Period: A Girl’s Guide by JoAnn Loulan and Bonnie Worthen is a book that tells girls everything they need to know about having periods.
This is a lovely little book that is filled with illustrations and provides lots of information about managing your period. There is a pullout guide at the back for parents, on how to talk to their daughters too.
Sexual intercourse is NOT talked about in this book.
Period: A Girl’s Guide is ideal for children between the ages of 10 – 14 years of age.
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You can also watch the video review or read the transcription.
Hi, I’m Cath Hak and today I want to talk to you about a book called Period: A Girl’s Guide by JoAnn Loulan and Bonnie Worthen. This book first came out in 1979 which may make it slightly outdated. But, really, not much about periods have changed. The only changes have been the addition of menstrual cups, period pants and cloth pads, which really isn’t that much.
So, what is this book about?
At the front, the book begins with an index that shows you the definitions of words and some nice images to start you off. Then, skipping all the way to the back, there’s a little tear-out book for parents. It helps parents start conversations about the menstrual cycle, talk about it, and all this useful information.
This book tells you everything you need to know about the menstrual cycle. From the changes to our body to what those body parts even are, there’s such a large range it covers.
Now, let’s look what’s inside of it. To begin it talks about how puberty is beginning to happen. How your body might change, how you’re turning from a girl into a woman, and what sort of things you might be feeling.
Now we’re getting into some more details about different body parts. The pages on this show lots of good and detailed imagery on the genitals and provide lots of good information.
On the next page, we began to talk about menstruation and what it is, why it happens, and how it happens. This, of course, is said in very age-appropriate language for kids.
There is also plenty of information on sanitary wear. What the different options are; pads, tampons, and now cups and cloth pads. The book also talks about how to use them and put tampons in. Though, the tampons we use now are usually a lot smaller than the ones in this picture.
Here are also some of the questions the book asks and answers for anything younger girls might want to know. ‘When will I get my period? How much blood will I lose? What happens during my period?’ Topics like that are openly discussed.
Douching is something covered in the book, but I suggest you look more into it before bringing that up. Loulan and Worthen do also talk about the emotional and shameful side of being on your period as well. For example, why girls might feel a certain way or act during or before their period.
The book also talks about genital exams. The information on this, however, will change a lot since scientists have found a vaccine for the wart virus. Recently, Australian’s realized a lot of cervical cancers are caused by the wart virus. So, this book might become a little outdated in that sense, but still very useful.
Other than that, this book is a fantastic recourse to talk about periods. Though, there are quite a lot of other books that do talk about this topic. You can find ones that talk about puberty and topics related to it, or ones like this which focus purely on the one subject. It is a great little book.
Okay, I hope this helped. Cheers.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.