Our Stories, Our Voices
From Amy Reed, Ellen Hopkins, Amber Smith, Sandhya Menon, and more of your favorite YA authors comes an anthology of essays that explore the diverse experiences of injustice, empowerment, and growing up female in America.This collection of twenty-one essays from major YA authors—including award-winning and bestselling writers—touches on a powerful range of topics related to growing up female in today’s America, and the intersection with race, religion, and ethnicity. Sure to inspire hope and solidarity to anyone who reads it, Our Stories, Our Voices belongs on every young woman’s shelf.This anthology features essays from Martha Brockenbrough, Jaye Robin Brown, Sona Charaipotra, Brandy Colbert, Somaiya Daud, Christine Day, Alexandra Duncan, Ilene Wong (I.W.) Gregorio, Maurene Goo, Ellen Hopkins, Stephanie Kuehnert, Nina LaCour, Anna-Marie McLemore, Sandhya Menon, Hannah Moskowitz, Julie Murphy, Aisha Saeed, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Amber Smith, and Tracy Walker.

Our Stories, Our Voices Details

TitleOur Stories, Our Voices
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 14th, 2018
PublisherSimon Pulse
ISBN-139781534409019
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Short Stories, Anthologies, Feminism

Our Stories, Our Voices Review

  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    Never dismiss your own perspectives. Never question the validity of life in the margins. This anthology truly lives up to its name: It tells the important and diverse stories of women whose voices have been ignored and smothered but will not take silence anymore. These stories as a whole all have an underlying message of feminism and female strength and power, and while some authors may share the same marginalization—no two stories or messages are the same and I LOVE that. Each author had somet Never dismiss your own perspectives. Never question the validity of life in the margins. This anthology truly lives up to its name: It tells the important and diverse stories of women whose voices have been ignored and smothered but will not take silence anymore. These stories as a whole all have an underlying message of feminism and female strength and power, and while some authors may share the same marginalization—no two stories or messages are the same and I LOVE that. Each author had something new to contribute and I think they were [almost] all important. (The [almost] is for certain essays.)Reading through my highlights and notes for this anthology makes me smile and feel inspired, because this collection of essays is so empowering for any and every woman. It’s a highly intersectional anthology that celebrates the voices and stories of marginalized women, and these women build each other up and call for change.🌹 FAVORITES (in order)|| Black Girl Unbecoming • Tracy Deonn Walker|| What I’ve Learned About Silence • Amber Smith|| Trumps and Trunchbulls • Alexandra Duncan|| Tiny Battles • Maurene Goo|| Unexpected Pursuits: Embracing My Creativity, Indigeneity & Creativity • Christine Day|| Fat and Loud • Julie MurphyAlmost all of the essays in this collection are amazing, but these were my absolute favorites. I 100% recommend you read these pieces, if you read nothing else in this anthology.🌷 HIGHLIGHTSI was going to do mini reviews for each essay, but 1) I really don’t have any experience in reviewing nonfiction, and 2) there were… 21 essays and it would be too much for me to write mini reviews for 21 pieces. So I’ll just be talking about the ones that stood out to me and listing my individual ratings for all the essays (without a review).To go in order of the anthology, Anna-Marie McLemore’s piece was unfortunately one I didn’t much enjoy. It’s about how she, a brown woman, thought she wasn’t worthy of God, and I find that an important narrative to tell, but sadly (because of personal history), it focused too much on Christianity for me. I think it’s a story necessary to tell, but not for me personally.Christine Day’s essay about finding her creativity and getting in touch with her indigenous identity was one I can connect a lot to. I’m not indigenous, but I relate so much to writing being a form of expression to connect to your identity. And since we literally do not get any indigenous voices in literature, this essay is especially important. I also completely loved Alexandra Duncan’s piece. It was just... extremely well-written, and I feel like it will be a really cathartic read for abuse survivors. Her discussion of gaslighting (from a perspective of someone who had been gaslighted) and how ingrained it was in society against women was something I’d never read before and I found it highly important.Maurene Goo’s essay about her experiences with being Asian-American was something I related to so much, and I am forever glad that that piece was included in this anthology. There were things I’d internalized for so long that were addressed in this piece, and seeing that something I’d experienced was not something I’d experienced alone meant a lot to me.Another essay I really loved was Julie Murphy’s piece on being fat. Her discussion of how she had to be political whether she wanted to or not because of her body was something I think is really important, and she also had a lot of other perspectives on fatness that I found highly significant. And I really appreciate how she highlighted