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We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

Review

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

Carrying a very heavy political message WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson is a book with a powerful agenda for diverse voices to be heard. This book is “Dedicated to those who advocate for and pursue a just society and basic human rights for all people,” and it shows with its variety of authors, poetic messages and artistry on every page.

"This book [offers] hope and a can-do attitude to inspire the next generation to do what is right for the world and right for all people."

WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES starts by mentioning how the results of the 2016 presidential election were upsetting due to the hateful nature of our new president. Right away this shows that this book is not for the very conservative, but with poems such as “What Shall We Tell You?” written by Wade Hudson (about the struggle of explaining to our children why bad things happen in the world); “You Can Do It,” written by Jabari Asim (about not letting anyone tell you that you can’t do something); and “To Find a Friend,” written by Joseph Bruchac (about how in order to find a friend you must first be a friend to yourself), this book does go a long way to be inclusive and contains text that anyone can relate to and take away something from.

There are over 50 authors of the art, essays, letters, poems and stories of this book with a short biography of each one in the back demonstrating their diverse backgrounds. This book strays from the traditional voice in literature that only featured “the white man,” and instead collects the voices that have been absent throughout history, but are just now starting to rise including Newbery Award-winner Kwame Alexander and Coretta Scott King Winners Jacqueline Woodson, Jason Reynolds and Sharon M. Draper. There is an essay written by Ella Ho, a Korean-American woman, about how she was bullied growing up in “White America,” and words about being a Cherokee artist by Roy Boney Jr. With pieces of writing and art like this, the book has the miraculous power to empower the next generation to be themselves, stand up for what they believe and become political activists; it will also invoke sympathy into its readers.

There is also an outstanding visual quality on every page. Much like snowflakes and people, no two pages of this book are alike. Every piece of text has a different piece of artwork, whether it is a beautiful illustration, sketch, collage, painting, photograph or simply the font choice, there is colorful emotion shown in the graphics and it is the diversity that ties them together.

Both the pictures and the text of this book will bring the reader joy, but they will also bring some readers great sorrow. However, this book can also offer hope and a can-do attitude to inspire the next generation to do what is right for the world and right for all people. Famous and favorite authors that are featured will draw people in to pick this book up and hopefully when they are finished reading it young readers will be inspired to do and take on more of a role in the world.

Reviewed by Angela Warsinske on September 27, 2018

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices
Edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson