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Sweet Secrets: Stories of Menstruation

by Kathleen O'Grady and Paula Wansbrough.
Toronto: Second Story Press, 1997.
ISBN: 0-929005-33-3

Sweet Secrets: Stories of Menstruation

This book is available for immediate online purchase. You will receive a discount price by following the link above to Amazon.com.

Adolescent Health/Parenting

Short stories and factual information about menstruation.

The ideal resource for

  • adolescent girls anticipating their first period
  • all young women who want to learn more about the changes that a woman's body goes through during this time in her life.

In her diary, Anne Frank describes the coming of her period as a "sweet secret," a step toward womanhood she anticipates with wonder, joy, confusion and fear. Girls today often experience this time of their lives with the same mixture of emotions. Focusing on their concerns and questions about menstruation, and supplemented by clearly articulated health information, this unique collection of short stories aims to reassure and enlighten.

Coming from different generations and cultures the characters in the stories ask questions all girls ask -- What's going on with my body?; What does menstruation feel like? and How will my friends react? Unlike the standard "just-the-facts" approach, this book of short stories and factual information provides the reader with her very own confidantes, others who share a common experience.

Sweet Secrets is particularly ideal for initiating discussions between parents and their daughters about sexuality and growing up. Sweet Secrets dispels the myths with current, up-to-date health information about menstruation. A unique and reassuring collection, it empowers young women to celebrate this rite of passage with informed confidence.


Sweet Secrets is an approachable, invigorating resource for young women and an ideal health information tool. I particularly love how the authors integrate ecological concerns throughout the book. How unique to hear young women's stories too!
-- Debbie Honickman, MD

If you have female children this book is for you and for them.
-- Sue Johanson, RN, Sex Therapist, Television and Radio Host

This new anthology combines adult reminiscences and candid adolescent reactions to menarche and menstruation with factual explanations and multicultural and anthropological data. It covers the emotional aspects of menstruation in addition to the usual sex-and-hygiene-agenda of health class....This book builds on ground broken by other pioneers....This work's value lies in its friendly combination of first-person anecdotes, interviews, and stories....The impressive list of contributors includes doctors, social workers, teen advocates, and feminist journalists, and of course the teens who shared their own experiences.
-- Mary Beaty, Quill & Quire

About the authors:

Kathleen O'Grady is currently completing her PhD at Cambridge University, England. She has published several journal and book articles in the area of philosophy, religious studies and feminist theory.

Paula Wansbrough is a youth and community worker in downtown Toronto. She teaches sex education, computer and Internet skills and is the former supervising editor of Venus: A Young Women's Health Newsletter. She has her MA in Religion and Cultural Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University.

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