Go with the flow

Lily Williams

Book - 2020

"Sophomores Abby, Brit, Christine, and Sasha are fed up. Hazelton High never has enough tampons. Or pads. Or adults who will listen. Sick of an administration that puts football before female health, the girls confront a world that shrugs--or worse, squirms--at the thought of a menstruation revolution. They band together to make a change. It's no easy task, especially while grappling with everything from crushes to trig to JV track but they have each others backs. That is, until one of... the girls goes rogue, testing the limits of their friendship and pushing the friends to question the power of their own voices. Now they must learn to work together to raise each other up. But how do you stand your ground while raising bloody hell?"--Provided by publisher.

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Subjects
Genres
Graphic novels
School comics
Comics (Graphic works)
Coming-of-age comics
Published
New York, NY : First Second [2020]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
327 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Audience
10+ years.
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
1250305721
9781250305725
9781250143174
1250143179
Main Author
Lily Williams (author)
Other Authors
Karen Schneemann (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

A surprise period and an empty tampon dispenser in the school bathroom set off a battle over female health for four high-school sophomores. Brit, Abby, Christine, and Sasha might not agree on everything, but their frustration with the school administration's reluctance to acknowledge, much less address, the challenges of menstruation and gender-based inequities of school budget allocation has the friends riled up enough to make a major stand in order to get their cause noticed. But when one of the girls takes things too far, it threatens to tear their group apart. The charming characters and amusing dialogue bring high appeal and some levity to an otherwise rage-inducing premise. Williams' art is cleanly drawn with well-defined panels and simply rendered but distinct characters, and the high cute factor is tempered somewhat by the decidedly pointed pink and red palette. While heavy-handed at times, the story is firmly grounded in the realities faced by girls and women, and the timely messages of empowerment and political dialogue will resonate with socially minded youth. Grades 7-10. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In a graphic novel about periods that is charming if a bit risk averse, Williams and Schneemann suggest that the best antidote to high school humiliation is friendship. New girl Sasha Chen worries she's marked for life when her first period stains her white pants for all to see. She is rescued by a diverse, tight-knit group of friends: independent Christine, activist Abby, and romantic Brit, who is plagued by her own painful periods. Abby is outraged by the school's empty tampon machines and begins researching the history of period politics. When she launches a one-woman period-destigmatization campaign, her friends feel embarrassed and alienated—especially Sasha, who is already "period girl" in the eyes of Hazelton High. This is one of the more realistic and nuanced turns in a work that at times prioritizes education over storytelling. But by depicting menstruation in the context of adolescent social minefields, Williams and Schneemann rescue the topic from dull health manuals. Expressive black-and-white illustrations enlivened by a winkingly all-red palette make for a quick, enjoyable read. The creators nimbly incorporate issues of sexuality and social media, creating contemporary parentheticals in a heartening period story. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10–14. Agent: Minju Chang, Bookstop Literary.(Jan.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–8—When new student Sasha gets her period, best friends Abby, Brit, and Christine shepherd her to the bathroom—only to find that their school doesn't stock bathroom hygiene dispensers. The principal cites budget cuts, but the school can still afford new football uniforms. Incensed at the double standard, the teens decide that tampons and pads should be freely available at school. They work to convince others and to decrease the stigma around menstruation. Well-meaning but impassioned Abby gets carried away, making a bold statement that embarrasses the other girls, lands them all in trouble, and threatens their friendship. Originally a webcomic, this graphic novel is enlightening, though characterization and dialogue are at times forced. Information on historical attitudes toward menstruation is woven into the narrative through the girls' conversations and Abby's opinionated blog posts. Readers eager to learn more will be richly rewarded by the back matter, which offers further resources, tips on getting involved with period activism, and a brief primer on period normalcy and pain. The characters are diverse in terms of ethnicity and sexuality, and though all four main characters appear to be cisgender, with one girl exhibiting romantic interest in her female friend, there are numerous references to transgender men and nonbinary experiences. While the characters are high school students, rounded, simple lines create a younger appearance. Fittingly, various shades of red, often speckled in a crayon-like fashion, provide the only color throughout the story. VERDICT This warm, candid friendship story isn't shy about the message it's trying to send—that periods need not be a dirty secret. Pair it with nonfiction memoir companions by Shannon Hale and Raina Telgemeier.—Alea Perez, Elmhurst Public Library, IL Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

High school students embark on a crash course of friendship, female empowerment, and women's health issues in Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann's graphic novel Go With the Flow. Good friends help you go with the flow.Best friends help you start a revolution.Sophomores Abby, Brit, Christine, and Sasha are fed up. Hazelton High never has enough tampons. Or pads. Or adults who will listen. Sick of an administration that puts football before female health, the girls confront a world that shrugs—or worse, squirms—at the thought of a menstruation revolution. They band together to make a change. It’s no easy task, especially while grappling with everything from crushes to trig to JV track but they have each other’s backs. That is, until one of the girls goes rogue, testing the limits of their friendship and pushing the friends to question the power of their own voices.Now they must learn to work together to raise each other up. But how to you stand your ground while raising bloody hell?