Review Blog

Mar 07 2019

Watch us rise by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan

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Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN 9781547600083.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. In this novel, Renee Watson and debut novelist Ellen Hagan give voice to Jasmine and Chelsea, two teenage best friends who are frustrated with the sexism and racism that comes their way unnoticed. Creating a blog called 'Write Like A Girl' as part of a Women's Rights Club they establish within their school, they post poems and essays about feminism. While the blog goes viral, and the girls are flooded with positive responses to their creative content, some trolls emerge and things escalate within the school, leading to the principal shutting the club down. Refusing to be silenced, Jasmine and Chelsea risk everything to keep their voices, and the voices of other young women, heard.
This is an empowering story about undying friendship, loving yourself and others for who they are and the importance of fighting for what you believe in no matter the challenges you face. With poems, essays and journals scattered throughout, this is a powerful read with the ability to inspire young 'art-ivists' to use their artistic talent to speak out about the social issues they feel strongly about. An important novel with a lot to say, particularly in today's political climate, Watch us rise will have a lasting impact beyond the reader turning the last page.
Daniella Chiarolli

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