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

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

by Jessica Spotswood (Editor)


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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

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781536208665
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 132,288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1838: Savannah, Georgia: Daughter of the Book Dahlia Adler 1

1844: Nauvoo, Illinois: You're a Stranger Here Mackenzi Lee 25

1858: Colorado River, New Mexico Territory: The Magician Erin Bowman 46

1863: Charleston, South Carolina: Lady Firebrand Megan Shepherd 74

1905: Tulsa, Indian Territory: Step Right Up Jessica Spotswood 102

1923: Los Angeles and the Central Valley, California: Glamour Anna-Marie McLemore 128

1927: Washington, D.C.: Better for All the World Marieke Nijkamp 156

1943: Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts: When the Moonlight Isn't Enough Dhonielle Clayton 179

1952: Brooklyn, New York: The Belle of the Ball Sarvenaz Tash 207

1955: Oakland, California: Land of the Sweet, Home of the Brave Stacey Lee 236

1972: Queens, New York: The Birth of Susi Go-Go Meg Medina 257

1984: Boston, Massachusetts: Take Me with U sara Farizan 282

About the Contributors 305

Acknowledgments 309

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