Here’s my review of some more books about puberty that hopefully you will find of use. Books are a reliable source of information; much more reliable than what one can find on the world wide web. Think about it, a lot of care and attention is put into the printing of a book. The author puts their name on it for all time. The publisher verifies the information and has fact-checkers and proofreaders. Can you say the same for whatever website you visit? No. The internet is the new school yard and information is passed around willy-nilly and without licence. Facts about puberty are integral to a young woman being set on the right path of life concerning her body, cycle, sexuality and authority. Books such as these are a great addition to the conversation, along with intimate conversation, some samples such as DivaCup, GladRags, and disposable napkins and tampons, along with perhaps the most important component, a feby bracelet.
What’s happening to me? by Susan Meredith, illustrated by Nancy Leschnikoff
This is a great book to start the conversation about puberty and all the changes young girls go through, both physically and emotionally. It is a slim volume at under 50 pages and each chapter has 2 pages relating to its topic, which includeGetting hairy, Getting breasts, Why periods happen, Using tampons, Your feelings and even How boys’ bodies work and Boys have worries too.
I love the concise information that is imparted with each subject. For example in the section about the bra business a lot is covered in a mere 2 pages..how to measure yourself to find your bra size, the importance of the right fit and how to tell and the different types of bras and for what occasions. Very practical information interspersed with cute illustrations by Nancy Leschnikoff.
I would recommend this book for girls ages 8-10
Why Do I Have Periods? by Isabel Thomas
Here is a book geared directly at pre-pubescent and pubescent girls which concentrates solely on menstruation and puberty.
It’s a slight book (32 pages) with large text and lots of graphics that help to describe what exactly a period is and when a girl should expect to get her first one and why.
I was disappointed with the instructions given regarding what to use to catch the flow. The page dedicated to that only lists tampons or sanitary pads as possible methods (has the author not heard of a menstrual cup?) and no mention is made of toxic shock syndrome which I find negligent.
Overall, this book is okay for young girls (6-9 years old) but I wouldn’t recommend it because of the above stated glaring omissions.
girlology’s there’s something new about you
Written by the founders of Girlology, Melisa Holmes, M.D. and Trish Huthison, M.D., this book is 122 pages of relevant information to help families “improve communication about puberty, sexuality, and adolescent behaviors.”
It’s a comprehensive look at the concerns of a pubescent girl with many antidotes and scenarios from real girls that adds warmth and understanding to the subject matter.
The author promises 3 things to the readers of this book which are:
1. You’ll be proud you know so much.
2. You will be more comfortable asking questions about growing up.
3. You will be more comfortable about your body and the amazing (and sometimes confusing) things it does.
Of the three books reviewed here, I give top honours to this one. It is well written with tons of information from a bra vocabulary, graphics and proper names for all the parts of the vulva, why we get them and how to manage periods (including how to insert a tampon and the dangers of toxic shock syndrome), healthy hygiene habits and healthy eating. I thought one blurb about pubic hair which simply said “hair is down there for a reason and you should probably leave it alone” doesn’t really address the issue that so many younger women have with pubic hair and their quest to remove it.
Overall I think this is a great book for girls ages 10+.