how she was much more privileged as a white woman versus a woman of color, despite not being privileged in other areas.There were some more essays I didn’t enjoy, however. Hannah Moskowitz’s piece was just one I didn’t get, and while I know that the importance of a piece does not depend on whether or not I, personally, get it—I didn’t really understand at all what she was trying to say? What message she was trying to get across? And what relevance it had to this specific topic? It was weird. I don’t know. I don’t want to say her experience isn’t important (because, hello, dismissive and dehumanizing) but I just was confused. A lot.Then, there was a just disgusting essay by Ellen Hopkins, who has really proved herself not to be much of a[n intersectional] feminist. Her piece was all about how she accidentally became an activist after seeing how her parents treated marginalized people and realizing her privilege. Congrats, you saw marginalized people suffer and it accidentally turned you into an activist, when marginalized people have had to advocate for themselves because of their mere existence as a marginalized person, while you had privilege problems. (Can you tell I’m annoyed.) I mean, here is an abled, white allocishet woman who is not marginalized in any way, taking up a place that could have been for a trans writer. But I mean, those abled allocishet white women will always be taking up spaces for marginalized people, I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯And finally, I just didn’t understand what the message was with Martha Brockenbrough’s piece. Like, her piece is titled “Not Like the Other Girls”, and even after having read it, I’m still not quite sure whether or not that was supposed to be ironic? I was just very confused with this essay and did not get what she was trying to say at all.Luckily, after those few essays that I unfortunately did not like, there were two that were just absolutely amazing. The first is Amber Smith’s piece, and god, it was just so well-written and powerful and touching. It’s a story about sexual assault, but I know it will resonate with more than just sexual assault survivors. It was just. amazing. I can’t describe it in any other way.And the second essay was Tracy Deonn Walker’s, which was about the expectations put upon her as a black girl and how art helped her fight back, and it was just... amazing. It was my favorite of the whole anthology, and I think it’s just an extremely well-written, inspiring, powerful, and highly important story. I am so glad it was included in this anthology and I cannot wait to read more of Walker’s work. 🌷 SOME COMPLAINTS I would have liked to have seen even MORE marginalized authors? There were a lot of authors of color, which I appreciate, but there were only a few queer ones. I think the experiences of queer women of color are extremely important and I would have liked to see more queer authors of color. There was also a lack of trans writers, which Amy Reed acknowledged in her foreword, but acknowledging a problem doesn’t solve it. Trans voices and trans stories are extremely important and I really really wish at least one trans author had been included in this anthology.There were a few other small things that I didn’t like (saying “American Indian” instead of “Native American” [it was like... trying to do word play with “Indian-American and American Indian” which is. not cool in a lot of ways], and a bi author describing her relationship with a man as “hetero” [bi women can define their relationships how they like but it just, to me, reinforces the idea of gay vs. straight relationships with multi-gender-attracted people]), but the second worst thing after the lack of trans writers was the inclusion of a completely non-marginalized author whose story was about accidentally becoming an activist, which was an accident because she was... privileged. I know I already talked about this but I’m pretty sure we all would rather read about a trans woman’s experience than a white abled allocishet woman’s. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Honestly, skip this essay and spare yourself the pain of having to read an essay wanting you to feel bad for a woman realizing how wrong she was to not be an activist before she saw marginalized people suffering.Luckily, those are pretty much the only complaints I had. I really, really loved this anthology and so many of these stories resonated with me. Reading just a few quotes that I highlighted makes me feel empowered, and I think that says a lot about this collection. Please, if you can, read it, support these [mostly] marginalized authors, and be an intersectional feminist unafraid to make change happen.🌹 RATINGS🌷 My Immigrant American Dream by Sandhya Menon • ★★★★☆.5🌹 Her Hair Was Not of Gold by Anna-Marie McLemore • ★★★☆☆🌷 Finding My Feminism by Amy Reed • ★★★★☆🌹 Unexpected Pursuits: Embracing My Indigeneity & Creativity by Christine Day • ★★★★☆.5🌷 Chilled Monkey Brains by Sona Charaipotra • ★★★★☆🌹 Roar by Jaye Robin Brown • ★★★★☆🌷 Easter Offering by Brandy Colbert • ★★★★☆🌹 Trumps and Trunchbulls by Alexandra Duncan • ★★★★★🌷 Tiny Battles by Maurene Goo • ★★★★★🌹 These Words Are Mine by Stephanie Kuehnert • ★★★★☆🌷 Fat and Loud by Julie Murphy • ★★★★☆.5🌹 Myth Making: In the Wake of Hardship by Somaiya Daud • ★★★☆☆.5🌷 Changing Constellations by Nina LaCour • ★★★★☆🌹 The One Who Defines Me by Aisha Saeed • ★★★★☆🌷 In Our Genes by Hannah Moskowitz • ★★☆☆☆.5🌹 An Accidental Activist by Ellen Hopkins • ★☆☆☆☆🌷 Dreams Deferred and Other Explosions by Ilene (IW) Gregorio • ★★★★☆.5 🌹 Not Like the Other Girls by Martha Brockenbrough • ★★☆☆☆🌷 Is There Something Bothering You? by Jenny Torres Sanchez • ★★★☆☆.5🌹 What I’ve Learned About Silence by Amber Smith • ★★★★★🌷 Black Girl, Becoming by Tracy Deonn Walker • ★★★★★
