This guide for young women about puberty is written by the founder of HelloFlo.com, a subscription service that delivers customized selections of menstrual products by mail and offers women’s health information on its website.
Nine straightforward, concise chapters are embellished with appealing, colorful line drawings of ethnically diverse young women engaging in such activities as playing soccer and talking with friends, which lends a balancing, casual feel to the more pointed, drawn diagrams, such as one that labels the different parts of a vulva and vagina. Various issues are frankly addressed, including breast development, growing body and pubic hair, and menstruation, as well as some common physiological and emotional experiences, such as increased body odor and PMS. Helpful, clear advice about the mechanics of managing menstrual blood and the removal (or not) of body hair are framed in a nonjudgmental way, encouraging readers to make whatever decision feels right, and added historical context about trends and the shifts in society’s attitudes toward women’s bodies strike just the right tone. However, a confusing admonishment to “Don’t. Ever. Shave” unwanted facial hair remains unexplained beyond mentioning the sensitivity of the face, and some teen readers may find the didactic assurances about life getting not just better, but “to be the best” with age frustrating.
An informative, accessible guide that hits most of its marks. (Nonfiction. 10-16)