Honest, inspirational, and unapologetic declarations of the trials and triumphs of Black womanhood.



An exciting and creatively illustrated compilation of noteworthy quotes attributed to 50 Black women across time.

Powerful and unforgettable words spoken by politicians, actresses, musicians, athletes, activists, writers, supermodels, businesswomen, philanthropists, dancers, one astronaut, one first lady, and one U.S. vice president grace the pages. Some entries capture the characteristics for which the subject is best known, such as anthropologist and writer Zora Neale Hurston’s memorable and poetic assertion of her elemental optimism: “No, I do not weep at the world—I’m too busy sharpening my oyster knife.” Others capture the speaker’s sense of humor, as in high priestess of neo-soul Erykah Badu’s admission that “I’m pretty mutable as a human being, period—if you put me on Pluto, I can figure it out.” Still others emphasize the vital importance of Black women’s radical self-care; Audre Lorde notes: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Each quote appears next to a bold portrait illustration of its utterer. Ahanonu’s artwork, executed digitally, draws from pop-art aesthetics with eye-catching color blocking and fragmented shapes used to embellish and visually unify the entries. The text on each page includes a brief biographical note and a few lines of text elucidating the quote.

Honest, inspirational, and unapologetic declarations of the trials and triumphs of Black womanhood. (Nonfiction. 10-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6394-3

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


Telgemeier has created an utterly charming graphic memoir of tooth trauma, first crushes and fickle friends, sweetly reminiscent of Judy Blume’s work. One night, Raina trips and falls after a Girl Scout meeting, knocking out her two front teeth. This leads to years of painful surgeries, braces, agonizing root canals and other oral atrocities. Her friends offer little solace through this trying ordeal, spending more of their time teasing than comforting her. After years of these girls’ constant belittling, Raina branches out and finds her own voice and a new group of friends. Young girls will relate to her story, and her friend-angst is palpable. Readers should not overlook this seemingly simply drawn work; the strong writing and emotionally expressive characters add an unexpected layer of depth. As an afterword, the author includes a photo of her smiling, showing off the results of all of the years of pain she endured. Irresistible, funny and touching—a must read for all teenage girls, whether en-braced or not. (Graphic memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-13205-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Bantam Discovery

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl.


From the Friends series , Vol. 3

Shannon just wants to get through eighth grade in one piece—while feeling like her own worst enemy.

In this third entry in popular author for young people Hale’s graphic memoir series, the young, sensitive overachiever is crushed by expectations: to be cool but loyal to her tightknit and dramatic friend group, a top student but not a nerd, attractive to boys but true to her ideals. As events in Shannon’s life begin to overwhelm her, she works toward finding a way to love and understand herself, follow her passions for theater and writing, and ignore her cruel inner voice. Capturing the visceral embarrassments of middle school in 1987 Salt Lake City, Shannon’s emotions are vivid and often excruciating. In particular, the social norms of a church-oriented family are clearly addressed, and religion is shown as being both a comfort and a struggle for Shannon. While the text is sometimes in danger of spelling things out a little too neatly and obviously, the emotional honesty and sincerity drawn from Hale’s own life win out. Pham’s artwork is vibrant and appealing, with stylistic changes for Shannon’s imaginings and the leeching out of color and use of creative panel structures as her anxiety and depression worsen.

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl. (author's note, gallery) (Graphic memoir. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-31755-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet