Roughly half of the world’s population from a variety of gender identities and backgrounds will experience more than 400 periods during their lifetime, yet menstruation is still stigmatized to this day. That’s one of the many reasons why continued conversation and education regarding menstruation is vitally important. From activism to pop culture, navigating your first period to learning more about your hundredth, there’s something to be learned by everyone, thanks to the books featured in this post. Here’s to being comfortable, confident and empowered when it comes to our periods!
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From beloved New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Anita Diamant comes a timely collection of essays to help inspire period positive activism around the globe.
When Period. End of Sentence. won an Oscar in 2019, the film’s co-producer and Executive Director of The Pad Project, Melissa Berton, told the audience: “A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education.” Continuing in that revolutionary spirit and building on the momentum of the acclaimed documentary, this book outlines the challenges facing those who menstruate worldwide and the solutions championed by a new generation of body positive activists, innovators and public figures.
Including interviews from people on the frontlines — parents, teachers, medical professionals, and social-justice warriors — Period. End of Sentence. illuminates the many ways that menstrual injustice can limit opportunities, erode self-esteem, and even threaten lives. This powerful examination of the far-ranging and quickly evolving movement for menstrual justice introduces today’s leaders and shows us how we can be part of the change.
Fearless, revolutionary, and fascinating, Period. End of Sentence. is an essential read for anyone interested in empowering women, girls, and others around the world.
PERIOD founder and Harvard College student Nadya Okamoto offers a manifesto on menstruation and why we can no longer silence those who bleed — and how to engage in youth activism.
Throughout history, periods have been hidden from the public. They’re taboo. They’re embarrassing. They’re gross. And due to a crumbling or nonexistent national sex ed program, they are misunderstood. Because of these stigmas, a status quo has been established to exclude people who menstruate from the seat at the decision-making table, creating discriminations like the tampon tax, medicines that favor male biology, and more.
Period Power aims to explain what menstruation is, shed light on the stigmas and resulting biases, and create a strategy to end the silence and prompt conversation about periods.
Periods enter the spotlight in this essay collection that raises a variety of voices on a topic long shrouded in shame and secrecy.
In this collection, writers of various ages and across racial, cultural, and gender identities share stories about the period. Each of our twelve authors brings an individual perspective and sensibility. They write about homeless periods, nonexistent periods, male periods, political periods, and more. Told with warmth and humor, these essays celebrate all kinds of period experiences.
Periods are a fact of life. It’s time to talk about them.
The first book to explore menstruation in the current cultural and political landscape, feminist icon Gloria Steinem said Periods Gone Public, “May be the beginning of liberation for us all.”
From eliminating the tampon tax, to enacting new laws ensuring access to affordable, safe products, menstruation is no longer something to whisper about. Jennifer Weiss-Wolf shares her firsthand account in the fight for “period equity” and introduces readers to the leaders, pioneers, and everyday people who are making change happen.
Weiss-Wolf — the woman Bustle dubbed one of the nation’s “badass menstrual activists” — explores why periods have become a prominent political cause. From societal attitudes of periods throughout history — in the United States and around the world — to grassroots activism and product innovation, Weiss-Wolf challenges readers to face stigma head-on and elevate an agenda that recognizes both the power — and the absolute normalcy — of menstruation.
“At its core, a menstrual movement, and Periods Gone Public, is about challenging all of us to face stigma head-on. And about advancing an agenda that recognizes the power, pride, and absolute normalcy of periods. Indeed, President Trump, we do have blood coming out of our wherever. Every month. It is not a secret.”
After centuries of being shrouded in taboo and superstition, periods have gone mainstream. Seemingly overnight, a new, high-profile movement has emerged — one dedicated to bold activism, creative product innovation, and smart policy advocacy — to address the centrality of menstruation in relation to core issues of gender equality and equity.
In this hip, hilarious and truly eye-opening cultural history, menstruation is talked about as never before. Flow spans its fascinating, occasionally wacky and sometimes downright scary story: from mikvahs (ritual cleansing baths) to menopause, hysteria to hysterectomies — not to mention the Pill, cramps, the history of underwear, and the movie about puberty they showed you in 5th grade.
Flow answers such questions as: What’s the point of getting a period? What did women do before pads and tampons? What about new drugs that promise to end periods — a hot idea or not? Sex during your period: gross or a turn-on? And what’s normal, anyway? With color reproductions of (campy) historical ads and early (excruciating) femcare devices, it also provides a fascinating (and mind-boggling) gallery of this complex, personal and uniquely female process.
As irreverent as it is informative, Flow gives an everyday occurrence its true props – and eradicates the stigma placed on it for centuries.
In the spirit of Judy Blume, this empowering and heartfelt middle grade novel celebrates finding yourself, making new friends, and standing up for what’s right as a girl becomes involved in menstrual activism.
Ever since a career-ending injury, former elite gymnast Eden has been feeling lost. To add insult to actual injury, her mom has been invited to present at her middle school’s career day, which would be fine except Mom’s company produces period products like pads and tampons. Having the whole school hear about it is total humiliation. And when Eden gets into a fight with a boy who won’t stop mocking her for it, she and her classmate Maribel both end up getting suspended.
