A Girl's Guide to Puberty & Periods


Product Details

Grow and Know
Publish Date
6.69 X 9.61 X 0.29 inches | 0.54 pounds

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About the Author

Marni Sommer, DrPH, MSN, RN, is a Professor at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Her areas of expertise include conducting participatory research with adolescents, understanding and promoting healthy transitions to adulthood, the intersection of public health and education, gender and sexual health, and the implementation and evaluation of adolescent-focused interventions. Dr. Sommer's current research focuses on the intersections of gender, health and education for girls and boys transitioning into adulthood around the world. Dr. Sommer has been working in global health for twenty-four years. Her research with girls in Tanzania formed the basis of the original book project. She continues to conduct research and advocacy on puberty, periods, and education globally. She founded Grow and Know, Inc. in 2010.
Maggie Schmitt, MPH, is an Associate Program Director at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University for over 10 years, working on a range of menstrual health, water and sanitation, adolescent health and health systems strengthening research programs in low-income countries. Her recent work has focused on the inclusion of menstrual health within humanitarian emergencies. Maggie also led with Dr. Sommer the Growing Girls USA project, a puberty and menstruation study exploring the experiences of low-income girls growing up in urban areas across the country.
Christine Hagstrom, MPH, is a Program Director at Cardea Services, where she supports school districts and youth-serving organizations across Washington State with sexual health education implementation and planning. While attending Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Christine served as a Lerner Centre Research Fellow, supporting qualitative research on puberty and menstruation. Previously, she worked as a Community Health Educator for Planned Parenthood.


"This book is a great conversation starter. It really helped my daughter and I begin to have these discussions in a comfortable way."

- Emily, Parent, Chicago

"The book was really interesting. It answered some questions I had and made me curious about my body and puberty."

- Laura, Age 9, Connecticut

"The overall message is that puberty and menstruation are perfectly natural and normal. The relaxed, friendly tone will help allay young people's worries even when it comes to anxious scenarios..."

- Kirkus Reviews

"Going above and beyond the standard information covered in most puberty books, this illustrated guide explains female puberty in a fresh and inclusive voice."

- Common Sense Media

"A helpful, inviting breakdown of what puberty looks like for girls, with an emphasis on the uniqueness of every body."

- BookLife

"This puberty book for girls is unique in that it provides not only the medical/health information from professionals but also real-life "my first period" stories from girls all over the U.S. Very approachable but still packed with answers to girls' questions."

- The Thoughtful Parent

"An important point of differentiation from other popular puberty books is that this new offering provides "my first period" stories and advice from diverse girls across the U.S. to help young women understand that everything they're going through is normal. Parents will appreciate that the book incorporates factual health content and practical tips developed by adolescent health experts at Columbia University."

- L.A. Parent

"...the graphic novel includes a refreshing dose of racial, ethnic, family, and body diversity in the girls depicted. Unlike lots of books that include discussions of sex, gender, or relationships, A Girl's Guide is pretty singularly focused on what puberty means for cis-girls."

- Romper