10 Books to Help Educate Your Children on Menstruation
Books can be an incredible resource when teaching children about puberty and how their bodies will change. There is such a wide range of books to choose from! The following books focus on inclusivity, education, breaking down stigma, decentering shame, and fear reduction related to puberty and menstruation.
1. Period: Twelve Voices Tell You the Bloody Truth – Various Authors, Edited by Kate Farrell
This is a truly special collection of stories by a diverse group of people, who are all telling their “bloody” stories. These twelve authors are all different in race, gender identity, and cultural background, but share the common link of having something to say about menstruation. These stories cover a variety of topics that will be relatable to all audiences, from discussing cheesy period commercials to talking about being trans during that time of the month.
2. Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up – Heather Corinna
This is for those teens that don’t want to sit down and read a whole book, especially an educational one. Done through the medium of the graphic novel, this book opens up topics on a wide variety of puberty related subjects for kids of varying gender identities. They will ultimately be able to find something they relate to as they follow Malia, Sam, Max, Alexis, and Rico, on their journey to learn more about periods, gender identity, boundaries, stigma, and more.
3. Celebrate Your Body 2: The Ultimate Puberty Book for Preteen and Teen Girls – Dr. Carrie Leff
While it may be a book marketed specifically to girls, this book is actually quite informative and inclusive. The whole message behind this book is to empower those who read it and set them up for success when it comes to navigating the new things their bodies are going through. There are specific sections on menstruation as well as sex and gender identity so your child won’t feel left out of the overall conversation even if they are trans or nonbinary.
4. I’ve Got My Period. So What? – Clara Henry
This book offers a snarky and funny approach to tackling period stigma. Clara Henry wants your child to feel no shame about that monthly bleed because it is absolutely normal. She shares not only her experiences but breaks down educational topics about periods and the changing body in a way that people can easily understand and relate to. If you’re looking for something amusing and a little off the cuff to give your child to teach them about periods and reproductive health, this is the book for you.
5. Period. – Natalie Byrne
This one dives deep into everything you could possibly want to know about periods in a way that everyone can understand. Natalie Byrne wants to help give you and your child a guide on all things menstrual cycle, including topics like period poverty, types of discharge, and the ins and outs of the vagina. No topic is taboo in this informative book that will help give anyone perspective on the menstrual cycle and everything that surrounds it.
6. The Period Book: Everything You Don't Want to Ask (But Need to Know) – Karen Gravelle
If you want a great down-to-earth children’s book that will answer all of your kid’s questions about their cycle, look no further. This book offers a clever insight into questions your child may not have even thought of regarding their period. PMS, mood swings, and even acne are all covered in a charming and relatable way through cartoons. Your kids will enjoy this book without feeling like they’re being lectured about puberty.
7. Your Moontime Magic: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Your Period and Loving Your Body – Maureen Theresa Smith
This book offers a more spiritual guide through menstruation and learning how to love the body and all of its processes. The book combines myths and culture, along with support and advice to help your child through the difficult process of puberty and menstruation. This book shows the change as a positive thing and teaches people that they shouldn’t feel shame for what their body goes through naturally. With a collection of crafts, recipes, and even meditations, it is a very interactive book that will give your child some perspective on periods in a positive way.
8. Don’t Cramp My Style: Stories About That Time of the Month– Lisa Rowe Fraustino
This is another empowering collection of short stories that talk openly about periods without making it feel like a lecture. This is targeted for older preteens and teens as some of the stories included may have more mature themes, but they are honest and straightforward in what they are trying to get across. This book transcends cultures, time, and place, including stories from all over and even some that are fantasy based to give a more whimsical perspective on menstruation.
9. Vaginas and Periods 101: A Pop Up Book – Christian Hoeger and Kristen Lilla
This is a creative and inclusive way to learn about periods as well as vaginal anatomy. It gives a fun pop-up book feel while being informative and even downright scientific at a lot of points. Helping navigate the waters of puberty can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun to learn about the ins and outs of it all. This book is truly a special one that includes trans and nonbinary perspectives as well.
10. The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls – Cara Natterson
This is an update of the old American Girl brand Care and Keeping of You, with a wider range of topics and far more inclusion. It covers everything from personal care to peer pressure and in a way that is easily digestible for your younger teens and preteens. It even delves into how to insert tampons and helps with answering all those complicated questions.