You Don’t Have to Be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves

Workman. Mar. 2021. 176p. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781523510993.
Gr 6 Up–This is a beautiful and thoughtful collection of reprinted poems by women for those on the cusp of adulthood. Organized by feeling, the works presented allow readers to connect with each poem differently depending on their emotion during the selection and reading. Illustrations by Cristina González, Kate Mockford, and Stephanie Singleton ebb and flow across and around the works in bold colors with strong images depicting bodies and nature which enhance and do not deter from the linguistic merit of the works selected. Poetic forms from sonnets to concrete in a multitude of voices reach out and dive in to the feminine perspective. The 68 featured poets include bestselling writers like Maya Angelou; Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laureate; and poets who became famous via Instagram, such as Kate Baer. Section introductions bring insight into the editor’s thoughts and life experiences and add perspective to the selection and importance of the contained poems. While intended for young women, this collection should be introduced to anyone who wishes to expand their understanding of the female perspective.
VERDICT A collection intentionally designed to promote growth, understanding, and self-awareness. Buy it for the young women in your life and share it with the young men.

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