There are some summer reading lists for history floating around at other websites, but I'm not going to link to them because I think they are very boring, more wars, and presidents, and that kind of thing. Really, how many books on the Civil War can people read before they say, "Hey, maybe something else happened in American History?" At least for us adults, summer reading is voluntary, for the rising 10th grade (all girls), no such luck. However, they are in for a treat, no really, they are. This summer they get to read Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's A Midwife's Tale. It's a great book and the best introduction to doing history that I can think of. Ulrich provides extended excerpts from the diary, which appear to be banal. She then unpacks the entries using other primary and secondary sources. She reveals a complex world caught in the midst of change. Read it and you'll learn stuff about early America you did not even think you could know. But there is this one odd curiosity: nowhere in the book is menstruation mentioned. I tried searching the diary (which is on-line) for menstruation along with a couple of other keywords. No luck. There is lots of stuff about childbirth and worms and women's economy and battle over land but apparently at no time is menstruation discussed. Not once did she concoct something to help someone with cramps or bloating? Was there no colonial Pamprin? I'm thinking somebody could get a good at least a good article on this and the crossover potential for a book would be pretty spectacular. Maybe a whole field could get started. Just think, one day you will walk into Borders and there will be a whole shelf of books about the history of menstruation right across from the Civil War shelves. It ain't gonna happen, but if you haven't read the Ulrich, go read it, now. Or at least play on the web site, it's one of the best out there and it's hosted by the same folks who host HNN.