Stories for Girls
selected by Erszi Deak and Kristin Embry Litchman
Reviewed March 29, 2003.
HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2003. 144 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF PER)
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003:
#3, Short Story Collections
Starred book on Bank Street College's Best Children's Books of the Year list,
This book is a collection someone should have thought of long ago:
Stories about girls getting their periods for the first time. I
had trouble deciding whether to list it as Children’s Fiction or Young
Adult, because of course it’s for girls making the transition between being
children and becoming young adults. I decided to list it as a children’s
book, since of course we’re more curious about that transition before
it occurs. This book makes fun, nostalgic reading for older women,
too. I found it to be the perfect piece of brain candy for a crampy
The stories are warm and delightful. There are scenes of embarrassment,
anticipation, consternation and exhilaration. My favorite is Bobbi
Katz’s hilarious story of a girl putting a pad to use before she knew what
it was for. Most of all, they are stories about growing up, something
all women can relate to.
This collection is perfect for girls on the brink of puberty.
They show that everyone’s different, but none of us is alone. What
better way to show that than through story?
I do want to add a word about my rating system. I rate the
books by the amount that I enjoyed them and don’t even review books I
don’t enjoy. In some ways, that’s not fair to a book like this that
is written for a specific niche. If I were a girl 10-12 years old,
or even had a daughter that age, I probably would have given it four stars.
As it is, I enjoyed it in a nostalgic sense, but I’m not exactly its target
Many of the children’s nonfiction books may get lower ratings for
this same reason. I rate them based on how much I enjoy them, not
on how much they might appeal to their target audience, since then I
would only be guessing. As I said, I’m not sure that this is completely
fair, but it means I don’t have to try to guess how other readers will
Another way you can think of my ratings is this: Four- and
Five-star books are definitely worth owning. One- and Two-start
books are worth checking out of the library. Three-star books are
somewhere in between. For some people, they will be worth buying.
In the case of Period Pieces,
it will be those people who have pre-teen
girls in their family.
Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund. All
-top of page-