redMy Little Red Bookedited by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff

Published: Feb 2009 by Twelve


My Little Red Book is an anthology of stories about first periods, collected from women of all ages from around the world. The accounts range from light-hearted (the editor got hers while water skiing in a yellow bathing suit) to heart-stopping (a first period discovered just as one girl was about to be strip-searched by the Nazis). The contributors include well-known women writers (Meg Cabot, Erica Jong, Gloria Steinem, Cecily von Ziegesar), alongside today’s teens. And while the authors differ in race, faith, or cultural background, their stories share a common bond: they are all accessible, deeply honest, and highly informative. Whatever a girl experiences or expects, she’ll find stories that speak to her thoughts and feelings.

Ultimately, My Little Red Book is more than a collection of stories. It is a call for a change in attitude, for a new way of seeing periods. In a time when the taboo around menstruation seems to be one of the few left standing, it makes a difficult subject easier to talk about, and helps girls feel proud instead of embarrassed or ashamed. By revealing what it feels like to undergo this experience first hand, and giving women the chance to explain their feelings in their own words, it aims to provide support, entertainment, and a starting point for discussion for mothers and daughters everywhere. It is a book every girl should have. Period.

My thoughts:

This is a great collection of stories about a subject that’s rarely mentioned.  Some were truly touching and some were laugh out loud funny, but it’s something all women go through. I think that the book brings up periods, allows it to be a topic, is great. My daughter’s a little young to share it with now, but I’m definitly going to hold onto it. It is a great starting point for Moms and daughters to discuss periods, but it’s important for Dads, too. When I told my husband about what I was reading, he asked, “When does that happen, anyway?” and, really, how would he know. He didn’t have any sisters and, when we were in school, we sure didn’t discuss periods with the boys.

About the editor:

Rachel Kauder Nalebuff was initially embarrassed by her first period, but the power of these recollections has rubbed off. She has come to embrace her own story (and has even used it as a conversation starter). Rachel is on a gap year before heading to Yale. In her free time, she plays guitar, rides/falls off her unicycle, and indulges in late-night pie baking with friends.

She is donating all the proceeds of My Little Red Book to women’s health charities so that this book may benefit girls beyond its readers.

Other info:

For additional stories, video and more information, you can visit

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a review copy.


  • I keep reading good reviews about this book. We were very open about our periods at my house when I was growing up. My dad took it all in stride and never acted like it was an odd thing to talk about in front of him. Sometimes I wonder what was going through his head at the time.

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