This Canadian import presents an illustrated list of the negative effects of misogyny, racism, homophobia, and other prejudices that impact the lives of girls and women.
The blunt, wide-ranging text can feel repetitive as it describes girls’ reactions to the myriad expectations and limitations imposed by society on female individuals. From physical and verbal harassment to rape and murder, body shaming to economic inequality, the litany of challenges runs the risk of utterly overwhelming readers. Some statements include supporting footnotes; most are simply presented as fact. Darling’s graphic-novel–style illustrations, created in shades of lavender, purple, and white with black outlines, have a retro feel vaguely reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art. They show girls and women with a variety of skin tones and body types, sometimes interacting with others, sometimes staring out at the reader. While there is no arguing with the accuracy of the challenges cataloged, it’s difficult to imagine finding just the right audience for this consciousness-raising manifesto. Girls already aware of inequality will likely be looking for more ideas about how to combat it. Readers who have yet to notice the existence of gender- or race-based inequities or other forms of bigotry may not be inspired to discover it here.
The final shoutout for feminism and solidarity is a welcome positive note, but readers will have to look elsewhere for ideas on how to take action. (Nonfiction. 13-18)