I read a lot of children’s literature but I don’t read that many that feature periods. Menstruation. That time of the month. Call it what you will, but it’s not an unusual phenomenon. I was reminded of the scarcity of periods in children’s literature after reading this blog post from 2010.
The thing that struck me after reading that was that I don’t think much has changed. I mean, I certainly remember discovering Runaways and swooning with love that it actually mentioned periods. It made that series instantly so much more real to me. And feeling like that was – and is – a rare occurrence Were it not for Judy Blume and Paula Danziger, I’d be struggling to name authors and titles who acknowledge menstruation. Lord knows it certainly doesn’t occur in my great love of girlsown where the girls magically grow up in a sort of splendid glass-housed isolation.
When puberty came, with its lumps and bumps and hairs, me and my friends found solace in Just Seventeen (and were we from today, I think we’d be weeping with joy over Tumblr). And now that I think of it, we also found a lot of solace in Lady Chatterley’s Lover but that was for, um, slightly different reasons…!
But I digress. I’m looking for recommendations of titles to read – children’s books, picture books, comics whatever. Let me know if you’ve got any ideas where I should start. And I promise to collate the titles together as a reading list which I’ll archive somewhere (here! – Menstruation in Children’s Literature)
PS – I’ll also be updating my list of books featuring gifted and talented characters in the near future – additions always welcome 🙂
10 thoughts on “Period.”
Artichoke Hearts – definitely a good place to start
You’re right, that is a good place to start. She’s on the list! Thanks 🙂
Judy blume is the only author I could have mentioned…. shall look forward to seeing who else comes up!
The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh has a good chapter on periods.
Thank you, it’s now on 🙂
This is a big epic fantasy, not a regular teen novel, but I was astonished when reading The Naming by Alison Croggon that the main character (age 16) tracks how long she’s been on her epic journey by her periods. It feels very Tolkienesque otherwise, but I can’t imagine him mentioning such a thing.
That sounds amazing. Thank you for the suggestion – I’ll definitely add it on.
I’d add Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey to the list. It’s fantasy, and periods (and supplies to manage them), and even contraception are mentioned in passing. The author also normalizes homosexuality.
Thank you! She and it are now on 🙂