Four friends protest period poverty and inequality.
Sophomore Sasha Chen is the new girl at Hazleton High. On her second day, she notices mean-spirited giggles and looks of disgust while at her locker. Established friends Abby, Brit, and Christine swoop in and introduce themselves, whisking her away to the bathroom to calmly inform her that her period has leaked through her white pants. The girls find the period-products vending machine to be empty. When Abby repeatedly asks the administration about reloading the machines or, better yet, making period-care products free (since half the school body bleeds), she is quickly dismissed by the older, white, male principal who calls it “her little problem.” The girls want to demolish the shame around menstruation, but when Abby takes the protest too far, their friendship is tested. With its alluring red-hued duotone art, this graphic novel successfully empowers readers and guides them to speak up and reclaim agency when they feel something is not right with not only their own bodies, but with the world around them. The girls’ group is inclusive, encompassing different heights, skin colors, races, and body types; Brit, who openly discusses her struggles with endometriosis, has brown skin and a full figure, Sasha is Asian and petite, tall and lanky Christine, white, is coming to understand her same-sex attraction, and Abby is white with red hair and a curvy figure.
Just bloody perfect. (author’s note, further resources) (Graphic fiction. 9-14)