A Review of Period, A Girl's Guide to Menstruation

A reliable resource for your growing tween

Period, A Girl's Guide by JoAnn Loulan and Bonnie Worthen
A good period book should leave no questions unanswered about menstruation. Period, A Girl's Guide covers everything your daughter needs to know about her cycle. Photo courtesy of Book Peddlers

The Bottom Line

Period, A Girl's Guide is a primer for girls who have questions but don't know where to turn. This period book covers the basics of menstruation, body parts, mood changes, pelvic exams, and more. A good period book leaves no questions unanswered about a girl's monthly cycle. Period, A Girl's Guide to Menstruation answers all the questions you daughter might have about getting her period.

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  • The book is easy-to-read for young tweens with questions
  • Covers the basics of what a girl needs to know
  • Includes a pull-out guide just for parents
  • Information is presented in a friendly and knowing voice 


  • The illustrations are a bit dated, but the information is so helpful you really don't notice


  • Avoids mention of sex education issues, which is either a pro or a con, depending on your point-of-view.
  • Peer input helps give the book a friendly tone and offers up advice in subtle ways.
  • The parent's pull-out guide offers advice on talking about menstruation, television ads, and even offers advice for fathers.
  • Sections on menstrual pads and tampons should answer any questions a girl might have.

Guide Review - A Review of Period, A Girl's Guide to Menstruation

With more than 200,000 copies in print, Period, A Girl's Guide has walked nervous tweenage girls through the anxieties of puberty since the first edition was published in 1979.

This period book is a simple resource for girls (and their parents) on what every girl should know about her body and menstrual cycle. The book is an ideal resource for any girl who has questions, or any parent who wants to arm her daughter with information and good advice.

Written in simple language, and in a friendly, helpful tone, this period book avoids mention of sex education and doesn't attempt to educate girls about dating, safe sex, or other issues that many other puberty resources include.

That can either make Period, A Girl's Guide an ideal option for your daughter, or lacking in information, depending on your point of view and what you want your tween to know and understand.

Answering Questions About Her Period: The Book Breakdown

The content of this period book is divided into the following chapters:

  • So Many Changes
  • So Many Parts
  • Menstruation
  • Pads or Tampons?
  • I Have a Question About That
  • Why Do I Feel This Way?
  • What is a Pelvic Exam?
  • Index
  • For-The-Record (A keepsake certificate for girls to remember when they got their first period)
  • Calendar-To-Use (To keep track of monthly periods)
  • A Parent's Guide (A separate pull-out section for parents to keep and review before talking with their daughters about getting their periods)

As the book's title indicates, Period, A Girl's Guide offers girls the opportunity to learn more about their menstrual cycles and a lot that comes with menstruation such as PMS, cramps, mood swings, etc. A section devoted to helping girls understand tampons and menstrual pads is very useful to any girl who has questions about what they're for or how to use them.

Parents should keep in mind that this period book truly focuses on menstruation. Other puberty issues of concern to tweens (such as shaving, breast development, body image, etc.) aren't really addressed in this resource.


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