Here We Are (Paperback)
Feminism for the Real World
Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616205867, 240pp.
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Have you ever wanted to be a superheroine? Join a fandom? Create the perfect empowering playlist? Understand exactly what it means to be a feminist in the twenty-first century? You’ve come to the right place.
Forty-four writers, dancers, actors, and artists contribute essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations about everything from body positivity to romance to gender identity to intersectionality to the greatest girl friendships in fiction. Together, they share diverse perspectives on and insights into what feminism means and what it looks like. Come on in, turn the pages, and be inspired to find your own path to feminism by the awesome individuals in Here We Are.
Welcome to one of the most life-changing parties around!
About the Author
Praise For Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World…
“A progressive antidote to the ancient teen health textbooks that mull over the dry basics of teen identity . . . a stellar collection . . . An embarrassment of riches.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Earnest, conversational, and dauntlessly unapologetic . . . An education unto itself, the message of inclusion and strength is invaluable.”
—Booklist, starred review
“Fantastic . . . There is something here for everyone. This celebratory examination of feminism is a much-needed addition to teen collections.”
—School Library Journal, starred review
“Sophisticated yet entirely accessible, the collection is valuable both for the breadth of thought and perspective it represents and for the support it directs toward readers.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Within the lively pages of Here We Are is a 21st-century ‘feminist party,’ and everyone is invited . . . This exciting, provocative anthology for young adults collects diverse and even fascinatingly contradictory viewpoints on modern feminism.”
—Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review
“A pithy, accessible guide where young people can find support and answers to their questions, from what does feminism mean to how to be a real-life superheroine . . . generous, informative . . . This timely anthology offers words and role models to help young people . . . as they chart their own course.”
“Here We Are not only presents an inclusive and hopeful vision for the future of feminism, it also boldly and proudly passes the torch to the next generation of leaders.”
“Jensen has assembled a collection of meditations on what it means to be a woman today that is both important and gripping . . . HERE WE ARE is a book every feminist will want to get for the teen in their life—and will end up reading and learning from, too.”
“In an exceptionally inclusive and diverse anthology featuring pieces from 44 creators, editor Kelly Jensen has curated a definition of feminism that is a safe space of equality and acceptance for everyone . . . A top-notch guide for all.”
—The Globe & Mail
“[A] feminist power tome.”
—New York Magazine/The Strategist
“Forty-four writers, performers, artists and more contribute to this 'zine-like collection that offers reading lists, comics, a 4-step guide for becoming a superheroine, and essays from writers like Mindy Kaling.”
“Kelly Jensen’s anthology is too good to pass up. In Here We Are, Jensen collects a ton of great pieces from authors, actresses, dancers, and more, all centered around the theme of feminism. Nova Ren Suma? Brandy Colbert? Mindy Kaling? Oof, this book is fantastic.”
—Paste Magazine, A Most Anticipated Young Adult Book of 2017
“This scrapbook-style guide book has everything any teen would every want to know about feminism packed into one fun, unique package . . . an inspiring read for young adults that examines where feminism stands today, and what we need to do next to help it succeed in the future.”
“[Here We Are] brings a diverse millennial perspective to the feminist movement.”
“[Jensen’s] strength is on full display in this dynamic collection of essays, interviews, comic strips and more, which brings together a chorus of diverse viewpoints, from women and men, to help teens understand, broaden and visualize their own definition of contemporary feminism.”
“Here We Are takes on difficult and painful subjects . . . yet as a whole the book has an uplifting, hopeful tone. Older sisters and aunts (and a few older brothers and uncles) are sharing their stories and offering their encouragement. The book’s scrapbook-like design adds to its friendliness. Jensen also incorporates spot illustrations and relevant comics . . . [and] offers several sparking pop-culture pieces . . .”
“The book delivers. Collating the perspectives and experience of a wide variety of contributors, the book is both about speaking and listening – about our differences in experience. More than that, the book is about handing over the torch to those who have these different perspectives rather than speaking over them . . . I wish this was a book that had existed when I was thirteen or fourteen.”
“Here We Are is the book about navigating young adulthood that I wish had been available to me as a teenager . . . The range of experiences included is intimate . . . and makes it hard for readers not to spot themselves in the pages. In fact, the book’s accessibility is a major factor in its success.”—Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA)
“An accessible collection of contemporary feminist writing and an introduction to twenty-first-century feminism. By embracing the voices of women, men, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and myriad other identities, the book sends a strong message that feminism is for everyone.”
