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HelloFlo: The Guide, Period.: The Everything Puberty Book for the Modern Girl

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What we love most about this book (which we'll be gifting to our tween cousins, nieces, and daughters!) is the empowering message woven throughout: that 'your body is your body, ' as Bloom puts it, and you're the only one who gets to decide what to do with it. -- Health.com

"Full of practical advice, helpful explanations, and messages of encouragement...Period." -- Parents.com

From the founder of HelloFlo, a modern and insightful guide to periods and puberty for a new generation

When will I get boobs?
Does wearing a tampon hurt?
What's the deal with menstrual cups?
Seriously, when will I get boobs?

Honest, funny, and unafraid of the messy, real-life facts about a girl's changing body, this is definitely not your mother's puberty book. HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom's mission is to create informed, empowered young women who are unafraid to ask questions and make the best choices for themselves and their bodies. A celebration of women's bodies and all the confusing, uncomfortable, silly, transformative, and powerful changes that occur during puberty.

This full-color book--written by HelloFlo founder, Naama Bloom, and journalist Glynnis MacNicol--features bright, diverse, approachable illustrations and infographics, doctor-vetted information, and personal testimonials from real girls and women.

176 pages, Paperback

First published October 17, 2017

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Naama Bloom

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews
Profile Image for La Coccinelle.
2,245 reviews3,563 followers
July 26, 2018
Admittedly, I haven't read very many... uh... period books. At my age, I figured there wasn't much more I could learn, but I was still hoping to be pleasantly surprised. While this book had a few surprises and I did learn a few things I hadn't known before, most of that information came as more of an unpleasant shock.

So... what did I learn? I learned that you're not supposed to flush tampons. (Surprise, ladies! If you're an adult, you probably remember hearing about how flushable those little white mice were. Turns out... not so much.) I learned that there's such a thing as "free-bleeding", which smacks of privilege. (Unless you can afford to replace all your undies and pants every month when they inevitably get stained, you're probably not in a position to do this. Also, if you live in a place where menstruating is still viewed as some sort of evil voodoo, you'll probably want to skip this practice.) I also learned that everything is normal. Even when it's not. Unfortunately, the book doesn't really give its young readers a way to figure out the difference.

This book normalizes pretty much everything. Even poor little girls having to deal with their periods at the age of eight. What were you doing when you were eight? I know I wasn't prowling the feminine hygiene-product aisle... and if that had been the case, I almost certainly would've been whisked off to a doctor because that sort of thing was not normal when I was a kid. That's what was known as precocious puberty back then. Sure, more little girls may get their periods at earlier ages, so it's technically "normal", but it's not optimal. If the body starts having a period because it's getting ready to be able to make babies, does it really make sense to do this a decade or more before that talent will be required?

This book had some interesting little timelines that showed the progression of societal preferences for things like breast size, pubic-hair styling, and eyebrows. Those were neat, and I wish there had been more stuff like that. The rest of the book, though (especially the layout) left me cold. At times, I felt like I was looking at a slapped-together PowerPoint presentation with corny illustrations, uninteresting fonts, and typos. I don't know how much of the amateurish look was because of the e-book format, or if the print editions look different. Based on the version I read, though, I have to say I wasn't that impressed.

I think the main problem I had, though, was that the book spends so much time telling girls that nearly everything they're experiencing is normal that it completely leaves out any sort of help or advice for what to do when things go wrong. When the rates for things like PCOS and endometriosis are at something like 10% each, you'd expect that those things would be covered in a book about the workings of the female body. But they aren't. Also, the last chapter that talks about how important female friendships are (The BEST! The best relationships you'll ever have!) seems really tone-deaf in an era where more and more girls are struggling with conditions and disorders (autism, anxiety, chronic illnesses, etc.) that leave them socially isolated. Yeah, sure, it would be nice if everyone had a best girl pal they could turn to when times get tough. But that's not the case for everyone, and even reading this as an adult, I felt kind of insulted and left out; I can only imagine how a lonesome middle-schooler would feel reading that chapter.

Overall, this was a disappointment. The normalization of everything (which took up space that could've been used for addressing problems a large number of girls are going to experience) and the weak aesthetic turned what could've been a useful book into something I wouldn't bother recommending to anyone.
Profile Image for K.W. Colyard.
Author 1 book17 followers
December 30, 2017

There are plenty of great puberty books out there for young people with vaginas. Helloflo: The Guide, Period.: The Everything Puberty Book for the Modern Girl is not one of them. Written by HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom and stamped with her company branding, The Guide, Period promises to be a fantastic addition to a pre-teen's arsenal of body-awareness books, but it simply doesn't deliver.