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  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    This anthology is a tough one for me to rate. If I were reviewing it based solely on the nature of the work—this book about intersectional feminism, equality and equity, and fighting back against a society that perpetuates things like treating women and nonbinary people as less than men (and women/nonbinary people from marginalized communities as lesser, still)—it would be a 5-star read, with no hesitation. We are living in a cultural battleground where, for many of us, our very identities seem This anthology is a tough one for me to rate. If I were reviewing it based solely on the nature of the work—this book about intersectional feminism, equality and equity, and fighting back against a society that perpetuates things like treating women and nonbinary people as less than men (and women/nonbinary people from marginalized communities as lesser, still)—it would be a 5-star read, with no hesitation. We are living in a cultural battleground where, for many of us, our very identities seem to be under attack. Unfortunately, the execution of the collection leaves a bit to be desired, and if I were rating it exclusively on my enjoyment, it would be 3-star worthy (hence my compromise at 4 stars in the end). One of the problems that I found was that, frankly, the collection feels repetitive by the end of it. If I’d read one essay a day, maybe this wouldn’t have been an issue, but as it stands, I read this in two days, and was feeling by the end as though I was rereading earlier pieces. These boys and men are ghosts. None of them have edges. They bleed into one another. They are the same. My enjoyment for the collection as a whole dropped in the final third, where we had one story in particular from an author who has already proven herself not to be an intersectional ally of people of color, yet spent far too many pages explaining her privileged upbringing and humble-bragging about what a great activist she considers herself to be. It felt like a bold, unintentional reminder of why allocishet white women need to stop being what this society accepts as “the face of feminism”. He was always blond. Except, somehow, when He was on the cross. Only in the moment of His deepest suffering did artists consider He might have walked this earth as a dark-haired, brown-skinned man. Of course, there were some real gems in the collection, like Anna-Marie McLemore’s; I always love the way she has with words, and her descriptions of how difficult it was to grow up religious in a world where her deity was whitewashed by the masses was incredibly insightful to me, as a white former Christian who never had to deal with those devastating thoughts as a child. I was also particularly fond of Sandhya Menon’s bit on immigrating from India, Julie Murphy’s story that managed to weave fat rep and recognizing that her privileges as a white woman still protected her despite her size, and Amy Reed’s devastating recounting of sexual assault.All in all, while this was certainly not the best nonfiction anthology I’ve read, it’s still definitely worth a read (though you can probably skip Ellen Hopkins’ story with no harm done, to be fair). Especially if you are a person who sits in a great place of privilege, the greatest thing about this collection—and the reason I am still giving it 4 stars—is that I do think it has a great deal to offer in the ways of encouraging intersectionality, which is something we can never have too much of.All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Simon Pulse for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
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  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    "Ours are the marginalized voices they refuse to listen to. This book, this act of resistance, says our stories matter. Our lives matter. Our voices will not be silenced." This anthology review is going to be a little different than my other ones because it’s nonfiction stories, and it feel weird reviewing and rating each story individually when it’s someone’s personal experiences. I’ve been looking forward to this anthology since I read The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed last year and I discovere "Ours are the marginalized voices they refuse to listen to. This book, this act of resistance, says our stories matter. Our lives matter. Our voices will not be silenced." This anthology review is going to be a little different than my other ones because it’s nonfiction stories, and it feel weird reviewing and rating each story individually when it’s someone’s personal experiences. I’ve been looking forward to this anthology since I read The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed last year and I discovered that she was editing an anthology about race, religion, activism, feminism, and the female experience. I found many of the stories to be captivating and raw. Some