Free Period Hardcover by Ali Terese
Cover illustration by Steffi Walthall. Cover design by Maeve Norton. Copyright Scholastic 2023.

Free Period

Kids’ Indies Next Pick! – American Booksellers Association

Earphones Award Winner! – AudioFile Magazine

Powell’s Pick of the Month! – Powell’s Books

Amazon Editor Pick for Ages 9-12! – Amazon.com

Amazon Best Books of the Year So Far! – Amazon.com

Kobo Book of the Month! – Rakuten Kobo

Rad Reads Pick! – Girls’ Life Magazine

Fiercely Fictional Pick! – YAYOMG! Magazine

Children’s Book Council Pick! – CBC

Summer Books Rec Pick – Goodreads

Summer Reading Program Pick – Walmart

Library Staff Pick – Chicago Public Library

“This book is a MUST READ. I absolutely adored it!” – Lisa Greenwald, author of the TBH series

“An absolutely fantastic read about period equity, friendship, direct action, and good trouble.” – Teen Librarian Toolbox

“Punchy, electric, and smart social commentary.” – Kirkus Reviews

“It was absolute fire.” – Book Riot

From the publisher: “This middle-grade Moxie centering period equity is Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. for the next generation!

Helen and Gracie are pranking their way through middle school when a stinky stunt lands them in the front office — again. Because nothing else has curbed their chaos, the principal orders the best friends to do the unthinkable: care about something. So they join the school’s Community Action Club with plans to do as little as humanly possible.

But when Helen is caught unprepared by an early period and bleeds through her pants — they were gold lamé! — the girls take over the club’s campaign for maxi pads in bathrooms for all students who menstruate. In the name of period equity, the two friends use everything from over-the-top baked goods to glitter gluing for change. But nothing can prepare them for a clueless school board (ew), an annoying little sister (ugh), and crushes (oh my!).

As Helen and Gracie find themselves closer to change and in deeper trouble than ever before, they must decide if they care enough to keep going . . . even if it costs them their friendship.”

Reviews:

“This spirited coming-of-age story brings menstruation and period equity to the fore…Punchy, electric, and smart social commentary.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Every character in this story is dialed up to 11, which is amazing. The whole time I was reading this I kept wanting to interrupt people around me and be like, listen to how amazing this is! Oh my god! Where have these characters been all my life? Wait… do I miss middle school?!…An absolutely fantastic read about period equity, friendship, direct action, and good trouble.” – Amanda MacGregor in Teen Librarian Toolbox, a School Library Journal Blog

“This story is a non-stop, rollicking look at how to harness creativity for social change.” – Stephanie Tournas in Youth Services Book Review

“It was absolute fire…I was instantly charmed by the badass main protagonists and the book’s overall sense of humor. But as I made my way through the entire book, what I was really blown away by was how such a fun story managed to pack so much punch, imparting lessons not only about menstrual equity but also about friendship and the various ways there are to engage in activism.” – Steph Auteri in Book Riot

“What a fun and smart read! I love this book, and I think kids will too. Free Period is about standing up for equity, taking the shame out of periods, making mistakes, making things right, and friends who don’t give up when the going gets tough. It’s about middle school: the good, the bad, and the stinky—and growing up, not only physically, but in heart and mind as well. Free Period is everything I love in a great coming-of-age story for middle school readers.” — Seira Wilson in Amazon Editors’ Picks

“Josephine Huang and Cassandra Morris join forces to deliver the captivating story of best friends in this exceptional middle-grade audiobook. Helen, voiced by Huang, and Gracie, portrayed by Morris, are known for their mischievous antics. Their latest escapade leads them to join the Community Action Club, currently dedicated to promoting period equity. Morris’s dynamic narration and vibrant dialogue capture Gracie’s wholehearted embrace of the cause. While Helen is initially hesitant about participating in the project, her perspective shifts when an unexpected period lands her in the school nurse’s office. Huang portrays Helen’s skepticism with nuanced pacing and just the right inflection. Together, the narrators’ skillful delivery will immerse listeners in this compelling story. S.K.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.” – AudioFile Magazine

“The author of this funny and important novel is not from Minnesota. But that doesn’t matter because this heartfelt and inventive debut about “period equity” will help middle-schoolers learn about menstruation and adults’ disinterest in the topic, even though girls this age might need pads during the school day that are locked away in the nurse’s office — if there even is a nurse on site.” – Marry Ann Grossman in The Pioneer Press

“Terese spins a rollicking and timely tale of period equity in which eighth graders on the cusp of big change learn how to collaborate with others and how to use their creative, intellectual, and mayhem-causing talents to enact meaningful change.” – Publishers Weekly

“If you’re asking us, Free Period is a must-read. It’s a heartfelt and inspiring story led by two prank queens with an affinity for fart jokes with a supremely important message every kid should care about – period equity. It’ll leave you longing to be a part of their friend group and fired up to make waves at your own school.” – YAYOMG! Magazine

“Ali Terese’s debut novel had me laughing, smiling and groaning at the relatability. By striking a balance between entertaining and educational, Free Period will encourage everyone to want to make a difference in their world.” – Alex Faccibene in Geek Girl Authority

Advance Praise:

“This book is the period equity anthem we’ve been waiting generations to read. It glitters with humor and shows us the power that comes from staring down injustice. Free Period is about to start something BIG.” – Carrie Firestone, author of Dress Coded

“A funny and fast-paced story about two steadfast best friends who refuse to go with the flow. It has everything I love: friendship, family drama, and first crushes, plus period equity, loyalty, and standing up for what you believe in. A smart book!” – Debbi Michiko Florence, author of Keep it Together, Keiko Carter

“This book is a MUST READ. I absolutely adored it!” – Lisa Greenwald, author of the TBH series

The Cuterus Uterus Crew

VOTES FOR G.O.A.T.S

Launching Fall 2025 from Aladdin / S&S, VOTES FOR G.O.A.T.S is a laugh-out-loud romp and hijinks-fueled TED LASSO for middle grade readers: When a burned-out soccer star and a chronically ill overachiever are framed for stealing their middle school’s mascot, the girls assemble a heist squad to rescue Babette, clear their names, and change their school forever. And if Meg and Jo can discover who they are outside of everyone else’s expectations, they just may be able to fight for true freedom for their four-legged, sweater-chewing friend. Mayhem, double-double crosses, all the banter, activism, big shenanigans, and even bigger feelings await!

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