May 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You by Marley Dias | SLJ Review

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redstarDIAS, Marley. Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You. 208p. charts. further reading. photos. Scholastic. Jan. 2018. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781338136890. POP

Gr 5 Up –Dias pens an eminently readable and nuanced personal narrative of her #1000BlackGirlsBooks campaign and her tips, tools, and strategies for effecting positive change in the representation of Black girls in children’s literature and beyond. The work opens with Dias’s poignant recollection of how Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming raised questions about why the award-winning title, and other selections by Black authors, weren’t a part of her school’s assigned reading. Dias’s effervescent personality and style shine as she discusses her family, love of sushi, trip to Ghana, relationship to social media, and more—never underestimating the audience (“For the record, just this once, let me say: Hard things come and go, but it seems like racism always stays. There, I said it. And I’m doing all I can to change it.”). The text encourages readers to find and pursue their interests, provides valuable advice on activism (including how charity and activism are not the same thing), and strongly recommends reading for knowledge and pleasure. Dias’s beloved list of 1,000 books is included at the end. The eye-catching photos, empowering pull quotes, and bright pastel page borders make for a thoughtful design and will have readers returning to the book again and again. VERDICT An invaluable selection for any public and school library collection.–Jess Gafkowitz, Brooklyn Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal February 2018 issue.

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