Raise Your Voice curated by Nadia Jae

The Blurb On The Back:

Be empowered to tell your story!

Are you wondering how you can cut through the noise and make your unique self known? 

Raise Your Voice offers essential advice on how to boost your confidence and put your best self forward.  Led by BBC Radio 1Xtra host Nadia Jae, read personal stories and advice from prominent figures in sport, broadcasting, and entertainment and discover how you too can speak up and stand out. 

RAISE YOUR VOICE: MAKE YOURSELF HEARD IN A NOISY WORLD was released in the United Kingdom on 21st July 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order RAISE YOUR VOICE: MAKE YOURSELF HEARD IN A NOISY WORLD curated by Nadia Jae from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Nadia Jae is a DJ on Radio 1Xtra and a TV presenter.  This YA self-help book consists of 19 uplifting interviews with a mix of radio and TV presenters, actors, journalists and backstage people from a wide variety of backgrounds about how they developed their confidence and dealt with issues that may have otherwise held them back.  If you have a teen interested in getting into TV or radio, then this would be a good read for them to check out.

I was a little cynical about this book when I picked it up because it’s been released as part of the 2022 centenary celebrations for the BBC so I was wary that there would be a lot of self-back slapping “look how well we’re doing with diversity” stuff in there.  However, this is actually a genuinely uplifting book which draws on people from a variety of diverse backgrounds, including ethnicity and disability and those who have had mental health issues and gives genuine advice on how to overcome issues to achieve your goals.

The majority of the interviewees were new to me, purely because I am not a big radio listener and don’t watch the programmes they have done (I do not mean that in a shady way).  The only people I was familiar with were Ade Adepitan, Greg James, Roman Kemp and Edith Bowman.  The interviews are all short at a couple of pages and grouped around the following subjects:

– Know Yourself

– Speak Up

– Listen To Your Gut

– Overcome Fear

There’s then a final section which features journalist and people who work behind the scenes.  In fact, my main criticism of the book is that these people are not intertwined in with the more famous people in the front because if you are interested in a career in the media (which is notoriously difficult to break into), then their stories are just as valid and the work they do just as important so it may inspire teens to look at that kind of work beyond DJing, presenting and performance.

The interviews are all very interesting with the interviewees telling their story of their journey into media and the issues and set backs that they had along the way.  I was particularly inspired by Nadia Jae, Ade Adepitan, Greg James and JJ Chalmers (who makes interesting points about disability representation) but all of the interviewees have something interesting or relevant to say and I think that the types of difficulties they talk about are of a type that many teens (and indeed people generally) can relate to.

The only other negative comment I have about the book is that the graphics for the pulled quotes don’t work particularly well – they’re often crowded on a page or put directly next to the section of text that the quote has been pulled from.  As a result, I found that they were distracting rather than working to reinforce the messages from each interview.

My criticisms apart, this is a genuinely inspiring book in many respects and if I you have a teenager looking at a career in the media, then I think that they will get a lot from this because it does not sugar coat the challenges but at the same time gives you tips for building your confidence, overcoming self-doubt and staying focused.

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