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Watch Us Rise: 04/29/19
Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagen is a young adult novel about two girls trying to make a difference at their high school. Jasmine is black and wants to be an actress but she's tired of being type cast into one of four racist roles. Chelsea is Irish Catholic and is driven by her need to write poetry but she's sick of the same old dead dudes being taught in class.
When neither of their chosen clubs feels like a safe, nurturing place to be a young creative woman, they start a new club: the Women's Rights Club. They also start a blog where Chelsea can post her poetry and Jasmine can post her observations about the micro-aggressions she and other minority students face at school.
Their so-called "progressive" high school ends up being anything but and the two soon find themselves labeled as troublemakers. The bulk of the book is their on-going fight against the school.
The book is full of raw emotion that rings true. It's a reminder to older readers (aka adults) about the importance of staying current and making sure all children see themselves represented and respected by the curriculum. For teen readers, the book includes numerous resources for further reading.