Mom’s corporate executive job means she doesn’t have time to look after Eden while she’s suspended, so Eden is sent to volunteer at the food bank Maribel’s mom runs. There, she meets new friends who open her eyes to period poverty, the struggle that low-income people with periods have trying to afford menstrual products. Eden even meets a boy who gets periods. Witnessing how people fight for fair treatment inspires Eden to join the advocacy work.
But sewing pads to donate and pushing for free access to period products puts Eden at odds with her mom. Even so, Eden’s determined to hold onto the one thing that’s ignited her passion and drive since gymnastics. Can she stand her ground and make a real difference?
An essential, highly relatable collection of short fiction and poems around the topic of menstruation, written exclusively by authors who are Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color.
For Angela, it came on the basketball court — while playing on the boys’ team. For Penny, it came on a lakeside field trip, inspiring some cringeworthy moments of humor. And to Layla’s disappointment, it came at the start of her first fasting Ramadan, mandating that she take a “holiday.” Whether their period’s coming spurs silence or celebration, whether they are well prepared for it or totally in the dark, the young people in these sixteen stories find that getting a period brings not only changes to their bodies, but also joy, sorrow, and self-discovery.
Featuring BIPOC contributors who are some of today’s most talented authors in middle-grade fiction, Calling The Moon offers coming-of-age stories and poetry as varied as the phases of the moon, from funny to heartbreaking to powerful, all of them reassuring readers that they are not alone in their period journey.
With contributions by: Hilda Eunice Burgos, Veeda Bybee, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Saadia Faruqi, Nikki Grimes, Leah Henderson, Mason J., Erin Entrada Kelly, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Elise McMullen-Ciotti, Yamile Saied Méndez, Emma Otheguy, Aida Salazar, Christina Soontornvat, Padma Venkatraman, Ibi Zoboi
A funny, frank contemporary story about navigating the physical and emotional realities of growing up.
When four friends have their phones confiscated in class, Sunny (not her real name) comes up with the idea of a secret shared journal, where they can communicate, share thoughts and pass them on. The pages of the book they jokingly refer to as the P.A.D. (pass-around diary) become filled with sweet, funny, sharp and important insights that speak to navigating middle grade life ― friendships, crushes, consent, bodies, parents, siblings, periods, sports and student life.
What began as a lighthearted way of passing notes becomes a poignant and heartfelt way to explore and share big and small feelings and events ― a safe way for Sunny, Twix, Hoops and MP to find themselves, and support one another, through all the transitions of a grade seven year.
In the tradition of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, this novel is a fearless exploration of the lives of tween girls, and how they find answers to questions that continue to feel impossible to ask.
Debut author Karina Evans gives modern-day readers their own version of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret with a fun and truthful romp about friendship, puberty, and growing up.
Twelve-year-old Tahlia Wilkins is ready to kick off the perfect summer at the popular kid’s pool party. But when the Red Goddess of Panties, aka her first period, arrives 24 hours before the pool party, it messes up all her plans. To make matters worse, her mom is out of town, and there’s no way she’s going to ask her dad for help! Tahlia always feared that growing up would be tough, but this is just not fair.
In order to save herself from total embarrassment, it will take all of Tahlia and her best friend Lily’s scheming to keep her reputation — and her favorite jeans — from being ruined. Sneak off to the grocery store only to have the clerk price check your “goods” over the loudspeaker? Check. Trick your mature teenage neighbor into letting you use her bathroom to ‘rehome’ some tampons? Check. Take a dip into a fountain to ‘borrow’ some quarters for a bathroom period product dispenser? Check, check, check!
With the hilarious and heartwarming tone of Dork Diaries and the critically-acclaimed movie Eighth Grade, Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins! is a coming-of-age middle-grade novel about growing up, in all of its awkward glory.
Navigate your period with confidence — A guide for girls ages 10 to 14
Getting your period can be exciting…and also a bit nerve-wracking. Help calm fears and answer questions with Celebrate Your Period, a comprehensive guide that demystifies all things menstruation-related.
What sets this apart from other puberty books for girls:
● Biology basics — Kids will gain a better understanding of what’s going on inside their body during every facet of the menstrual cycle, including ovulation and the powerful effects of hormones.
● What to expect — Girls will feel prepared for their period as they learn what to anticipate, the various products available, and how to manage physical and emotional symptoms.
● Helpful illustrations — Playful pictures make for an engaging read while informative health graphics act as visual aids for all of the facts discussed.
Help tweens and teens feel empowered when it comes to their period with this body-positive guide.
A family divided, a country going to war, and a girl desperate to feel at home converge in this stunning novel in verse.
It’s early September 2001, and twelve-year-old Abbey is the new kid at school. Again.
I worry about people speaking to me / and worry just the same / when they don’t.
Tennessee is her family’s latest stop in a series of moves due to her dad’s work in the Army, but this one might be different. Her school is far from Base, and for the first time, Abbey has found a real friend: loyal, courageous, athletic Camille.
And then it’s September 11. The country is under attack, and Abbey’s “home” looks like it might fall apart. America has changed overnight.