The Guide, Period opens with the declaration that, "There is no such thing as clean underwear. At least for a girl." Yes, you read that correctly. This reviewer waited for Bloom to walk back her shocking claims with a Psyche. J/K. That's what society wants you to believe, but trust me, your underwear are not dirty. Unfortunately, that retraction never comes.

Instead, The Guide, Period goes on to compare the production of vaginal discharge as the body's "own personal dairy section." Bloom claims that "[i]f you know what [vaginal discharge] is for, it can be magical," but "[i]f you don't, it's shameful, confounding, embarrassing." Her puberty book never quite gets to that magical place, however. By insinuating that the vagina-owner's underwear is in a perpetual state of uncleanness, The Guide, Period plays into age-old hygiene myths that it does not manage to refute. Bloom's lactose-laden comparisons haunt the rest of the book.

Look, I get it. The Guide, Period wants to be "real" with young people who have vaginas, to level with them by saying, You feel pretty gross sometimes, huh? Unfortunately, it chooses to agree — Yeah, you are pretty gross. — and treat discharge as a pollutant, instead of declaring the day-to-day workings of the uterus and vagina as a process both normal and hygienic, one that is only considered dirty or soiled because of centuries of oppression.

The treatment of the vagina as "messy" — a word used frequently throughout The Guide, Period — is far from the only problem with the book. By using language that equates menstruating and having a vagina with being female, Bloom's puberty guide leaves out trans and non-binary pre-teens in its discussion of the developing body. The Guide, Period also contains no information about the health benefits of retaining one's pubic hair, and the inclusion of an anecdote about 16th century women shaving to avoid contracting pubic lice tips the scales in favor of hair removal. All of these flaws add up to a very disappointing book from one of the biggest names in menstrual products.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.

Profile Image for Laela.
796 reviews20 followers
July 30, 2019
I have spent so much time looking a puberty books. Let me tell you there are some really dated books out there. Things that are are still popular are THE WORST. This is the first book that I have found that looks at periods as if it is not a shameful thing. They also discuss at least five different ways to handle menstruation. There is a big section on how brains change and how that might effect an adolescent.

If you need this kind of book choose this one. Bypass those American Girl ones...Please... I beg you.
Profile Image for Vicki.
565 reviews
April 3, 2018
Tonally, this seems a little above middle grade sometimes, but it's very sincere, and I genuinely learned a few things. I would have liked this as a resource when I was a kid!

I loved the diversity of women represented as well!
Profile Image for Kelli.
62 reviews
January 7, 2019
Upon reading the reviews, I guess some people would say they just aren't a fan of this book. I actually found this book to have pretty useful information for girls about to go through a huge change (puberty). I wanted something on hand for when the time comes for my child. This book covers a lot of ground in an informational yet light-hearted way. It is a great tool to have when sometimes as a parent we are not quite sure where to start! It's also an easy/quick read for the parents wanting to preview (like I did) before they give to their child.
Profile Image for Liz.
702 reviews8 followers
November 29, 2018
A complete look at puberty for teens and tweens. It talks about what's happening and when with your body. I like that it does not give hard, medical timelines and it's honest flexibility with our bodily changes. The illustrations are a not in the typical scary medical way and help making the information visual without being laughable. (The teen girls at the library seem at least mildly interested openly and sneak more serious peeks when they think no one is looking.)

I like the options and frank discussions in the book. In particular, I like that it mentions re-usable and eco-friendly options for your period.

I was not familiar with helloflo before reading this book, but I think they are a positive, contemporary sex ed/health site for all women. There's even a place to ask questions and read questions from other women.
Profile Image for Anna Denomey.
57 reviews2 followers
March 7, 2020
Real and shame-free. I appreciated the honesty and I even learned a thing or two.
Profile Image for Brett Barger.
5 reviews1 follower
April 17, 2018
Okay, strange that a guy read this book and is reviewing it- I know. But I read this book for a class on middle level literature, and this book was so different from the other ones that we were reading and I think that it had a lot of valuable information for biologically female, middle grade readers and their families.

One part of this book that stuck out to me was the use of the styles throughout the ages. I think its fascinating that girls today can see the different styles of eyebrows or breasts and know that things are ever-changing, so who cares if you do not have large breasts, because that style is probably going to change in a few years anyways.

Every chapter focuses on a different issue that a young woman going through puberty will experience and it gives her some information so that she can become more confident in herself and her body. Imagine googling "pubic hair," and what do you think you are going to get? a few articles for preteens about pubic hair, or pornographic images? Truthfully I do not know, and do not care to look at a plethora of pornographic pubic hair images- so I am going to be safe and just assume that this book has a lot more information about it!

This book is important because it stays unchanging. Wikipedia could be useful to learn about these things, but those pages are subject to change by anyone who has an account whereas Naama Bloom's wok is permanent. It gives different perspectives and she gets a lot of clout at the end of the book when she brings everything back to herself and we get to see the woman behind it all.