of my favorites in the collection was “My American Dream” by Sandhya Menon celebrating everything that makes you who you are. “Finding My Feminism” by Amy Reed who shared a moving condemnation of rape culture and what being an activist means to her. “Tiny Battles” by Maureen Goo detailed the “tiny battles” that makes up your life’s journey and the powerful motivator anger can be. “Myth Making: In the Wake of Hardship” by Somaiya Daud discussed the complexities of intersecting identities. These stories all felt incredibly personal, while also universal - which I think is the highest praise I can give this anthology. Overall, I really did enjoy this anthology. Now it can start to make you emotional, I drifted between sadness and anger a lot, but it does pull you in. And this was really one of my first experiences with nonfiction, but I was invested because it was stories from authors I love or subject matter that I value. Our Stories, Our Voices is a powerhouse collection of truths that need to be shared from an incredibly diverse range of YA authors that allows their voices to shine in an uncertain time. I received a copy of the book from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
    January 1, 1970
    See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher via Edelweiss.It is a truth universally acknowledged that being a woman in the United States kinda sucks, especially if you’re a woman of color or queer or disabled or otherwise marginalized. It sucks to different degrees for different people; a cishet white woman and a queer black woman will face very different problems and bigotry in life. Amy Reed brings together a chorus of diverse voices in this anthology, See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher via Edelweiss.It is a truth universally acknowledged that being a woman in the United States kinda sucks, especially if you’re a woman of color or queer or disabled or otherwise marginalized. It sucks to different degrees for different people; a cishet white woman and a queer black woman will face very different problems and bigotry in life. Amy Reed brings together a chorus of diverse voices in this anthology, but one particular voice takes up a conspicious amount of space and the voices of trans people aren’t heard at all.Though the contributors tell varying stories–Stephanie Kuehnert explores all the ways she’d been told she and her body didn’t matter as a young woman; Sona Charaipotra talk of, among other things, how the pitiful representation of Indian people affected her as she grew up–many of the essays share a common thread: Donald Trump and his election as president. Seeing that happen mere weeks after the Access Hollywood tape full of his misogyny came out expressed millions’ implicit-but-nearly-explicit approval of how he devalued women the way so many men do.Their experiences are anecdotes from a country with sexism so entwined with its DNA that it almost wasn’t a surprise that he won. What he said on the tape as well as on the national stage throughout his campaign is what these women faced in their schools, their hometowns, and even their own homes. Even in the brief time between his election and his inauguration (a number of essays include the author saying they’re finishing up while watching the latter event), authors of color like Aisha Saeed mention experiencing more overt racism. A fellow author told Saeed and her husband that she could speak to the two any way she wanted because Trump was now president.Really, this could turn into a list of each essay and the various ways they’ll hit you right in the gut. Each one is powerful. When it’s an author of color writing, they make clear to the reader what it’s like to face bigotry on multiple fronts at the same time, like homophobia paired with sexism and racism.All except one essay that comes from such a disgusting place of privilege that it shouldn’t be in this anthology at all: the one written by Ellen Hopkins.Her contribution, titled “The Accidental Activist,” is largely her talking about how she got into “accidental activism,” which she achieved by watching marginalized people suffer. It’s horrifically out of place in a book full of direct, visceral, and intersectional experiences with bigotry. Plus she’s currently working on that Sanctuary Highway book, which boils down to this white woman profiting off black pain via a modern spin on the Underground Railroad. Her essay’s presence is an insult to everyone else involved, especially the black women who contributed to the book.Another glaring blind spot in the anthology: there are no trans writers whatsoever. Reed acknowledges this at the beginning of the book, but recognizing it doesn’t make it okay. Whether their story is of being erroneously considered a girl or woman by society or of knowing they’re female when everyone else thinks otherwise, there are so many valid, complicated experiences being ignored by their omission from the anthology.Our Stories, Our Voices has serious value for girls growing up in the Trump administration, so I can’t wholly say they should skip it because of Ellen Hopkins or the omission of trans writers. Instead, keep those things in mind and be prepared to understand all the ways these writers experienced bigotry long before Trump began his campaign for the presidency. Good reading for a teen who’s looking to understand intersectional oppression.
