Resisters: 52 Young Women Making Herstory Right Now by Lauren Sharkey and Manjit Thapp

The Blurb On The Back:

”We’re not the future.  We’re doing it right now.”

Across the world, young women are uniting to create change and stand up for what they believe in.

Resisters introduces you to 52 activists doing just that.  Some are campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights, to save the environment or to combat feminist issues like period poverty.  While others are active in STEM, politics and diversity.  Yet, whether it be Twitter campaigns or life-saving apps, their great ideas are changing the world as we know it!

Packed with inspiring true stories, tips and takeaways, this is a must-have for those who dare to make a difference. 

You can order Resisters: 52 Young Women Making Herstory Right Now by Lauren Sharkey and Manjit Thapp from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Lauren Sharkey is a journalist who focuses on women’s issues who’s compiled an inspiring YA book that gives you hope for the future (beautifully illustrated by Manjit Thapp) that brings together 52 young women aged between 9 and 22 who have become successful campaigners in the fields of feminism and equality, diversity, the environment, politics and social justice, LGBTQ+, and STEM and allows them to talk about their experiences in their own words.

This is one of those books that you should thrust into the hands of anyone who bemoans the younger generations.  The women in this book are truly inspiring – dedicated, smart, and caring, they’ve all had successes (and failures) as they fight for the issues that matter to them.  Sharkey begins each of the sections with a brief summary of what they deal with and why they’re important, which I thought was very useful for younger teens who may come to this with only a vague notion about the topic.  She then provides an introduction to each of the young women who has been included and then they have produced (in some cases, in conjunction with parents or siblings) a short piece setting out their experiences and the advice that they’d give to readers looking to become activists or entrepreneurs themselves.

There are a wide variety of women in this book, with a good proportion of the women included having disabilities, or being from ethnic minorities and/or the LGBTQ+ community and Sharkey gets bonus points for including women from a variety of different countries, including Syria, Bali, Nigeria, Malawi, Qatar and Brazil so this isn’t just a US and Euro-centric book.  There are a number of common themes that come through such as being determined and how you need to learn to deal with naysayers and trolls.  Some of the campaigners seem to come from more privileged backgrounds than others and if this was a perfect world, then it would have been nice to see a sentence acknowledging that, but it’s not something that affects your enjoyment and it is offset by the fact that some of the activists do come from what may be regarded more disadvantaged backgrounds. 

All the campaigners are inspiring, but I was particularly impressed with the following: 

– Julie Seven Sage who runs a Youtube channel that provides science news to kids and who wants to be an astrophysicist;

– Kadeeja Khan, a beauty blogger and skin positivity campaigner who is trying to change attitudes towards skin blemishes and acne and whose shameful treatment by L’Oreal has ensured that I will not be buying their products in future; and

– Muzoon Almellehan, an education activist and UNICEF goodwill ambassador whose family was forced to flee Syria due to the civil war and who campaigned in the Jordanian refugee camp for families to send their daughters to school rather than trying to get them married.

Mention should be made of the illustrations drawn by Manjit Thapp, which provide sensitive portraits of some of the women featured.  I also thought that the layout worked well, especially the way that key phrases from each of the women is set out to make them clearer.  However, it’s a shame that details of the women’s social media accounts and websites is all lumped together at the end of the book, when it would have been more useful to include them in each chapter.  This is only a mild grumble, however, because I genuinely found the book to be heart-warming and one that really gave me hope for the future.

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

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