A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Brief biographies of female activists. Facts about menstruation and human biology.
Stand up for your beliefs even if you get in trouble for them. Stand by your friends, and be willing to make and receive apologies that come from the heart.
Positive Role Models
Parents are supportive of the girls, and the girls show great communication and emotionally healthy friendships.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mild flirting. One of the girls starts to realize a same-sex attraction.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Go with the Flow, a graphic novel by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann, takes on the often taboo subjects of menstruation and "period activism" with heart, humor, and a maturity just right for young readers. Readers who find the topic a little embarrassing will see the word "period" used so often that it becomes casual conversation within the book. Any young girl who has had her period at school can relate to the dread of unstocked feminine product machines in bathrooms, the terror of blood showing on pants, and the wish that periods would just go away forever. The support the girls show their diverse friend group is powerful, and a great example of female friendship at an especially vulnerable age. The girls feel comfortable talking about their periods and bodies, and about their frustrations with others and each other. The captivating illustrations are all in various shades of red, getting lighter and darker with the girls' varying tone throughout the story. Readers this age are often shy to talk about their crushes, and the panels here show the varying levels of understanding about their same- and opposite-sex attractions. There are also pages of facts about female activists, the taxes applied to feminine hygiene products, and a section at the end of the book about the different kinds of periods women have, period pain, and how to be a period activist.
Is It Any Good?
There's so much to love about the honest, loving friendships in this graphic novel, and the realistic, vulnerable ways conversations about menstruation fit into their lives. Every period is different, and Go with the Flow shows both the physical and financial costs, and empowers women to stand up together to normalize a biological function. The honesty between the girls never seems forced, especially when Abby's period activism starts to affect them all, and every person in their diverse friend group has a valuable perspective. The red tones in the illustrations are on topic, and a brilliant way to convey mood and action.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.