BOOK REVIEW: It’s That Time of the Month

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“It’s That Time of the Month” (by Olivia Brinkley and the Hey Girls Team) is an
informative, factual book designed to help young people who are soon to menstruate for the
first time. It’s not very long, but it’s packed with helpful information conveyed in direct, clear

I read this first by myself. I’ve got quite a few years of experience with menstruation, and to
my eye, this was both accurate and straightforward. It’s a pretty good summary of the
experience of menstruating, particularly in the first few months when you’re still getting a
grip on it all.

The authors don’t mince words; the tone is direct and without flourishes. It’s easy to
understand, and although it leans towards simple rather than complex, it doesn’t feel like it’s
talking down to its audience.

I then gave this to my Miss Nine, and sat near her while she read it. This was a really
illuminating experience. I’d already talked Miss Nine through menstruation, and thought she
had a reasonable grip on it (she hasn’t had personal experience yet). Despite that, she found
the book helpful and it caused her to ask me questions. It was a really good catalyst for us.
For example, it pointed up a few things I hadn’t gone into enough detail on. I’d talked a lot
about how menstruation works, but not a lot about how you manage it. The section on
tampons, pads, period cups, and period underwear prompted a lot of questions and was of
great interest to Miss Nine.

This is one of the best things about this book if you’re giving it to a young person: it may
cover areas you’ve forgotten or skimmed over. It also gives them the language to ask

Master Twelve overheard us talking, and he chimed in with questions. Again, we’d discussed
the basics, but he had questions about details. So I’d say this book is also quite handy for
young people who are unlikely to ever menstruate; after all, they’ll know people who will,
and it’s ideal if they understand what’s happening.

Although this is largely very informative, there were a couple of things that were missed.
They didn’t really touch on the fact that it’s normal for periods to be irregular when they first
arrive (and that’s part of the value of the period tracker they include). A glossary of terms
might also have helped. While each word used is carefully and clearly defined in the text, as
she progressed, Miss Nine went back and forth several times to check that she wasn’t
confusing some words. A glossary might have made this easier.

It’s really hard to write a book that’s fairly short and straightforward, and which doesn’t leave
anything out. The authors have largely succeeded. This is informative, accurate and helpful,
and also a good catalyst for discussion with a trusted adult. I’ll be suggesting Miss Nine re-
read it when her period first arrives.

ISBN: 9 781739 604103
Copy courtesy of Hey Girls (2022)

You can get your copy here.

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