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Marni Sommer
A Girl's Guide to Puberty and Periods
Marni Sommer, author
The Girls’ Guide to Puberty and Periods is a body-positive illustrated book that helps girls, ages 9-14, understand what to expect about puberty and everything that goes with it. The book shares “my first period” stories from girls across the U.S. of all backgrounds to help your child understand that everything they are going through is okay and normal. Parents will appreciate that the book also incorporates factual health content and practical tips developed by health experts at Columbia University. The goal is to empower girls to feel more confident and knowledgeable about their changing bodies.
The authors break down the intimidating process of puberty for girls in this cheerful and educational guide. Developed to ease anxieties and explain natural processes, and paired with input from adolescent girls from across the United States, this inviting volume teaches girls the ins and outs of menstruation, what changes to expect during puberty, and how to appreciate their bodies. The authors address with welcome clarity topics that can often be difficult for young readers, and their supportive, gently humorous approach makes the material as engaging as it is informative.

Sommer, et al., dive right into the facts that every girl needs to know, including a breakdown of the menstrual cycle, the effects of hormones on the body and mood, and many more sensitive topics—like breast development and body odors—in a way that normalizes the experience for readers. The entertaining and diverse graphics inject warm humor in all the right places and helpfully break down complex matters, like the basics of finding the right-sized bra. In an effort to keep the tone lighthearted, the authors share fun facts throughout the text–such as different period nicknames from girls in the U.S. and an amusing illustration of the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies mood changes.

Despite the comforting approach, this guide packs a serious educational punch. Readers will walk away with how-to knowledge on just about every puberty-related issue for girls, including hands-on instructions for personal care and hygiene. An added bonus is a brief rundown on what boys experience during the same stage and a glossary of health terms at the end. The authors are careful to emphasize that every body is unique and develops on its own schedule, and the firsthand stories of what to expect from different girls will put readers at ease. This guide may look playful, but it's powerful.

Takeaway: A helpful, inviting breakdown of what puberty looks like for girls, with an emphasis on the uniqueness of every body.

Great for fans of: Valorie Schaefer’s The Care & Keeping of You, Sonya Renee Taylor’s Celebrate Your Body.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A