Revenge of the Red Club

S. & S./Aladdin. Oct. 2019. 256p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534435728.
Gr 4-8–The Red Club—a student-run club dedicated to periods—at Riley Dunne’s middle school serves as a safe space for girls, a place to ask embarrassing questions without judgment, and a sisterhood of students where the only requirement is that you have gotten your first period. When an anonymous parent demands the club be shut down, the school’s administration also takes away the student-run newspaper and starts enforcing a strict dress code. These new rules unfairly target girls. Riley and her friends hatch a plan to save their club, showing the school that they won’t be silenced or discriminated against. This book is a rallying cry for middle schoolers who are at the age where their bodies are changing and society reinforces the idea that a woman’s body distracts, disrupts, and should be hidden for the sake of others around them. The characters create a movement that will empower readers to believe that they can enact change one voice, article, or tampon at a time. This is a must-have for every upper elementary and middle school collection, where the topic of menstruation is not often centered in fictional narratives.
VERDICT A middle school feminist manifesto that fans of girl-led ensembles like Ann M. Martin’s “The Babysitter’s Club” and Ann Brashares’s “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” will love, and that will inspire future Red Clubs in the process.

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