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Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories by BIPOC Authors
Candlewick Press (2023)
Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories by BIPOC Authors

For Angela, it came on the basketball court—while playing on the boys’ team. For Penny, it came on a lakeside field trip, inspiring some cringeworthy moments of humor. And to Layla’s disappointment, it came at the start of her first fasting Ramadan, mandating that she take a “holiday.” Whether their period’s coming spurs silence or celebration, whether they are well prepared for it or totally in the dark, the young people in these sixteen stories find that getting a period brings not only changes to their bodies, but also joy, sorrow, and self-discovery. Featuring BIPOC contributors who are some of today’s most talented authors in middle-grade fiction, Calling the Moon offers coming-of-age stories and poetry as varied as the phases of the moon, from funny to heartbreaking to powerful, all of them reassuring readers that they are not alone in their period journey.

“In this uplifting anthology of stories and poems about menstruation, 16 BIPOC writers, including Saadia Faruqi, Nikki Grimes, Erin Entrada Kelly, Christina Soontornvat, and the volume’s editors, share tales that are by turns warm, funny, and empowering. . . . Honest and tender, these works explore themes of grief, friendship, and belonging against varied backdrops and intersectional identities. . . a love letter to all who menstruate, one that’s both welcoming and inclusive—particularly to those experiencing their first period.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Sixteen short stories and poems from well-known and award-winning authors explore how young people experience and celebrate their periods. . . . a memorable anthology featuring uniformly strong entries from broadly diverse voices that delve into the subject matter in ways ideally suited to the target audience. A powerful, vibrant, and empowering celebration of an important milestone.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This collection of short stories and poems from talented middle grade authors reassures readers that they are not alone, while conveying that every person’s experience may differ. . . this coming-of-age experience is presented as universal and relatable. . . . much-needed.”
—School Library Connection (starred review)

“This collection of 16 stories by celebrated BIPOC middle-grade authors captures the onset of menses from culturally diverse perspectives. . . Readers will find common threads of honesty, vulnerability, and often humor. . . Through the uplifting messages of self-discovery and affirmations of identity, readers are encouraged to think beyond the social stigma attached to menstruation and are offered assurance and connection with others going through similar experiences. An essential, compelling, and unique addition addressing a universal topic from a wide range of perspectives.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“The stories have broad appeal and are unified by a common thread of growing up. Issues related to race and gender, immigration status, and language diversity are set alongside culturally rich narratives about a singular and pivotal life event, giving young people an opportunity to feel seen, and less alone.”
—The Horn Book


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