STILL HERE by Rowan Blanchard


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Teen actress and outspoken activist Blanchard attempts a multimedia experiment: an emotional, complex project intended to connect with teens.

Chronicled in a nonlinear fashion, Blanchard’s book is a compilation of journal entries, poems, sketches, pressed flowers, taped photographs, and notes. It includes a list of accomplished contributors, including poets Rupi Kaur and Tova Benjamin, writer Jenny Zhang, filmmaker Gia Coppola, genderqueer artist India Salvör Menuez, and others. Individual pages do not feature credits, so readers will need to refer to the index to determine which material comes from which creator. The loose narrative allows readers to easily digest the at times bleak, anxiety-ridden, introspective, and heartfelt content. Candid pictures interspersed with existential musings include references to getting drunk and smoking. Other topics of reflection are queerness and racial prejudice. The structure is a successful device for engaging curious readers. In an opening note, Blanchard writes, “…these are our stories, our pledges, sometimes our cries out. This is truth. I hope this finds you when you need it….” At its core, the text is intended to empower and inspire; she leaves blank pages for readers to fill with their own personal ruminations. A debut multimedia package that reads like an avant-garde, voyeuristic scrapbook.

Rookie Magazine fans will find inspiration throughout; others can pass. (index, contributors) (Memoir. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-448-49466-1
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
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