May 8, 2011

The Period Book {featured book}

The Period Book: Everything You Don't Want to Ask (But Need to Know), written by Karen Gravelle with the assistance of her 15-year old niece Jennifer Gravelle, will appeal to adolescent and pre-adolescent girls with its informative and accessible approach to puberty. Since, as Gravelle writes, the reason a girl gets a period in the first place is that her body is changing from a child's body into a woman's body, the book provides good information concerning all these changes; in addition to practical advice on menstruation, from changes you can see (growth spurts, breasts developing, hair in new places, skin changes and perspiration, and genital changes) to changes you can't see (in the internal sexual organ).

I appreciate Gravelle's endeavors to empower young girls against cultural body ideals, from the American obsession with breasts to excessive concerns with body odor, and that she further encourages young women to feel good about their bodies and celebrate this time in their life. – To see the arrival of menstruation as a celebration of life. Which, The Period Book cautions, does not mean girls should give up the equal status they had with boys during childhood or that they should stop playing.
Playing is an important part of being human, and we should do it all our lives. Men do! So women should not allow themselves to be told that they must stop playing. (102)
Gravelle also includes information about seeing a gynecologist, answers to typical "is this normal" and "what if" questions, and how to talk about sex with your parents.


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