protect their staff from abuse – and subsequent widespread media coverage and a wave of support from the book-buying public and libraries. Sales of the teen health guide immediately multiplied - the multi-award winning Welcome to series now has over a quarter of a million books in print worldwide in 14 languages.

“The overwhelming support and commercial success of Welcome to Sex highlights the importance of families being able to access the books they need, when they need them,” said Hardie Grant Children's Publishing Managing Director Kate Brown. “The Welcome to Sex ‘controversy’ combined with recent efforts to ban books in libraries is a reminder that we cannot control or suppress information that people deserve access to. We do not ban books in Australia.”

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Published by Hardie Grant in 2023, Welcome to Sex is an educational, research- and evidence-based resource designed to promote safe, consensual and healthy sexual relationships for teens of all genders, identities and cultural groups. It includes numerous interviews with adolescent health practitioners and experts, as well as genuine excerpts from some of the thousands of questions asked by adolescents to the Dolly Doctor column for over 20 years.

Says Hardie Grant’s Publishing Director Marisa Pintado: ‘Every household should have a copy of Welcome to Sex on its shelves, so that when a teenager is curious about sex, sexuality or pleasure, there’s a safe place for them to find medically accurate, evidence-based information – other than the internet, where porn and misinformation is too easy to stumble upon. Dr Melissa and Yumi’s fourth book together is an extraordinary achievement, and we’re all very proud at Hardie Grant to be their publisher.’

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