Celebrating National Book Lovers Day

Voice and Empowerment books


How I resist – By Maureen Johnson


An all-star collection of essays about activism and hope, edited by bestselling YA author Maureen Johnson. Now, more than ever, young people are motivated to make a difference in a world they're bound to inherit. They're ready to stand up and be heard - but with much to shout about, where they do they begin? What can I do? How can I help? In How I Resist, readers will find hope and support through voices that are at turns personal, funny, irreverent, and instructive. Not just for a young adult audience, this incredibly impactful collection will appeal to readers of all ages who are feeling adrift and looking for guidance.



Themes:


Feminism, Islamophobia, Homophobia, Racism, Poverty, Ableism, Neurodivergence.


Quotes:


“Maybe your resistance is to live. Live big and loud and joyously and fiercely.”


“Momentum toward compassion, understanding, supporting one another … realising that a person’s struggle, though it’s not mine, is important and I need to defend them and they’re going to defend me … this is how we go forward.”


“The most important tool you can have when you're making anything is curiosity.”


I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – By Maya Angelou


Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors ("I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare") will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.


Themes:


Race, Sexuality, Love, Identity, Family, Literacy, Learning, Power, Poverty.


Quotes:


“Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the Principle of Reverse.”


“I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.”


“To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision.”


Politics for Beginners – By Alex Frith, Louie Stowell, Rosie Hore


An informative guide to political systems, elections, voting and government, and issues including feminism, human rights, freedom of speech and fake news, all explained with clear text and bright, infographic style illustrations. Includes tips on how to argue and debate, a glossary, and links to specially selected websites with more information.


Themes:


Feminism, Human Rights, Voting, Citizenship, Freedom of Speech, Propaganda, Prisons.






Quotes:


“Groups such as sports teams can be described as societies”


“A person with authority doesn’t have to force you”


“Where does the Government’s authority come from?”

The Hunger Games – By Suzanne Collins


In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games.


Themes:


Fear, Dehumanisation, Poverty, Morality, Friendship, Family, Power, Corruption, Brutality.



Quotes:


“I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”


“Yes, frosting. The final defence of the dying.”


“For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.”


The Body Is Not An Apology – By Sonya Renee Taylor


The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world--for us all.





Themes:


Radical Self Love, Shame, Guilt, Apologies, Self-Objectification, Internalised Prejudices.


Quotes:


“When our personal value is dependent on the lesser value of other bodies, radical self-love is unachievable.”


“Radical self-love demands that we see ourselves and others in the fullness of our complexities and intersections and that we work to create space for those intersections.”


“Natural intelligence intends that every living thing become the highest form of itself and designs us accordingly.”



Our FYV Youth Commissioners are Emily Harris, Marion Simakungwe, Rachel Roach and Eugene Vlas

If you like the sound of any of the book recommendations from our FYV Youth Commissioners you can also enjoy many of these by listening to them on Audible.


If you would like to read our previous blog you can read it here: https://www.southendymca.org.uk/post/national-book-lovers-day





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