How are we supposed / to keep this up / with the world / crumbling / around us?
Abbey’s body changes, too, while her classmates argue and her family falters. Like everyone around her, she tries to make sense of her own experience as a part of the country’s collective pain. With her mother grieving and her father prepping for active duty, Abbey must learn to cope on her own.
Written in gorgeous narrative verse, Abbey’s coming-of-age story accessibly portrays the military family experience during a tumultuous period in our history. At once personal and universal, it’s a perfect read for fans of sensitive, tender-hearted books like The Thing About Jellyfish.
High school students embark on a crash course of friendship, female empowerment, and women’s health issues in Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann’s graphic novel Go With The Flow.
Good friends help you go with the flow.
Best friends help you start a revolution.
Sophomores Abby, Brit, Christine, and Sasha are fed up. Hazelton High never has enough tampons. Or pads. Or adults who will listen.
Sick of an administration that puts football before female health, the girls confront a world that shrugs ― or worse, squirms ― at the thought of a menstruation revolution. They band together to make a change. It’s no easy task, especially while grappling with everything from crushes to trig to JV track but they have each other’s backs. That is, until one of the girls goes rogue, testing the limits of their friendship and pushing the friends to question the power of their own voices.
Now they must learn to work together to raise each other up. But how to you stand your ground while raising bloody hell?
A tween reporter discovers an important and beloved club at school is being shut down — and uses the power of the pen to try and activate some much-needed social change in this period-positive and empowering middle grade novel about the importance of standing up for what you believe in.
Riley Dunne loves being a member of the Red Club. It’s more than a group of girls supporting each other through Aunt Flo’s ups and downs; it’s a Hawking Middle School tradition. The club’s secret locker has an emergency stash of supplies, and the girls are always willing to lend an ear, a shoulder, or an old pair of sweatpants.
But when the school administration shuts the Red Club down because of complaints, the girls are stunned. Who would do that to them? The girls’ shock quickly turns into anger, and then they decide to get even.
But wallpapering the gym with maxi pads and making tampon crafts in art class won’t bring their club back. Only Riley can do that. Using the skills she has cultivated as her school paper’s top investigative reporter (okay, only investigative reporter), she digs for the truth about who shut the club down and why. All the while dealing with friendship drama, a new and ridiculous dress code, and a support group that is now more focused on fighting with each other than fighting back.
Can she save the Red Club before this rebellion turns into a full-scale war?
The dazzling story of a girl navigating friendship, family, and growing up, an Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? for the modern day, from debut author Aida Salazar.
Celi Rivera’s life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend’s exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.
But most of all, her mother’s insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It’s an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?
A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.
From the founder of HelloFlo, a modern and insightful guide to periods and puberty for a new generation.
When will I get boobs?
Does wearing a tampon hurt?
What’s the deal with menstrual cups?
Seriously, when will I get boobs?
Honest, funny, and unafraid of the messy, real-life facts about a girl’s changing body, this is definitely not your mother’s puberty book. HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom’s mission is to create informed, empowered young women who are unafraid to ask questions and make the best choices for themselves and their bodies. A celebration of women’s bodies and all the confusing, uncomfortable, silly, transformative, and powerful changes that occur during puberty.
This full-color book — written by HelloFlo founder, Naama Bloom, and journalist Glynnis MacNicol — features bright, diverse, approachable illustrations and infographics, doctor-vetted information, and personal testimonials from real girls and women.
This powerful, timely novel in verse exposes provocative truths about periods, sex, shame, and going viral for all the wrong reasons.
After school one day, Frankie, a lover of physics and astronomy, has her first sexual experience with quiet and gorgeous Benjamin — and gets her period. It’s only blood, they agree. But soon a gruesome meme goes viral, turning an intimate, affectionate afternoon into something sordid, mortifying, and damaging. In the time it takes to swipe a screen, Frankie’s universe implodes. Who can she trust? Not Harriet, her suddenly cruel best friend, and certainly not Benjamin, the only one who knows about the incident. As the online shaming takes on a horrifying life of its own, Frankie begins to wonder: is her real life over?
Author Lucy Cuthew vividly portrays what it is to be a teen today with this fearless and ultimately uplifting novel in verse. Brimming with emotion, the story captures the intensity of friendships, first love, and female desire, while unflinchingly exploring the culture of online and menstrual shaming. Sure to be a conversation starter, Blood Moon is the unforgettable portrait of one girl’s fight to reclaim her reputation and to stand up against a culture that says periods are dirty.
Some people ARE illegal.
Lobizonas do NOT exist.
Both of these statements are false.
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past ― a mysterious “Z” emblem ― which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal…it’s her entire existence.
A dark, engrossing, blood-drenched tale of the familiar threats to female power — and one girl’s journey to regain it. Five starred reviews greeted this powerful story from Elana K. Arnold, author of the Printz Honor winner Damsel.
You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked. And the wolf is angry.
Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good.
But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her.
A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions.
About the blood in Bisou’s past, and on her hands as she stumbles home.
About broken boys and vicious wolves.
About girls lost in the woods — frightened, but not alone.