Period: Twelve Voices Tell the Bloody Truth

224p. Feiwel & Friends. May 2018. pap. $16. ISBN 9781250141941.
Gr 9 Up—Farrell has collected 12 strong voices that help remove stigma and squeamishness about menstruation. The essays are refreshing in their frank, clearheaded approach to the topic. All are very good and exceptionally personal, and each one will speak to a different reader. From Kiran Gandhi, who ran the London Marathon free bleeding, to the realities of menstruation for women who are homeless, Farrell's cadre of candid feminist writings will inspire readers to think about periods in a liberated way. Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow's humorous "Periods and Friendship" ("Public transit while menstruating is the worst") and Ingrid Nilsen's "There's a First Time for Everything" ("My period, as annoying, frustrating, and painful as it can be sometimes, has taught me so much about my body and my life") are among the stand outs. Though there are no illustrations, the pages are colorfully trimmed in red.
VERDICT A sophisticated read and an excellent addition to open up conversations with teens and/or to accompany gender studies programs and resource centers.

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