Cycling to Grandma's House

Cycling to Grandma's House

Luna has a challenge from her teacher."Find out the most incredible
characteristic of being a girl or boy.  Then present it to the class on Monday."
But she is flummoxed - what was so special about her that would connect her to
every other girl in her town? Knowing she could rely on her to solve the
problem, Luna asks hers mother who tells her she does have an idea but "only the
most courageous girl in our town could do a whole project about it."  Luna is
intrigued, particularly when her mother says she will have to cycle around town
to speak to a lot of women and that it connects not only them but also girls all
around the world. And it is then the Luna learns about menarche, a girl's first
period, and how different cultures celebrate this critical coming-of-age event.

Luna is excited by the idea and decides to head for her Mexican grandmother's
house to find out more.  On her way she meets her friends from a host of
countries and cultures, and when she explains why she is cycling to Grandma's
house, they share their stories of how menarche is treated and greeted. She
learns much in such a short trip! When Luna presents her project at school on
Monday, she is bombarded with questions, each of which every girl is likely to
ask and Luna realises that cycling to Grandma's has been the discovery of a

With a granddaughter who is likely to reach this milestone in the next couple of
years, I was eager to review a book that addressed an issue not normally
featured in a fictional setting. Yes, there are many non-fiction resources
available that present the physical facts about menstruation but to find
something that addresses the emotional side and could such a great be a
conversation starter between mother and daughter is rare.  Well-written in a
format that straddles the picture book-novel bridge, and beautifully illustrated
with bright, engaging pictures, this is a book that needs to be in every
library.  We need to de-mystify this important event and help our girls to take
it as another stride in their journey to independent adulthood, as well as
ensuring our boys are informed so they are compassionate rather than

The mission of the team <>  behind this book is to
"empower communities everywhere to understand and address the barriers women
face around menstruation". This book is certainly a step in that direction.

 978-1483406374   Ages  9-13   48 pages

Recommended by:  Barbara Braxton, Teacher Librarian, New South Wales Australia

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