Today we’re delighted to reveal the cover for middle grade anthology Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors, edited by Aida Salazar & Yamile Saied Méndez! The cover was illustrated by Fahmida Azim and designed by Matt Roeser. The book will be released on March 28, 2023 by Candlewick Press. Preorder it here, here, here, here, here, or here.
For Angela, it came on the basketball court—while playing on the boys’ team. For Penny, it came on a lakeside field trip, inspiring some cringeworthy moments of humor. And to Layla’s disappointment, it came at the start of her first fasting Ramadan, mandating that she take a “holiday.” Whether their period’s coming spurs silence or celebration, whether they are well prepared for it or totally in the dark, the young people in these sixteen stories find that getting a period brings not only changes to their bodies, but also joy, sorrow, and self-discovery. Featuring BIPOC contributors who are some of today’s most talented authors in middle-grade fiction, Calling the Moon offers coming-of-age stories and poetry as varied as the phases of the moon, from funny to heartbreaking to powerful, all of them reassuring readers that they are not alone in their period journey.
A word from the editors:
Fahmida Azim’s artwork brilliantly displays the full concept of the anthology—the natural connection of the menstrual cycle to the moon. This understanding is as old as humanity. Typically, book covers with “moon” in the title are depicted with a singular moon. It was perfect that Fahmida included all eight phases of the moon. This amplifies the metaphor and strengthens our connection to its different expressions throughout its cycle, which are as beautifully diverse as all of the writers included in this anthology. About the cover Fahmida writes, “It’s powerful to keep the characters on the mountain in the new moon phase of the cycle. In a new moon, we don’t see the moon. It’s invisible but marks a turn over to a new cycle—and these characters are themselves entering a new cycle.”
We hope this collection of stories will help to normalize this cycle in life as natural and sacred. While it can also be a challenging experience, if we have the knowledge to understand what is happening, not only in our bodies but also our minds and emotions, we may have the opportunity to connect with others going through the same experiences. There is no greater gift than our connection to others in understanding and compassion. — Aida Salazar & Yamile Saied Méndez
Aida Salazar is the author of the middle-grade verse novels The Moon Within and Land of the Cranes. She is a founding member of the Latinx kidlit author collective Las Musas. Aida Salazar lives with her family in Oakland, California.
Yamile Saied Méndez is the author of several children’s books, including the picture book Where Are You From?, illustrated by Jaime Kim, and the young adult novel Furia, winner of a Pura Belpré Author Award. Her writing is also featured in several anthologies, including Take the Mic, Come On In, and Rural Voices. She lives with her family in Arizona.