This book is fantastic for young women who are beginning to see a lot of changes in themselves. And I strongly recommend it to these girls and their parents.
Profile Image for Loretta.
88 reviews1 follower
February 18, 2023
Decent introduction to the topic of puberty for girls, but it is missing what I think are probably key discussions of sexuality as a broader topic than reproductive facts. Oddly, it also ends with a discussion of the perils and joys of female friendship—not a bad thing, but a bit of a non-sequitur.
Profile Image for Lauren.
495 reviews21 followers
May 7, 2018
I don't quite know why I read this, I kind of got it as a joke because I'm 16 and I know about puberty, but I think this would be really helpful for young girls. Definitely important for kids to know and be prepared
April 13, 2023
Honest. In your face. Irreverent. Real. Talking about puberty in a way that feels open and safe for those who are beyond the American Girl style or cutesy versions.

The creator of HelloFlo has written a puberty book and it is glorious.

The intro will throw you. It very much reads like the Camp Gyno commercial in its hilarious, raunchy take on things. After that it tones down to a very appropriate for the 12 and up crowd read. It Does have anatomically correct (but tween friendly) illustrations, however some kids may still not be ready for the full frontal way of doing/saying things present in this book. Preview the book and take into account your child's personality. Some may enjoy the bestie chat/ girl-let-me-tell-you-the-whole-truth feeling, others may feel like this is TMI too soon. Read the room.

It covers without bias:
Boob history
Breast care and self exams
Pubic and body hair
Pubic hair removal options
Body hair history
Brain development
Emotions and mental health
Period care options
History of period care options

Uses inclusive language and has lots of direct Q&A bits with experts to answer questions from real kids. It provides information without judgement or preaching. It emphasizes that the only way/choice/option that is always right, is the one that feels right for the reader. It Shares anecdotes from kids and adults about their puberty experiences. Includes info from actual endocrinologists and mental health counselors.The author is candid. No euphemisms. No sugar coating. No glazing over the uncomfortable bits. It's all here.

As a parent, this was a 1 sitting read full really helpful and medically accurate information, shared without the morality lens. I am pretty flexible with what I let my 10yo read on her own, but this one would definitely come off better as a read aloud or read together, rather than a read and come talk to me. Partly because the style is out of her comfort zone in its direct approach and partly because even if she were twelve this might still be a little over her head.

I am glad that I read this first and made that discovery. Even so, I still would not hesitate to recommend this to families with older tween or early teen girls. While there is NO discussion of sex, being sexually active is mentioned once. Pregnancy/having a baby is referenced in terms of explaining what menstruation means biologically. There is a clear stress on the reader not being ready for such things as well.

Worth the read and the price.
22 reviews2 followers
January 17, 2020
I thought it was a really well-written, thoughtful approach to the subject. Only two complaints: The letter to parents was set into the main text of the book, and was not something I wanted my child to read. It would have been better at the beginning as an introduction or at the end as an appendix, where it would be less likely to be found by a younger reader. And in the section that actually addresses the practicalities of dealing with a period, there was no introductory defining of terms. I kept wondering what a young reader would think if they had never heard the word “tampon” or “pad,” or if they didn’t know how/why these were used. For the level of detail and practical tips given in the other sections of the book, this one was surprisingly sparse, and jumped into the middle of the subject. If I had been a totally naive, young reader (presumably the audience), I would have been a little lost. Maybe I could have pieced things together as the chapter went on, but it wasn’t methodically laid out in an easy-to-follow way.
4 reviews
April 16, 2018
HelloFlo: The Guide, Period is about puberty for girls. It is honest and funny! This book leaves out nothing as girls transition into women. There are many scary things about going through puberty and this book helps put nerves at ease! A cool feature that this book has is it incorporates the different trends throughout history. It also has honest and real questions/concerns that other girls and women have wondered/encountered.

This book also has information for parents and adults. As an adult it can be hard to remember what it was like to go through puberty; especially as times are changing socially. Overall this book provides great information and helps but girls at ease as they encounter the next stages of their life!

Profile Image for Amber.
98 reviews
October 6, 2018
I really liked this book, I thought that while it had a lot of facts about puberty and girl power, it also delivered in a very friendly tone. As I was reading it I thought the tone was very "older sister" or "cool aunt" giving the dirty on the dirty of puberty. I also loved that it wasn't all "sunshine and butterflies...this is a beautiful time in your life...etc." Because, let's face it, puberty can down right suck at times.

