Our Stories, Our Voices by Amy Reed | SLJ Review

Gr 9 Up –Twenty-one YA authors—including such well-known figures as Ellen Hopkins, Maurene Goo, and Printz award-winner Nina LaCour, as well as two unpublished authors selected from a call for submissions—reflect on their early lives and what it means to be a woman in the United States.

redstarREED, Amy, ed. Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Get Real About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America. 320p. S. & S./Simon Pulse. Aug. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534408999.

Gr 9 Up –Twenty-one YA authors—including such well-known figures as Ellen Hopkins, Maurene Goo, and Printz award-winner Nina LaCour, as well as two unpublished authors selected from a call for submissions—reflect on their early lives and what it means to be a woman in the United States. Many of these writers experienced marginalization as younger girls based on race, immigration status, sexuality, or simply not fitting in. Each turned to writing as solace, an outlet, or a way of speaking out against injustice. The stories are all unique, some focusing on the subject’s childhood, others on their lives as adults. Many discuss their anger at the recent presidential election and put out an inspiring call to action. The authors speak directly to readers in an informal tone; the essays are written in the first person with some casual profanity. A content warning in the editor’s note mentions that the entries discuss race-based and sexual violence. A resource list includes websites of activist organizations, in addition to information on how to participate in the political system. VERDICT Many readers will see themselves reflected in the pages of this collection and be inspired by the first-hand accounts of overcoming adversity. A great pick for budding writers and activists.–Clara Hendricks, Cambridge Public Library, MA

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

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