Puberty is a confusing time for young girls, and there’s a lot for them to know about periods in particular.
What’s the best period product for me? What does PMS feel like? Why do I feel like I’m on an emotional rollercoaster? Getting your period brings with it social, emotional, and physical changes, and the best thing we can do for the tweens in our lives is to inform and empower them.
With that in mind, we’ve created a round-up of the top 12 must-have menstruation manuals that every girl needs. Keep reading for the very best period books for girls.
1. Vaginas and Periods 101: A Pop-Up Book
This is a great book especially for pre-teens and young girls that are just starting to learn about sex, reproduction, and their bodies.
We love this particular book as it offers a creative and fun way to learn about anatomy, and periods in particular. It features colorful graphics and pop-ups to help readers understand their anatomy and learn about menstruation. It also covers several different menstrual products in addition to pads and tampons. The authors, who are licensed mental health therapists and sex educators, include non-binary characters in the book and are careful not to use pronouns to ensure that the text is 100% inclusive.
2. The Period Book: A Girl’s Guide to Growing Up
If you’re looking for the perfect guidebook for the adolescent girl in your life, this is indubitably it. This book will help girls feel confident as they enter a new phase, addressing topics like what a period is and what it feels like, how to pick tampons and pads that are right for you, and what to do if you get your period at school.
Parents love this down-to-earth illustrated book, as it also covers related issues like dealing with mood swings and pimples and managing the social, emotional, and physical changes that come with your period.
3. The Period Comic: A Girl’s Easy Guide to Puberty and Periods
This short book, for 9- to 12-year-olds, addresses periods from the standpoint of curiosity as opposed to fear and anxiety. It’s an encouraging book with fun characters that is strictly about menstruation and does not delve into other related topics, such as sex.
It tells the story of a group of three culturally diverse friends on a weekend of discovery as they learn all about periods and puberty. The topics covered include period poverty, handling period-related cramps, and preparing for your first period, as well as growing breasts, acne, and growing hair in private areas. Girls who read this book will feel informed and ready to face the changes before them.
4. The Care and Keeping of You, 1 and 2
This is a set of must-have body books for girls. The first is for younger girls, around 8 to 10 years old; the second is for slightly older girls, 9 to 11 years old. Both include how-tos, tips, and facts from doctors. In the first book, girls learn not only about their period, but also other issues of interest such as healthy eating, hair care, pimples, bad breath, and more. The goal is for girls to feel comfortable with what’s happening to their bodies.
The second book addresses more “grown-up” issues, covering additional information about periods as well as topics such as body changes, physical and emotional changes, personal care, and peer pressure. Both are best sellers and deserve a spot on every girl’s bookshelf.
5. HelloFlo: The Guide, Period. The Everything Puberty Book for the Modern Girl
Great news: this is not your mom’s puberty book. This book is made for modern girls and includes not only approachable infographics and illustrations, but also personal stories from girls and women and information vetted by doctors. It answers questions like “Does wearing a tampon hurt?” and “What’s the deal with menstrual cups?” among many, many others.
The author’s goal is to help girls become informed and empowered, to be able to make the right choices for them, and to be able to ask questions without fear or shame. Ultimately, this book encourages girls to celebrate their bodies during this confusing and transformative time we call puberty.
6. Go With the Flow
This is a great book for empowering 9 to 12 year olds and teaching them to crush any negative stigma of periods.
This is a graphic novel is about a group of sophomore girls at Hazeltown High who are fed up that their school always runs out of tampons and pads. In fact, they’re so fed up that they’re ready to start a menstruation revolution. This book is also body positive and addresses topics like women’s health issues, healthy friendships, and female empowerment.
7. Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement
This fantastic book is for girls who are 12 years old and up and are slightly more advanced readers and thinkers. It looks at how periods have been hidden and taboo over the course of history, mainly because they’re misunderstood, according to the author.
The result has given rise to discrimination. This includes the development of medicines for men and the tampon tax, among others. This book seeks to uncover the stigmas and biases associated with menstruation, discuss what it actually is, and encourage and empower young readers to start conversations about periods.
8. My First Period Journal
Help the young woman in your life understand her body better with a period tracker. This lovely journal includes a 2-year tracker and 2 years of monthly calendars. Girls can write down information such as the number of days between their periods as well as details about everything from their mood and symptoms to any medications they’re taking.
This journal offers a great way to teach young girls about their bodies and learn about the length and frequency of their periods. When girls are more in tune with their bodies, they can understand, and navigate, their cycle much better.
9. My Period: Find Your Flow and Feel Proud of Your Period
This book sets out to separate fact from fiction and bring girls all of the information they need. The author does a great job of answering almost every question imaginable, helping young women understand why periods exist, what period pants are, how to manage hormones and cramps, how to choose the best products for them, and how to prepare period kits.
At the end of this book, which is perfect for 10- to 13-year-olds, readers will come away with a better understanding of how awesome their bodies are and what’s going on each month.
10. A Girl’s Guide to Puberty & Periods
If you’re looking for a good way to get the conversation about periods started, this is the book for you. A perfect text for girls between 9 and 14, this book is different in that it includes a section of stories from girls all over the US, from different backgrounds, about when they got their period.
Like many of these books, the end goal is to help young women feel confident about the changes they’re experiencing and to have the information they need. Health experts at Columbia University collaborated on this book, and it includes plenty of useful tips and relevant health content.
11. Welcome to Your Period
This is the perfect guidebook to get your preteen (10 to 14 years old) ready for menstruation. We all know how scary, embarrassing, and weird it is to get your period for the first time. Now girls have this book to turn to. It includes first-person accounts, case studies, and questions from real teens (with answers from a health journalist and an adolescent health specialist).
It also offers plenty of honest advice when it comes to common concerns, like what to do if your pad leaks and what cramps actually feel like. There are plenty of illustrations to learn from as well as an extensive overview of the period products on the market. This body-positive book is just what your pre-teen needs to help her through this “period.”
12. Period: Everything You Need to Know About Periods
This book is a recommendation from a collaborative standpoint. That is to say, we recommend sitting down and reading this with your daughter. It’s an outstanding and informative read that will appeal to anyone, and it’s chock-a-block with tips and advice every young woman needs to hear.
In it, the author addresses related issues like cramps, PMS, acne, and sore breasts and offers illustrated guides on how to use everything from tampons and pads to menstrual cups. And reading it together will give your tween the opportunity to discuss the content with you and ask questions.
What’s more, 10% of the proceeds from each book are donated to Bloody Good Period, which provides refugees and asylum seekers with menstrual supplies.
Hopefully these books will provide a good foundation of information for your tween or teen. And once they have a basic understanding, you can fill in any blanks for them.
These texts are a great starting point to get the conversation going and letting the young woman in your life know that she can come to you with all of her period-related questions.