A circus artist offers tips for girls navigating puberty, from managing self-consciousness to staying safe.
Ibrahim, who grew up in Australia and now lives and performs in England as the leader of a hula-hoop troupe, provides a chatty, intimate introduction for preteens. In short chapters, she talks about physical details (shapes, sizes, and body parts, including Erkas’ clever cut-paper illustrations of a variety of vulvas); periods and how to manage them; pee and poop; hair and its removal; bras; perspiration; sleep; eating; exercise; meditation; style; gender identity and expression; crushes; moods; and more. This wide-ranging package of advice stands out for its personal stories. The author shares her own embarrassing moments: wetting her pants; menstrual leaks; a yeast infection; chafed thighs. The takeaway for readers is that this kind of thing happens to everyone, but you can get over it. The illustrations include photos of the author, a dark-skinned woman, including then-and-now pictures and one in which half her face is made up and half is natural, a striking demonstration of the twin magic of makeup and Photoshop in the virtual world. While American readers may not be familiar with this Guinness World Record–holding hula-hoop champion, they will certainly recognize and share her preteen concerns.
Conversational text, lively design, and photos of a person of color make this growing-up guide stand out in a crowded field. (Nonfiction. 8-13)