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  • Mrs. Europaea
    January 1, 1970
    Raw. Real. Revolutionary. From the first time Mother who found her radical roots with the birth of her daughter, to the immigrant that claimed her independence that challenged her Indian roots, to the accidental activist that after learning what white privilege was, learned how to use it help the marginalized- the collection of women featured in this new release share their stories and ignite a fire to change the world.The diverse voices in this collection are representative of what America is s Raw. Real. Revolutionary. From the first time Mother who found her radical roots with the birth of her daughter, to the immigrant that claimed her independence that challenged her Indian roots, to the accidental activist that after learning what white privilege was, learned how to use it help the marginalized- the collection of women featured in this new release share their stories and ignite a fire to change the world.The diverse voices in this collection are representative of what America is supposed to stand for, as well as a sad reminder of how often our Nation has failed so many marginalized groups. Reed has found that through telling our stories we can resist the white male patriarchy, claim our own power, and change the future for generations to come.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    An outstanding collection of essays about feminism, about activism, and about growing up being female in the US. The voices here are authentic, showcasing not only feelings and experiences, but the ways in which these women have chosen activism that works for them. Standouts in this collection include Brandy Colbert's essay about learning the racist history that changed her home town from one with a larger black population to one where she was one of few black people in her school, Maurene Goo's An outstanding collection of essays about feminism, about activism, and about growing up being female in the US. The voices here are authentic, showcasing not only feelings and experiences, but the ways in which these women have chosen activism that works for them. Standouts in this collection include Brandy Colbert's essay about learning the racist history that changed her home town from one with a larger black population to one where she was one of few black people in her school, Maurene Goo's piece about the way she uses her anger to fuel her, Julie Murphy's essay about why being fat meant she was political whether she chose to act on it or not, and the piece that closes this book by a new author, Tracy Deonn Walker, about the way other people put expectations on her as a black girl and how she uses art to fight back. Not all of the essays will resonate with all readers, but that's the greatness of an anthology. Some pieces didn't do much for me, but I also know they'll work for other readers. There is one glaring omission in the collection worth noting: there are no voices of trans women here. We have acknowledgement of trans women throughout, but, it is disappointing not to see their voices in here alongside these other women. Anna-Marie McLemore talks about her husband, who is trans, but it's still not a specific experience of being a trans woman. Pass this along to readers who want a book about the current political climate -- most talk about the election (which, admittedly, gets tiring after a while, but if you don't read this in a single sitting, will not grow as tiring) -- and a book about being a girl in modern America. These women span all backgrounds, ethnicities, races, sexualities, and religions, and those intersections are emphasized. For readers who enjoy my own HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD, this would pair really nicely with it.