I plan on purchasing this book for my school library, but would also recommend it to mothers and daughters as a joint book read/study. It would be a great jumping off point in discussing all of those crazy things that seem to occur around puberty.
Profile Image for Kerrie.
225 reviews2 followers
January 14, 2018
I love this book. If you have a girl in your life headed towards or in the midst of puberty, this is the book they need and, I daresay, the book they want. It's honest and direct and relaxed, and empowering and tackles everything they're dealing with including changes in brain development. The inclusion of how women have tackled these various issues over time (along with reminders sprinkled throughout) helps to show girls that the best way to take care of your body is the way that feels comfortable for YOU, not necessarily what everyone else is doing.
Profile Image for Michelle Nelson.
338 reviews2 followers
January 23, 2021
I ordered this book from the library to check out for my daughter. If it was good, I was going to purchase it. It is not good.

The dedication says: “For the awkward girls trying to figure things out”

Now I am a nerdy Mom of nerdy kids so we’re all awkward here. But in this context, the use of “awkward” isn’t helpful. I want to give my daughter a book or two that helps her & encourages her that she’s not alone, that millions of girls across the globe are all going through the same season of life.

Page 1 lost me. Of course I want a book with some graphic detail because that’s likely what my daughter will need but not on page 1.

I don’t understand how this book made it’s way to publishing.

So far, I have found 2 much better picks:

“The Care & Keeping of You” 2 (American Girl series)


“The Period Book” by Karen Gravelle
Profile Image for Aeicha .
832 reviews101 followers
October 13, 2017
I so wish I had this book when I was a preteen! Naama Bloom takes readers on a wild puberty filled journey from girlhood to womanhood and everything in between. Wonderfully informative, easily accessible, and awesomely laugh-out-loud funny, Helloflo is daring, hip, and irresistible. Facts are presented in age appropriate, yet matter of fact, ways, with helpful diagrams and illustrations...and I love that Bloom doesn’t shy away from topics. Young girls will not only find Helloflo helpful and educational, but will find a sense of comfort and even excitement surrounding their changing bodies. I would love to put this in the hands of every preteen girl!
Profile Image for Melissa Orth.
356 reviews5 followers
January 14, 2018
Gave this book a quick skim before adding it to the teen collection at the library I work it. It’s a solid addition to puberty books, containing all the info an adolescent female needs to know about physical changes of puberty. It contains the welcome message of “this is normal” throughout the book and reinforced in q&a sidebars. Contains both interesting historical trivia such as the origins of tamping plus up to date information on menstrual cups and period panties.
Profile Image for Maybe Lee.
4 reviews2 followers
November 16, 2020
I wish educators would supply this book or make it a mandatory reading for a sex Ed class. The book is short, informative, and has some really great illustrations for younger audiences that don't look like they come from science textbooks. I even learned some information that I didn't know before! Naama Bloom gets straight to the point without getting too technical and empowers young girls with the information they need to get through puberty.
Profile Image for Caitlin Allen.
12 reviews
January 27, 2023
I enjoyed this. It goes into enough detail on physical puberty for girls but it is not so overwhelming. There is a lot about emotions and not feeling alone. How to talk to family and friends if your struggling etc. that I really enjoyed. This will probably be one of the buy I give my 8 year old in a few month to year. I would say it’s a tad above a 2nd grade reading level so it may be something you read together or be prepared for questions.
Profile Image for Kate Callen.
224 reviews1 follower
January 28, 2020
Reading through puberty books to decide which ones to give/read with my 9yo in what order is scary. This one feels quite text heavy, although she might be fine with that, depending on how interesting she finds that text. I didn't like the introduction much (way too wordy with odd assumptions of prior knowledge), but once beyond that it is good.
38 reviews
January 29, 2018
Perfect intro for middle school age girls on the cusp of puberty. Particularly good for ones a bit uncomfortable with the subject. Not super in depth but provides some interesting background and presents information in a light but informative manner.
Profile Image for Beth Wemple.
46 reviews
February 12, 2018
I think my daughter referred to this as the “punk rock period book” or some such thing. Great for adolescents, a fun and engrossing book that is much more interesting and useful than those little pink “welcome to womanhood” pamphlets we used to have to read.
143 reviews
July 5, 2022
Overall I loved the content of this book and think it is great for preteen and teenage girls, the only thing I didn’t like is them saying women needed to wear bras to prevent their breasts from sagging. Your boobs will sag with time, not because you don’t wear a bra.
Profile Image for Dani.
580 reviews
August 23, 2022
A very good take on female/AFAB puberty. I wish this was around for me to read way back when. I liked how validating it was on the crazy experience that puberty is because it takes everyone a looooong time to find their normal (and to figure out that they're normal is normal). Good stuff!
Profile Image for Juli.
3 reviews
December 24, 2017
Fantastic introduction to a subject that is sometimes difficult to approach. All the tween girls I know will be getting a copy from me.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews

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