Twenty-one prominent young adult authors from diverse backgrounds share personal essays.
Jaye Robin Brown, a white woman raised as a Southern belle, describes how her traditionally feminine gender presentation combined with the power of the male gaze interfered with her ability to recognize her sexuality and come out as queer. Brandy Colbert untangles the intersection between race and gender: As a high-achieving, middle-class black student in a mostly white area, she noticed history being taught in a way that allowed white girls to celebrate and proudly identify, in contrast to the little black history that was included. She saw a similar dynamic at work in the reactions white women she knew had to Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy. While there are no transgender or gender-nonconforming contributors, the authors otherwise come from a variety of different perspectives, including religious faith, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and immigration status. A number of the essays deal sensitively and vulnerably with subjects such as abuse, sexual assault, and racist behavior and violence. The anthology is successful in showcasing a wide array of topics, although some entries end with abrupt or seemingly anecdotal conclusions. Numerous authors focus on political topics through the lens of race, gender bias, and Islamophobia, and the fundamental message is one of growth and hope.
Advice and perspectives from diverse voices from which readers of all genders can benefit. (resources, about the authors) (Nonfiction essays. 14-adult)