The Blurb On The Back:
Slay your fear! Get out of your comfort zone and express yourself.
Find the lesson! Bounce back from the dumps, failures and other bummers.
Lift as you climb. Support your squad.
Speak truth: know your rights and take action
Don’t fit in? Pave new ground
Learn how to step into your power with the help of friendly big-sister figure Jamie Wilson.
How do you achieve your dreams? And what are your rights? Find out in this friendly guide, with mentoring moments by Jamia Wilson and Andrea Pippins. This book gives young girls the tools to unlock their power, be themselves, and maybe just change the world.
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
Jamia Wilson is a writer and feminist activist and Andrea Pippins is a writer and illustrator. In this thought-provoking, empathic and inspirational book aimed at girls aged 9+ (although there’s a lot here that boys would benefit from too) they set out 23 lessons for children to feel more powerful, from learning self-care techniques to standing up for themselves and facing down their fears, which a lot of adults would benefit from learning too.
The book is divided into 5 sections: power; choices; act; community; and self-care.
Power focuses on learning to identify your strengths rather than your faults; facing down your fears; telling the truth and standing up for yourself; learning to accept and like yourself for who you are and working out where you fit in and who you fit in with. It also sets out techniques for staying calm and centred when you’re feeling unhappy or off-centre and working out how to define who you are.
Community teaches you to help lift up other people; identifying heroes and mentors that you can learn and take inspiration from; learning when you need to ask for help; and how to deal with drama and bullying or problems with your friends.
Choices looks at trusting your gut instinct (and when to question it); how to ask for what you want; how to look elsewhere if you don’t fit in; and how not to worry about being perfect and instead focus on being yourself.
Act has a more activist vibe to it. Here Wilson and Pippins explain how to argue with adults (including where to find out what your rights are and to defend them); the importance of organising when campaigning or volunteering; and how to get out of a rut and find your crew.
Self-care explains how and why you should be kind to yourself; how to listen to your body and deal with illness; learning from failures and other problems and heartaches and how to avoid burning out.
This is a very empathic book and the subject matter is clearly important to both Wilson and Pippins as they take care to include personal anecdotes to illustrate their points. There is some overlap between the points in each of the 5 sections, but I think this works well to reinforce their points in different ways. Pippins’s illustrations are bold and vibrant and reflect a number of different ethnic groups while also featuring a figure in a wheelchair. The book is very much (and self-declares) as being aimed at girls, which I do not think is a bad thing at all but I do think that there is a lot here that boys could learn from as well, specifically when it comes to things like self-care and lifting others up with you and I hope that the girl-focus does not put them off reading it.
All in all I thought it was a useful, thought-provoking read and there were a lot of things that I noted down to take away to apply in my own life. I genuinely wish that I’d had this when I was a kid because I think it does help to structure your thoughts and work out your identity and for that reason, it is definitely worth a look.
STEP INTO YOUR POWER: 23 LESSONS ON HOW TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE was released in the United Kingdom on 7th March 2019. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.