The Radical Element: 12 Stories Of Daredevils, Debutantes & Other Dauntless Girls by Jessica SpotswoodThe Radical Element: 12 Stories Of Daredevils, Debutantes & Other Dauntless Girls by Jessica Spotswood

The Radical Element: 12 Stories Of Daredevils, Debutantes & Other Dauntless Girls

EditorJessica Spotswood

Hardcover | March 13, 2018

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In an anthology of revolution and resistance, a sisterhood of YA writers shines a light on a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections.

To respect yourself, to love yourself, should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It’s a decision that must be faced when you’re balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs — whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they’re asking you to join them.

Original stories by:
Dahlia Adler
Erin Bowman
Dhonielle Clayton
Sara Farizan
Mackenzi Lee
Stacey Lee
Anna-Marie McLemore
Meg Medina
Marieke Nijkamp
Megan Shepherd
Jessica Spotswood
Sarvenaz Tash
Jessica Spotswood is the editor of A Tyranny of Petticoats, the companion volume to The Radical Element. She grew up near the Gettysburg battlefield, in Pennsylvania, but now lives in Washington, D.C., where she works for the District of Columbia Public Library system as a children's library associate.
Title:The Radical Element: 12 Stories Of Daredevils, Debutantes & Other Dauntless GirlsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.31 × 6.25 × 0.93 inPublished:March 13, 2018Publisher:Candlewick PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0763694258

ISBN - 13:9780763694258


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good collection This is a collection of stories that feature girls who live on the margins of society in some way, and rebel against the expectations of society. I loved the tension and pacing in the stories. They often ended right as something was going to happen, which left me wanting more. I’m going to look up other works by these authors, because they were all great. One thing that bothered me about these stories was the lack of geographical and racial diversity. The first half of the stories featured white main characters and were set in southern United States. The one main character who was Mexican used her magic to appear white to blend in with the other actresses in early twentieth century Hollywood. Each of the girls had some other way that they stood on the fringe of society, whether in ability, sexuality, or religion but I would have liked to see more races and settings in the stories. The latter half of the book featured more main characters who were women of colour, but I wish they appeared earlier in the book. I received a copy of this book from the publisher on NetGalley.
Date published: 2018-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Anthology Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-arc. Also, thank you to Goodreads for letting me win this book. It's the first thing I've ever won, and I'm more than just a little bit happy about it. "Up here, I am strong and brave and beautiful. Up here, no one can touch me." The Radical Element is an anthology that tells the stories of young women through the ages. Or, more accurately, through about a century and a half. The earliest story was set in 1838, and the latest one in 1984. These young women all had one thing in common, though: they were all revolutionary in their own way. At least, in my opinion. I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm right. My interested in this book was piqued when I found out that Anna-Marie McLemore, one of my favourite authors, had written a story for it. On top of that, the premise sounded quite fascinating, and it made me more than a little excited to pick this book up. Like all anthologies, there were some stories that were better than others, but all in all, I gave nothing less than 3 stars, and by averaging my ratings for every story, the real rating of this book is probably more around 4.25 stars. What I loved most about this book was its diversity. All characters were so different, yet all as fascinating. It was thoroughly interesting to read about minorities during historical periods that we usually only get to experience through white people's points of view. On top of that, it was impossible not to cheer for all the heroines I read about, and I'd honestly read full-sized books of all the stories I read in this anthology. Also, I thought it was really nice how strongly this book ended. Whilst I enjoyed all the stories within it, my two favourite ones were definitely the last two, and I was therefore left with a very nice taste in my mouth. All in all, I think that this is a wonderful anthology filled with diverse characters and diverse stories you can't help but fall in love with, and I recommend it to everyone. Especially those who enjoy historical fiction.
Date published: 2018-03-22

Editorial Reviews

These are tales across time and cultures, offering diverse women as witnesses to historical times. Contributor Dhonielle Clayton sums up the necessity of such an anthology when she writes, "There are few stories about what nonwhite people endured [during World War II], and I wanted to explore that." A needed collection to broaden understanding of the many different faces of history.—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)Twelve stories from acclaimed YA authors focus on women who, one way or another, have radical, groundbreaking experiences...Short story collections can be uneven, but this one has an admirable goal, and there is plenty to love.—BooklistEach story has an unique voice and tone, appealing to a variety of readers...This collection is extremely informative, intersectional, and inspirational, and will be sure to spark dialogue. Recommended for all young adult collections.—School Library JournalAnna-Marie McLemore, Meg Medina, Dahlia Adler, Dhonielle Clayton, Sarvenaz Tash, Sara Farizan, Marieke Nijkamp, Erin Bowman, Stacey Lee, and Mackenzi Lee each tell a story of young female resistance and revolution in history. It's super timely and empowering, this is one you'll want to carry around in your tote bag.—Bustle (blog)Perhaps this intriguing collection will encourage girls to embrace their best selves and to engage in radical actions of their own.—Literacy DailyThe 12 stories, set in the U.S., run chronologically from 1838 Savannah to 1984 Boston and spotlight girls from a range of ethnic and social backgrounds.—Shelf Awareness for ReadersWith a focus on empowering girls and women to stand up for themselves and what is right, this title is definitely a needed entry in every collection.—School Library Connection