—The Horn Book Magazine
“Feminism remains a hot-button topic, and this makes an excellent introduction to a complicated movement based on a simple concept of equality.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Here We Are is the kind of book you dip into over and over again, to learn something new about feminism and social justice, to marvel at all the different paths to creative expression and courage, to find little rays of hope when things some oppressively broken. Poems, manifestos, interviews, FAQs, short stories, comics: the many pieces collected here come from role models like Mindy Kaling and Laverne Cox and from young women who are speaking up and reshaping the future.”
“This awesome feminist scrapbook is required reading for 2017 . . . [a] guide to finding feminism for yourself. The mishmash of perspectives (so many razor-sharp opinions!) will make you think, question your own ideals, and get a better grasp on how we can stay empowered through the future.”
“Here We Are is the book you wish you’d had as a teenager . . . Buy this for your younger sibling, your besties’ kids, any female or gender minority teenager you happen to be close to.”
“A great introduction for teen (and adult) readers. Whether you're looking for a playlist of feminist songs to sing along to from Kody Keplinger, advice for surviving high school from Mindy Kaling or a handy chart of FAQs, this book has you covered.”
“This book is so much more than an anthology, more than an invaluable and insightful text, more than a book that ought to be in every high school in the country—though it is all those things. Here We Are is, simply, a gift.”
—B&N Teen Blog
“This is perfect for teens looking for diverse perspectives on the titular topic; some tips and advice for living as a feminist; and/or an optimistic peek at the future of feminism . . . readers will find themselves immersed in a dynamic exploration of inclusion and strength.”
“Here We Are is an excellent work that makes the topic of feminism approachable and engaging.”
“Just go ahead and buy like twenty of these, okay? Give them out for birthdays, for holidays, for graduation gifts. This book is for everyone and makes it clear that feminism is, too.”
—Teen Librarian Toolbox
“An accessible, engaging collection that readers won’t want to miss out on.”
“Insightful . . . Sure to rally teens, Here We Are is a loving tribute to the gains feminism has made—and a call to action that encourages readers to continue to strive for equality and inclusivity.”
“This book is absolutely invaluable for young people for whom it is written. It shows people what feminism is, how it can be inclusive and how it is not just a line of thought but a way of life. With brightly coloured papers and a fun layout, with essays often interspersed with artwork and playlists, I reckon this book will appeal to even the most resistant of readers. Highly recommended.”
—The Book Wars
“These essays are entertaining, encouraging, and informative, and serve to introduce young readers to feminism in all its breadth, or to encourage them along as they forge their ways within it.”
“An incredibly engaging collection of essays, and one of the most important non-fiction YA reads of the year. Buy it for every teenage girl in your life. Buy it for every teenage boy in your life. Buy it for every teenager who doesn’t conform to the gender binary. Hell, I know many, many adults who would benefit from the messages contained in this diverse celebration of feminism . . . In short, I can’t recommend this book enough.”
“An introduction to some modern, intersectional feminist works where black women’s voices, stories and perspectives are given the space to be seen as the leaders of this movement they have always been.”
“Absolutely delightful, insightful . . .”
“Really great . . . it would be an excellent gift for a young person in your life.”
—Go Fug Yourself
“An scrapbook-style anthology by 44 feminist contributors which includes essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations. It was written with teens in mind, but people of all ages will come back to it again and again.”
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. After reading this collection of essays and art about feminism, how would you define what being feminist means?
2. What is the significance of the title of this book, Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World?
3. Which essays resonated most with you as a reader? What made those particular pieces stand out?
4. Discuss some of the different ways the contributors incorporate feminism into their daily lives.
5. Take a few moments and imagine yourself as a superheroine/superhero using the guide in the essay by Allison Peyton Steger and Rebecca Sexton. What does your superheroine/superhero self look like? What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? How does reading about feminism have an impact on the way you see yourself as a superheroine/superhero?
6. In addition to essays, Here We Are also contains drawings, comics, photographs, and poems. What do these pieces say about feminism? What other works of art, current and/or historical, do you consider to be feminist?
7. What does the design of this book add to the pieces themselves? Does the scrapbook-like look and feel change how you approach reading the collection?
8. Intersectionality plays a part in each of the essays in this collection, but it is central in the pieces by Mikki Kendall, Constance Augusta Zaber, and Kaye Mirza. What defines intersectionality? How do these essays showcase the importance of intersectional feminism?
9. Three pieces in the collection (by Kayla Whaley, Erika T. Wurth, and Siobhan Vivian) take the form of letters to one’s younger self. If you could talk about feminism with your younger self, what wisdom would you impart?
10. Do you think what you’ve learned about feminism will have an impact on your future? How? In what ways can you declare your feminism and integrate it into your everyday life? Are there any pieces of advice or nuggets of wisdom from this collection that you will take with you?