It Takes Guts

How Your Body Turns Food Into Fuel (and Poop)

La description

An illustrated book about the digestive system and microbiome for young readers, from famous (and funny) scientist Dr. Jennifer Gardy. | Everybody eats, and everybody poops. Pretty ordinary stuff, right? But what happens in between is far from ordinary! That’s where your digestive system—also known as your gut—works its magic. It Takes Guts is an excellent, science-based resource for classroom learning and home-schooling for kids age 9 to 13.


  • Short-listed, Alcuin Society Design Award 2022
  • Long-listed, SLA Information Book Award 2022
  • Winner, Intermediate Nonfiction -ILA Children's Book Award 2022
  • Winner, Lane Anderson Award, Young Readers Category 2023


“Gardy has digested an impressive amount of information to produce a highly polished gem of a book.”
Quill & Quire STARRED review

“Readers who have wondered how their bodies turn food into fuel and feces need look no further. All the juicy details are in this book. A fascinating, sometimes funny read that goes well beyond the scatological.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will come away from this lively anatomical odyssey marveling at the complex interplay of digestive organs, enzymes, and microbes ... [A] deliciously digestible disquisition.”

“What exactly is the science behind barfs and burps? And what about poop? Dr. Jennifer Gardy gives up all the juicy details on the magnificent human body.”

“Author Dr. Jennifer Gardy turns what would be a stinky situation into something almost magical, how your body’s organs work together to extract all the good stuff from food (like vitamins and minerals) and get rid of the waste by pooping it out.”

“Packed with information…. Kids will enjoy the way the information is presented as well as the lighthearted tone…. entertaining, interesting, and informative. ...helpful to students who wonder about, or who are doing research on, this body system.”
School Library Connection

“Perfect for a curious kid, this book doesn't take the humor out of the situation; instead, it lets kids find out how truly cool it all is.”
The Guam Daily Post

“I wish my parents had read this book to me growing up. It would have made my time in medical school so much more productive, and made me a much better doctor after that. Should be mandatory reading in all schools.”
—Dr. Alejandro Junger, author of Clean books and founder of the Clean Program