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  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    Every essay in this anthology stood alone as an enthralling and thought-provoking personal essay. As a collection of twenty-one stories, there is a little bit of everything and for every reader. It is very telling that every author wanted their story heard, and OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES gives the microphone to everyone. There was not a single essay that was not captivating, and every piece takes on present-day America from a different angle. A typical YA anthology is several short stories connecte Every essay in this anthology stood alone as an enthralling and thought-provoking personal essay. As a collection of twenty-one stories, there is a little bit of everything and for every reader. It is very telling that every author wanted their story heard, and OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES gives the microphone to everyone. There was not a single essay that was not captivating, and every piece takes on present-day America from a different angle. A typical YA anthology is several short stories connected by a common theme, but OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES was different and the only nonfiction YA anthology that I have ever read. Not only does it include the real lives of authors whose works I know and love, but it opened me up to just as many more whose books I am now reaching for to read. Two of the short stories even came from authors who are not yet published, and theirs ended up being some of my favorites. All 21 authors had a significant piece in crafting this compelling read that ultimately has made me see YA in a new light. Because it is written with current events and politics in mind, it is incredibly relevant to present conversations and will continue to be. Additionally, every author approached their essay differently with what they chose to include and naturally, they all experience life differently. One of my favorite chapters was “Unexpected Pursuits: Embracing My Indigeneity & Creativity” by Christine Day, who is not yet a published author but had one of the most interesting stories to tell. Some others like “Fat and Loud” by Julie Murphy, “The One Who Defines Me” by Aisha Saeed, and “Dreams Deferred and Other Explosions” by I.W. Gregorio were written by authors whose books I had read, and it honestly did make me see their work in a different light. Now when I read any of these other authors records, I am going to understand better their writing style and inspiration.Readers who love anthologies of any sort will enjoy OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES. Those interested in politics and current events, as well as young adult fans, will appreciate all that this anthology is. It is the perfect read for anyone needing inspiration or looking for fresh viewpoints from some favorite YA authors.
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  • Shauna Yusko
    January 1, 1970
    These are true stories framed as essays or letters to today’s teen girls from (mostly published) YA authors. A good collection. I think it’s weird to give it a rating since these are very personal stories.
  • dearlittledeer
    January 1, 1970
    Good essays but I don't think I would reread many of them. I think I liked the one by the previously unpublished writer the best. Many authors focusing on how it felt after Trump was elected got a little repetitive and I feel like makes it more dated. Unsure of how many teens would really be drawn to reading this, but I think it would be great reading for a high school class.
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  • Liz Overberg
    January 1, 1970
    I don't want to give this anthology a rating, because how could I judge these women's truths?Twenty-something women of various ages, races, and experiences write about their stories of being their own particular brand of female in America. Most, but not all, of the writers are published young adult authors. Each essay reads like a love letter to today's teen girls. There is anger, regret, pride, sass, and wisdom. Every teenage girl could find something here that speaks to her.
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    A powerfully moving, well written anthology that deals with difficult subjects and does not shy away from them.
  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    While I didn't find all the stories to be perfect, this is such a cohesive collection and I cannot wait to introduce it to everyone.
  • Teenreadsdotcom
    January 1, 1970
    OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES is an anthology of 21 female young adult authors’ essays about their struggles, journeys and activism. Written soon after the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, this poignant collection features diverse and influential writers within the genre. Authors including Amy Reed, Ellen Hopkins, Amber Smith, Sandhya Menon and many more contribute their own defining moments and thoughts on America today.Every essay in this anthology stood alone as an enthralling and thought-provoking OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES is an anthology of 21 female young adult authors’ essays about their struggles, journeys and activism. Written soon after the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, this poignant collection features diverse and influential writers within the genre. Authors including Amy Reed, Ellen Hopkins, Amber Smith, Sandhya Menon and many more contribute their own defining moments and thoughts on America today.Every essay in this anthology stood alone as an enthralling and thought-provoking personal essay. As a collection of 21 essays, there is a little bit of everything and for every reader. It is very telling that every author wanted their story heard, and OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES gives the microphone to everyone. There was not a single essay that was not captivating, and every piece takes on present-day America from a different angle.A typical YA anthology is several short stories connected by a common theme, but OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES was different and the only nonfiction YA anthology that I have ever read. Not only does it include the real lives of authors whose works I know and