Summary: Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins
In Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins, young Tahlia is excited to redeem herself at the end of school summer party hosted by the popular kid, Noah. The year before, she’d dressed in what she now realizes was a childish outfit (wearing a rashguard and shorts) while everyone else wore fancy swimsuits. This year, she’s ready to correct her mistakes and make a statement with her best friend Lily. That is until she gets her first period. It’s more stressful because her mother is out of town leaving her with her dad and two older brothers whom she can’t stand to tell about her period.
With only Lily on her side, Tahlia has to figure out how to buy pads and tampons, use a tampon, avoid toxic shock syndrome, and make it to the pool party. Unbeknownst to her, life has a couple of other changes in store for Tahlia.
This is such a funny book — and yet, my heart went out to Tahlia through all the awkwardness she experiences. It’s a rollercoaster of a ride made even more stressful by the fact that she doesn’t trust any adults besides her mother to bring the news of her period to them. I also loved the way the writer handles Tahlia’s and Lily’s friendship. It’s obvious early on that Lily has a secret to share with Tahlia, but Tahlia is so caught up in her own life that there’s no room for anyone else just then.
Another interesting dynamic is the girls’ relationship with a former member of their friendship group, Jackie. Jackie got her period before both Lily and Tahlia and also matured in her tastes. As a result, she seemed to drift away from the group and Tahlia never forgave her. With Tahlia getting her period and the events following, her perspective on things might need to change.
Overall: Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins
Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins is a hilarious, relatable tale of growing up, getting your first period and figuring out the rollercoaster of puberty. Filled with enough hijinks to exhaust anyone in 48 hours, this book also tugs at readers’ hearts as the protagonist realizes that you don’t have to face changes without support. It’s also a kind reminder that as huge as our challenges may feel, often those we love (and who are supporting us) also have their challenges and need our love too.