The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid

Knopf. Feb. 2020. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984849120.
Gr 9 Up–Jemima Kincaid has been a feminist since before it was cool. As the academic third of her ritzy private school’s Senior Triumvirate—along with golden boy and student-elected Chairman, Andy, and perfectly blonde it-girl and Social Committee President, Gennifer—she has some progressive ideas to update her once-male-only school’s patriarchal traditions to ones befitting this millennium, starting with prom. In order to take the heteronormative male-dominance of Promposals out of the equation, she suggests a Last Chance Dance and having all juniors and seniors enter their desired dates into an online program that would alert all mutual matches. When the site is hacked and all students’ picks go public, save the Triumvirates’, not only does Jemima stand accused of the leak, but it’s also up to her to find and expose the true culprit in order to help her best friend Jinyoo Kim in her bid for next year’s Chairman position, lead her powder puff team to victory, fight the good fight while working out the kinks in her own feminism, and figure out if the hidden romance between her and Andy is more than skin deep. Filled with all the drama, depth, confusion, and comedy expected of high school, Hattemer’s novel is a graduate in every sense. Through the self-aware privilege of an elite student experience, readers will find something to cheer about and learn from.
VERDICT Much like feminism in practice, this book isn’t perfect, but it’s filled with determination and hope that will find a place on most shelves for older teen readers.

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