Own Your Period

QEB/Quarto/. Sept. 2021. 96p. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9780711256644.
Gr 6-10–Quint proves to be a purveyor of menstrual knowledge and advice in this book geared toward a new generation of “period owners.” It is divided into three sections: “The Basics,” “Managing Periods,” and “Period Positivity,” the latter framing the overarching tone of the book. Menstruation should not cause shame and Quint hopes to change attitudes with information. She honors the contemporary understanding of gender by not using gendered labels for those who menstruate. She further questions problematic medical terminology (information which may surprise even adult readers) and provides scientific names for the reproductive system. At times Quint goes into a level of detail beyond the grasp of or relevancy to a premenarchal child, burying some of the basic information. Still, she answers many practical questions that other books fail to, such as “What do periods look like?” and “What do they feel like?” and explores a range of menstrual products beyond the disposable, providing information about sustainability and waste. Quint shares her own experiences in witty sidebars which, although some contain British-isms (e.g., “loo roll” and “wee”), flow with her “cool aunt” vibe. Illustrator Medeiros reinforces the celebratory tone with her delightful and bright illustrations. Modern colors make up the pages’ backgrounds and a cast of characters extremely diverse in gender presentation, race, culture, and ability sprinkle the pages. Most menstruators will find themselves reflected somewhere in this book. Unfortunately, Quint missteps slightly when it comes to inclusion, framing religious and cultural menstrual rituals and rules as occurring in the past, and not acknowledging that for some menstruators these are real, and often meaningful, parts of their experience.
VERDICT A much-needed and extremely well-researched update to the menstrual canon. A recommended purchase for libraries serving tweens and teens.

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