The International Day of the Girl by Jessica Dee Humphreys Publisher: Kids Can Press Genre: Children’s Fiction Acquired through NetGalley Release Date: September 1, 2020
**I received The International Day of the Girl through NetGalley and Kids Can Press, in exchange for an honest review**
The International Day of the Girl is a thoughtful compilation of inspirational stories of girls situated around the world. There are amazing tales of girls learning in underground schools, as well as other young women achieving the skills of carpentry and astronomy thanks to progressive-thinking families. These stories were equal parts emotional and heartwarming, each girl’s personal portrait described in rich detail.
Towards the back, this book offers a thorough timeline of events leading up to the 2011 declaration of, International Day of the Girl (October 11). I loved this brief yet concise history lesson as to how this important day came to be. This education book is suitable for children of all elementary grade levels,, since it offers age-appropriate account of the importance of equal rights. This is valuable reading material for educators everywhere!
The Riot Grrrl Thing by Sara Larsen Publisher: Roof Books Length: 112 pages Genre: Poetry Release Date: March 30, 2019
The Riot Grrrl Thing by Sara Larsen reflects back to time of punk rock and female empowerment. Reading her poetry collection brought me back to my high school years in the 1990s, when Bikini Kill and Nirvana opened the floodgates to my eclectic tastes in music. Sara Larsen’s poetry takes you back to her youth commuting from Camden and Cherry Hill to Philadelphia, making friends and broadening her horizons while becoming an independent young woman in the music scene. Larsen also includes a commentary which explained the mantra many young women created for themselves during this time period. Each declaration unique as the individual herself, Sara Larsen takes an unflinching account on what it means to embody the Riot Grrrl movement.
I highly recommend this collection of poetry for Women’s History material, or for someone who would love to take in the powerful message of a strong woman asserting her independence through the spoken word!
While watching Steve Donoghue’s channel on BookTube, I learned that Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is being re-released, along with a new cover. I loved reading ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ in college. It was for a Women’s Studies course (I minored in Women’s Studies at Seton Hall…a long time ago). I didn’t read the book in its entirety, but I enjoyed the content that I did read for the class. I loved all the courses for that minor, the faculty was more approachable to speak with than some of the professors in my major.
I also recall reading ‘Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls’ by Mary Pipher. It wasn’t for a class, but I was always into reading stories about ongoing women’s issues. This book documents the ongoing plight of teenage girls as they repeatedly fall into the plight of body image, peer pressure, and depression. Strong bonds are vitally important in ones life, yet women are constantly pressured to turn against each other, leading toward lasting emotional issues. It also shares the struggles women endure in mother/daughter relationships, wisdom clouded by the need for instant gratification.
I also enjoyed Angela Y. Davis’s ‘Women, Race, and Class’. This is a powerful book that documents the women’s movement throughout the decades, with a focus on the struggles women of color endured in order to gain equal recognition alongside their White American counterparts. I recall reading about the honorable figures within the suffrage movement during my college courses, and was surprised to learn that there were conflicts women of color faced, when all women were fighting to achieve the common goal of equal rights. It was an revealing, eye-opening experience.
I recently received my Book Of The Month selection for February: A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum. It’s a story set in Pakistan and Brooklyn, NY, spanning three generations of women dealing with strife and traditional constructs.
Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Over the course of a week, the naïve and dreamy girl finds herself quickly betrothed and married, and is soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law Fareeda and strange new husband Adam, a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children—four daughters instead of the sons Fareeda tells Isra she must bear.
Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. Deya can’t help but wonder if her options would have been different had her parents survived the car crash that killed them when Deya was only eight. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man.
But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths about her family—knowledge that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents, the past, and her own future.