Thursday, January 19, 2017

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen. Grades 9 and up. Algonquin Books for Young Readers, January 2017. 240 pages. Reviewed from egalley, provided by publisher.

(Full disclosure: Kelly is a good friend of mine, but her book is awesome no matter whose friend she is!)

Description (from publisher):

Let’s get the feminist party started!

Here We Are is a scrapbook-style teen guide to understanding what it really means to be a feminist. It’s packed with essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations from a diverse range of voices, including TV, film, and pop-culture celebrities and public figures such as ballet dancer Michaela DePrince and her sister Mia, politician Wendy Davis, as well as popular YA authors like Nova Ren Suma, Malinda Lo, Brandy Colbert, Courtney Summers, and many more. Altogether, the book features more than forty-four pieces, with an eight-page insert of full-color illustrations.

Here We Are is a response to lively discussions about the true meaning of feminism on social media and across popular culture and is an invitation to one of the most important, life-changing, and exciting parties around.

My thoughts: What a necessary and impressive book!

This is a must-read collection for any teens who are interested in learning about feminism or who have heard something about feminism on social media or from others talking and who want to get the full scoop.

We hear from so many different voices in this collection; it's obvious that care has been taken to be as inclusive as possible and that will be important to readers. Readers will not only see themselves in this collection of essays, but they will be exposed to views beyond their own. 

From women who thought "feminism" was a bad word to women who were feminists and didn't know it to women whose feminism changed over the course of their lives, there are examples and experiences to teach and reach young readers.The collection includes personal essays, comics, and informational sections that define some of the common terms and ideas about feminism.

I love the scrapbook format of the book (which was difficult to tell in the egalley but looks AMAZING in print!) and I think it will really appeal to teen readers, as well.


Readers looking for more along this vein should check out the extensive list of further reading included as a resource in this book. It includes feminist fiction & nonfiction, as well as feminist films and websites by or about feminists.

Readers would also do well to check out the contributor bios at the end of the book and seek out more of their works.