July 23, 2017

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Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | SLJ Review

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redstarMATHIEU, Jennifer. Moxie. 336p. Roaring Brook. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626726352.

Gr 8 Up –This novel is full of wit, insight, and moxie. Vivian is the dutiful daughter of a former 1990s Riot Grrl. While her mom raged against the machine and published feminist zines in her youth, Viv prefers getting good grades and keeping a low profile. That is, until things at her small town’s high school go too far. There are double standards for football players and everyone else, arbitrary dress code crackdowns that apply only to girls, and covered-up assaults happening right in the hallways. Vivian and her friends band together and decide they’ve had enough, but how can they push back without risking expulsion by a corrupt school administration? This is a fun, fresh, and inspiring read for anyone looking for a teenage take on modern feminism. Vivian gradually, and realistically, realizes how troubling sexism is, showing a great deal of introspection, which will likely appeal to readers who might not identify as feminists and those who already do. The author also takes care to include girls of color and boys in the novel’s many conversations around the topic, emphasizing the importance of intersectional feminism. VERDICT Highly recommended for all teens, but especially those who would enjoy realistic coming-of-age fiction with female empowerment.–Emily Grace Le May, Providence Community Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2017 issue.

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