Written By: Louisa Kamps, Susanna Daniel, Michelle Wildgen
Illustrated by: Georgia Rucker
For Ages: MG & YA
Topics Covered: Activism, Environmental Activism, History, Historical Figures, STEM, Nature, Black Lives Matter, Segregation, Racism, Suffrage, Feminism.
Summary: For #sweetsandsocialjustice this week I wanted to pair something tasty with an activist that was brand new to me, so I chose filmmaking shark activist Madison Stewart!
This awesome book is a combination of history and strategy, making it doubly powerful for readers. Taking a global approach to activism, the book covers an array of diverse topics and the equally diverse driving forces behind environmental initiatives, equity, immigration, and accessibility.
Each activist profiled has an illustration and several pages about their life and work, including bolded quotes and small illustrations decorating the pages. I really like that this book pairs well-known activists like Ida B. Wells, Dolores Huerta, and Jasilyn Charger with others that might be in the media less often such as Betty Kwan Chin, Amythest Schaber, and Sonita Alizadeh. This is a book for everyone, because everyone can learn strategies for change from those that came before us and have been involved in causes longer. We as a society cannot fight for change if we don’t learn history, and in order for us to learn gorgeous books like this need to continue to be made and updated with newer generations of activists. Girl Activist also does a great job of explaining that there are many routes an activist can take. Maysoon Zayid talks about disability rights and activism using stand up comedy, or as she phrases it: “sit down stand up comedy”. Christie Begnell uses the internet for body positivity and revealing how toxic the beauty standards in media can be. Our passions can be turned into vehicles for activism, and readers will come away from Girl Activist inspired and ready to take on the world.
This book was kindly sent by Downtown Bookworks, but all opinions are my own!
Recipe: Chocolate Sugar Cookies
2 sticks butter
1t vanilla extract
2.5c all-purpose flour
.5c cocoa powder
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper for spice
Cream together butter and sugar, then add in egg, vanilla, and salt. Add in dries and mix until combined. Wrap in wax paper and let sit in fridge for an hour before rolling out. Bake in the oven at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
Louisa is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in Madison, Wisconsin. She’s written for ELLE, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, O, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, On Wisconsin, and Food & Wine, among other publications.
Louisa also writes for university publications, edit publications for cultural organizations, and produce branded content and advertising copy for a variety of companies (including L’Oreal Paris and ShopBob, among others).
Susanna Daniel is the author of two novels, Stiltsville and Sea Creatures. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she teaches private creative writing workshops.
Michelle Wildgen is the author of the novels You’re Not You, But Not For Long, and Bread and Butter, and the editor of the food writing anthology Food & Booze. A longtime executive editor with the award-winning literary journal Tin House, she is a freelance editor and creative writing teacher in Madison, Wis. Since 2013 she and novelist Susanna Daniel have run the Madison Writers’ Studio, offering a variety of creative writing workshops and classes.
Georgia Rucker has illustrated several books including the Generation Girl series, My Favorite Shoes, My Favorite Purse, and the Allegra Biscotti series. Her doodles can be found in many of the books she also designs from her office in Madison, WI.