Looking up information online about health issues, particularly about ones having to do with reproductive health (because that's what periods are about!) is tricky. Plus sometimes you really need to take your time and be able to come back to certain chapters in a book or an illustration a few times. Maybe you want to read it in private or maybe you want a friend or family member to read it too so you can talk about it - books are great for that! These are some of the best books to come out in the past few years, including chapter books with stories of girls and their periods - and about kids fighting for period power!
Learning More and Getting Books
Click on the image of the book to read reviews in GoodReads. Look for a book that covers the topics important to you and that approaches them in a way that is comfortable for you and your family. There is something for everyone!
Availability of books through the Beverly Public Library or as ebooks through the Sora app for Beverly Middle School students is noted, as of March 2021. And don't forget about our great local bookstores! In Beverly, MA we have two: Copper Dog Books and The Book Shop of Beverly Farms.
Books geared toward girls
These books are aimed at kids in upper elementary or middle school who are expecting to begin menstruating, or have recently begun. These are all books that have been published or updated since 2015. Some older books are listed below for your reference.
Books geared toward boys
Most of the information in this site geared around menstruation and for people who menstruate - but we know that there are some parents of boys (and some interested girls!) who may also find a few books that are geared toward puberty for boys helpful.
Books for any gender
Most puberty books are written for either a female or male audience, but these are for both, which can be great to let kids understand what they are going through in common, and what the other gender is experiencing that may not!
These books all feature middle school kids getting or dealing with periods. Some are touching and some are funny. Fiction can be a great way to delve into complex and fraught experiences in a way that nonfiction cannot. Of course, the classic middle grade book about characters getting their periods is Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Fifty years later, it's still a great book, but we wanted to give you a list of some more contemporary titles that could resonate with today's middle schoolers.
Go With the Flow
By Karen Schneeman and Lily Williams (2020)
Abby, Brit, Christine, and Sasha are fed up. 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. Graphic novel.
The Moon Within
By Aida Salazar (2019)
Eleven-year-old Celi Rivera is secretive about her approaching period; she is horrified that her mother wants to hold a traditional public moon ceremony to celebrate the occasion; she must choose loyalty to her life-long best friend who is contemplating an even more profound change of life or the boy she likes.
The Places We Sleep
By Caroline DuBois (2020)
Twelve-year-old Abbey's world is turned upside-down by both personal and national events of September 11, 2001, when she gets her period the same day of a terrorist attack. In the aftermath she finds greater strength through art, friendship, and family in this novel in verse.
Other books published before 2013
Geared toward girls - published in 2013 and earlier
Burningham, Sarah O’Leary, and Alli Arnold. Girl to Girl : Honest Talk about Growing up and Your Changing Body. Paw Prints, 2013.
Jukes, Mavis, and Debbie Tilley. Growing up It’s a Girl Thing Straight Talk about First Bras, First Periods, and Your Changing Body. Paw Prints, 2008.
Katz, Anne, and Monika Melnychuk. Girl in the Know : Your Inside-And-out Guide to Growing Up. Toronto, Kids Can Press, 2010.
Loulan, Joann, and Bonnie Worthen. Period : A Girl’s Guide. Minnetonka, Mn, Book Peddlers, 2001. 6 in Noblenet. 2000.
Madaras, Lynda, et al. The What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls. New York, NY, William Morrow, An Imprint Of Harpercollinspublishers, 2012. - Noble Overdrive (272276)
Madaras, Lynda, and Linda Davick. Ready, Set, Grow! A What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Younger Girls. Paw Prints, 2008.
Natterson, Cara Familian, and MasseJosée. The Care & Keeping of You 2 : The Body Book for Older Girls. Middleton, Wi, American Girl, 2013.
Pfeifer, Kate Gruenwald, and Amy Middleman. Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Teen. San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass, 2006.
Rangarajan, Aruna. Discovery Girls’ Guide to Growing up : Everything You Need to Know about Your Changing Body. Los Altos, Ca, Discovery Girls, 2013.
Schaefer, Valorie Lee, and Josee Masse. The Care and Keeping of You 1 : The Body Book for Younger Girls. Middleton, Wisconsin, American Girl, 2012
Weiss, Marisa C, and Isabel Friedman. Taking Care of Your “Girls” : A Breast Health Guide for Girls, Teens, and In-Betweens. New York, Ny, Three Rivers Press, 2008.
Weschler, Toni. Cycle Savvy the Smart Teen’s Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body. Paw Prints, 2008.
Geared toward boys - Published 2012 and earlier
Madaras, Lynda, et al. The “What’s Happening to My Body?” Book for Boys. New York, NY, William Morrow, 2012
Madaras, Lynda, and Paul Gilligan. On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow! : A “What’s Happening to My Body?” Book for Younger Boys. New York, Newmarket Press, 2008.
Mar, Jonathan, and Grace Norwich. The Body Book for Boys. Scholastic Paperbacks, 2010.
Pfeifer, Kate Gruenwald. Boys’ Guide to Becoming a Teen : Getting Used to Life in Your Changing Body. San Francisco, Calif., Jossey-Bass ; Chichester, 2006.
Resources for Parents
Articles for Parents About Puberty Books
The 10 Best Books About Adolescence, According to Psychologists - New York Magazine, March 28, 2019.
Books About Puberty - Common Sense Media - Lists books recommended for a range of different ages and genders of tweens and teens.
Free To Be You - Slate, August 13, 2019. "These puberty books offer a refreshing change from The Care & Keeping of You."
The Puberty Book That’s about More than a Girl’s Period. - CNN Digital, 18 Oct. 2017 - About the book HelloFlo: The Guide, Period.
7 Books on Puberty for Boys - Parents, Oct. 20, 2020
9 Ways to Prepare Your Daughter for Her First Period (and Make Sure It Doesn't Suck) - Parents, June 19, 2017
Books for Parents
Greenspan, Louise, and Julianna Deardorff. The New Puberty : How to Navigate Early Development in Today’s Girls. New York, Rodale, 2014. Find at Public Library
Haffner, Debra. Beyond the Big Talk : A Parent’s Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Teens--from Middle School to High School, and Beyond. New York, Newmarket Press, 2008. Find at the public library