love, but it opened me up to just as many more whose books I am now reaching for to read. Two of the short stories even came from authors who are not yet published, and theirs ended up being some of my favorites.All 21 authors had a significant piece in crafting this compelling read that ultimately has made me see YA in a new light. Because it is written with current events and politics in mind, it is incredibly relevant to present conversations and will continue to be. Additionally, every author approached their essay differently with what they chose to include and naturally, they all experience life differently. One of my favorite chapters was “Unexpected Pursuits: Embracing My Indigeneity & Creativity” by Christine Day, who is not yet a published author but had one of the most interesting stories to tell. Some others like “Fat and Loud” by Julie Murphy, “The One Who Defines Me” by Aisha Saeed, and “Dreams Deferred and Other Explosions” by I.W. Gregorio were written by authors whose books I had read, and it honestly did make me see their work in a different light. Now when I read any of these other authors records, I am going to understand better their writing style and inspiration.Readers who love anthologies of any sort will enjoy OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES. Those interested in politics and current events, as well as young adult fans, will appreciate all that this anthology is. It is the perfect read for anyone needing inspiration or looking for fresh viewpoints from some favorite YA authors.Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I received this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.This is a collection of essay from several female YA authors. Each discusses their own experiences with being a woman, feminism, and the challenges of sexuality as it relates to their gender. Several of the essays were stellar and encouraged me to read beyond the anthology, while others were lack luster. However, that may simply relate to the author's style and its connection to my own personality. I think this work will give ris I received this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.This is a collection of essay from several female YA authors. Each discusses their own experiences with being a woman, feminism, and the challenges of sexuality as it relates to their gender. Several of the essays were stellar and encouraged me to read beyond the anthology, while others were lack luster. However, that may simply relate to the author's style and its connection to my own personality. I think this work will give rise to discussions. However, I do believe one of the essays will spark strong debate within the YA community.
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  • Kiran
    January 1, 1970
    very much so had me in my feelings at work, lmao. as someone who a lot of the stories resonated with, i really liked it. however (and the book accordingly warns for this!) there's a ton of discussion re: (view spoiler)[sexual abuse (hide spoiler)], so keep an eye out, b/c ymmv.
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  • cagedpopmachine
    January 1, 1970
    Highly recommend this! There’s a few stories in particular that really resonated with my own experiences.
  • Jamie Cayley
    January 1, 1970
    I think this is really a book for everyone. The essays and writers are very diverse, in topics, backgrounds and writing styles, each connected by a main theme: growing up as a woman in the US, the challenges involved and the impact Trump’s election had. I found a lot of the essays to be devastating, but the book still had an overall theme of hope and empowerment and there’s a really good balance of describing the challenges various minority groups face without shying away from showing the raw em I think this is really a book for everyone. The essays and writers are very diverse, in topics, backgrounds and writing styles, each connected by a main theme: growing up as a woman in the US, the challenges involved and the impact Trump’s election had. I found a lot of the essays to be devastating, but the book still had an overall theme of hope and empowerment and there’s a really good balance of describing the challenges various minority groups face without shying away from showing the raw emotions and the consequences but also being positive, hopeful and providing an alternative, the idea that change can be made, that your voice matters and will be heard. I found the essays on rape to be the ones that called to me the most, and there were essays I didn’t particularly enjoy, but I’m sure there is an essay here for everyone. I just wish there had been trans authors as well, and at the moment I can’t remember whose essay it was but there was an essay that used male pronouns for Caitlyn Jenner which was a bit off-putting, especially for a collection trying so hard to be diverse and inclusive. Disclaimer: I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
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  • Maryalice
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Twenty-one writers, including many major young adult authors, tackle what it means to grow up female in America. With pieces on gender, race, religion, and ethnicity, these authors share their stories without fear of discrimination to show a new generation of women how to stand up and be strong. Note: Many authors don't hold back when discussing their views on the 2016 presidential election and Don I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Twenty-one writers, including many major young adult authors, tackle what it means to grow up female in America. With pieces on gender, race, religion, and ethnicity, these authors share their stories without fear of discrimination to show a new generation of women how to stand up and be strong. Note: Many authors don't hold back when discussing their views on the 2016 presidential election and Donald Trump. THOUGHTS: Speaking up and speaking out, these writers will inspire teen girls to stand up for themselves, regardless of identity. In the introduction, specific articles are listed as potential trigger warnings. Due to the nature of the content, this collection is most appropriate for high school readers.
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  • Hayley
    January 1, 1970
    meh
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