A needed collection to broaden understanding of the many different faces of history

THE RADICAL ELEMENT

12 STORIES OF DAREDEVILS, DEBUTANTES & OTHER DAUNTLESS GIRLS

Editor Spotswood offers a collection of historical stories about young women, bold and brave, many who traverse territory slated only for men.

Rebekah, who comes from an Orthodox Jewish family, defies the traditional patriarchal hierarchy of the faith when she secretly meets with her friend Caleb to study Torah, forbidden to women. When these secret meetings are discovered, Rebekah is forced to make the bold choice of allegiance to religious tradition or her desire to be educated in it. In the 19th-century Southwest, Ray is a Mexican girl who poses as a boy to work as a stevedore among men while cheating them at cards to raise funds to reunite with her long-lost family. In “Lady Firebrand,” interracial friends Pauline and Rose conspire to undermine the Confederacy by acting as undercover saboteurs for the Union. Crossing genres into fantasy, Emma McGee is a young black girl whose family has discovered a potion that gives them immortality. As U.S. involvement in World War II heightens, Emma is torn between keeping her family’s secret and her desire to serve in the Army Nurse Corps. These are tales across time and cultures, offering diverse women as witnesses to historical times. Contributor Dhonielle Clayton sums up the necessity of such an anthology when she writes, “There are few stories about what nonwhite people endured [during World War II], and I wanted to explore that.”

A needed collection to broaden understanding of the many different faces of history . (Anthology. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9425-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

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GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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Summery fun and games with feeling.

THE SUMMER OF BROKEN RULES

A summer trip helps break 18-year-old Meredith Fox out of a haze of mourning.

Her cousin’s wedding means a return to Martha’s Vineyard, a well-loved destination but one filled with bittersweet memories. It’s been a year and a half since the sudden loss of Meredith’s sister, Claire, and the grief remains strong. Meredith, though, resolves to take this time to celebrate family and bridge the rifts resulting from ghosting friends. She didn’t plan on a meet-cute/embarrassing encounter with the groom’s stepbrother, Wit. Nor did she expect a wedding-week game of Assassin, a water-gun–fueled family tradition. What starts off as a pact of sharing strategic information with Wit grows into something more as the flirting and feelings develop. Only one person can win, though, and any alliance has an expiration date. To win and honor Claire, who was a master of the game, Meredith must keep her eye on the prize. Taking place over the course of a week, the narrative is tight with well-paced reveals that disrupt predictability and keep the plot moving. Early details are picked back up, and many elements come satisfyingly full circle. The short time frame also heightens the tension of this summer romance: What will happen when they leave the bubble of the Vineyard? The mix of budding romance, competitive hijinks, a close-knit circle, as well as dealing with loss make for a satisfying read. The main cast is White.

Summery fun and games with feeling. (family tree) (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72821-029-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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