Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors

Candlewick. Mar. 2023. 368p. ed. by Salazar, Aida & Yamile Saied Méndez, eds. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781536216349.
Gr 4 Up–Maybe it happened at the lake, like it did for Penny. Or maybe on the court, in the middle of a game, in front of all the boys on the basketball team, like it did for Angela. Or maybe, just maybe it happened on the first day of Ramadan, ruining any chance of fasting for the first time, like it did for Layla. Everyone who menstruates has a story of the first time it happened, and a chorus of voices from around the world come together in Méndez and Salazar’s anthology, through poetry and prose, through heartache and celebration, telling the stories of first periods. The subject of menstruation is so disturbingly rare, particularly in middle grade fiction. This anthology is essential for a supportive, representative library collection, not only because it features an impressive array of voices from a variety of cultures, family structures, gender identities, and views on menstruation, but also because it offers an opportunity to speak candidly about a bodily function shared by half of humanity that has been veiled in secrecy and shame for far too long.
VERDICT An incredibly important and useful text, essential for all collections serving tweens.

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