Mundie Moms

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How I Resist: Activism and Hope for the Next Generation by Maureen Johnson / Book Review

Edited by: Maureen Johnson
Published by: Wednesday Books 
Released on: May 14th, 2018
Ages: 14 years & older 
Purchase from: PublisherAmazon | B&N
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An e-copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

An all-star collection of essays about activism and hope, edited by bestselling YA author Maureen Johnson.

Now, more than ever, young people are motivated to make a difference in a world they're bound to inherit. They're ready to stand up and be heard - but with much to shout about, where they do they begin? What can I do? How can I help?

How I Resist is the response, and a way to start the conversation. To show readers that they are not helpless, and that anyone can be the change. A collection of essays, songs, illustrations, and interviews about activism and hope, How I Resist features an all-star group of contributors, including, John Paul Brammer, Libba Bray, Lauren Duca, Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband Justin Mikita, Alex Gino, Hebh Jamal, Malinda Lo, Dylan Marron, Hamilton star Javier Muñoz, Rosie O'Donnell, Junauda Petrus, Jodi Picoult, Jason Reynolds, Karuna Riazi, Maya Rupert, Dana Schwartz, Dan Sinker, Ali Stroker, Jonny Sun (aka @jonnysun), Sabaa Tahir, Daniel Watts, Jennifer Weiner, Jacqueline Woodson, and more, all edited and compiled by New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson.

In How I Resist, readers will find hope and support through voices that are at turns personal, funny, irreverent, and instructive. Not just for a young adult audience, this incredibly impactful collection will appeal to readers of all ages who are feeling adrift and looking for guidance.

How I Resist is the kind of book people will be discussing for years to come and a staple on bookshelves for generations.

This is this the kind of book I wish I had as a teen. Especially when I was trying to figure out where my voice fit into the world that often times felt like it was drawn out by the angry voices of adults who were too busy yelling at one another vs taking the time to listen to each other when it came to opposing views. As an adult reading this book, it's a reminder that there is hope in our future generations. That the word resistance isn't a dirty word, or a political stance. Resistance is your stance on matters that mean something to you. It's standing your ground for who you are, what you believe in, and so forth, despite what the rest of the world may believe, or say. Activism is fighting for change. 

This book is not what I thought it would be. It was much better. It's a reminder of what resistance, activism and hope are, and how they're all tied together. It's also a reminder of the active role we all play in them. What this is book is not, is a yelling match of political sides going back and forth, telling the other why they're wrong. If anything, this book reads like a roundtable discussion of shared thoughts, and calls to actions by a variety of people who's diverse background have had them resisting societies labels on them since they were young. Their interviews, short essays, thoughts, songs, poems, and guides are a valuable resource to readers who see themselves in them. 

So much hate has been spewed since last year. I feel like resistance and activism are words that get thrown around with hate. They're not. They're hope. This book will make readers realize we can all be apart of the resistance (think Star Wars if you have to) in their own unique ways. In listening to what's being said in the words of this book, readers of all ages will understand why these authors, artists, and activists, collaborated on this book.

I took some notes on the things that stood out to me while I read this book. Here's what I wrote down:

* There is hope in the open acceptances of our future readers; teens.

* Be educated; Be mindful; Be you! There are so many ways you can join a resistance.

* "The way we stand strong in our diverse, supporting on another, standing up for the little guy, uniting against the things that are just blatantly unfair, protecting each other, having compassion for each other.... I hope that those things are so prevalent, that that's what sticks with them." - Javier Munoz

* "..... I promise you if you keep walking, you'll get there. To that place you've always wanted to be. Where you can make of yourself anything you want." - John Paul Brammer

* "In any challenging situation, a positive can always be found. A light can always be found." - Ali Stroker

* "There is no right way to resist. Some of us will march, some will call Congress, something will write stories, even when they're tired. And for some of us, our very lives are complex and beautiful acts of resistance." - Rebecca Roanhorse 

* All of Jason Reynolds's interview. I wanted to highlight part of it, but his whole article is fascinating, and empowering. 

"Just keep doing what you're doing." - Malinda Lo

* "None of us come into the world fully aware of who were are or what cause we want to take up. Make mistakes, they are inevitable. And when you feel ready to get to the podium, literal or metaphorical, take what hurts you and try and make it hurt someone else less." - Dylan Marron

Activism and resisting goes beyond politics. It's standing up for what you believe in, and standing strong. That might mean you march in a protest, maybe you lend your voice on a stage, or you write letters, make phone calls, or maybe you do something on a smaller scale. Either way, your actions and your words do have an effect on others. Resistance is your stance on matters that mean something to you, and not wavering in that stance, no matter what others do or say to you.

Sometimes listening is the first step in resisting and being an activist. I don't have to agree with everything that every contributor said, however I did listen to what they all had to say by reading their words. Sometimes listening is just as powerful as saying something. It helps you understand, and allows you see things from a different perspective. If you listen to the message at the heart of this book, you will take something away from it, no matter your stance on politics, world views or differences in opinions on a variety of matters. This book is meant to be guide, and a resource that readers can use.