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WATCH US RISE by Renée Watson Kirkus Star


by Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan

Pub Date: Feb. 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5476-0008-3
Publisher: Bloomsbury

A manifesto for budding feminists.

At the core of this engaging novel are besties Chelsea, who is Irish- and Italian-American and into fashion and beauty, and Jasmine, who is African-American, loves the theater, and pushes back against bias around size (“I don’t need your fake compliments, your pity. I know I’m beautiful. Inside and out”). They and their sidekicks, half-Japanese/half-Lebanese Nadine and Puerto Rican Isaac, grow into first-class activists—simultaneously educating their peers and readers. The year gets off to a rocky start at their progressive, social justice–oriented New York City high school: Along with the usual angst many students experience, Jasmine’s father is terminally ill with cancer, and after things go badly in both their clubs, Jasmine and Chelsea form a women’s rights club which becomes the catalyst for their growth as they explore gender inequality and opportunities for change. This is an inspiring look at two strong-willed teens growing into even stronger young women ready to use their voices and take on the world, imploring budding feminists everywhere to “join the revolution.” The book offers a poetic balance of dialogue among the main characters, their peers, and the adults in their lives. The exquisite pacing, which intersperses everyday teen conflicts with weightier issues, demonstrates how teens long to be heard and taken seriously.

A book that seamlessly brings readers along on a journey of impact and empowerment.

(resources for young activists, endnotes) (Fiction. 12-18)