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My Rad Life: A Journal Diary – August 15, 2017
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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About the Author
KATE SCHATZ is a feminist writer, educator, editor, and the author of the 33 1/3 book Rid of Me: A Story.
MIRIAM KLEIN STAHL is an artist, educator, and activist.
They are the author and illustrator, respectively, of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide and both live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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I was lucky enough to snag a review copy of RAD WOMEN WORLDWIDE, part of Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl’s “rad women” series, which began with 2015’s RAD AMERICAN WOMEN A-Z. From concept to execution, I adored RAD WOMEN WORLDWIDE, and was over the moon with excitement when I saw that they’d be releasing a journal based on the books.
MY RAD LIFE is (almost!) everything I’d hoped for: fun, stylish, interactive, and diverse af. Miriam Klein Stahl’s artwork is bold and arresting; her simple yet elegant black and white portraits of bada$$ women – from Gloria Steinem to Beyoncé, bell hooks to Shirley Chisholm – provide a lovely and inspirational backdrop for journaling. The art is accompanied by thought-provoking quotes, many of which are used as a jumping-off point for prompts to get the creative juices flowing.
The format is a nice mix of guided and free-form pages: some pages are completely blank; others feature funky, hand-drawn lines (way more interesting than college-ruled spacing!); and many include a blend of portraits, quotes, and prompts, leaving enough space for scribbling, writing, or drawing.
Unlike the rad women books, MY RAD LIFE: A JOURNAL is softcover. Though it’s lovely, with an embossed logo and everything, I do find myself missing the hardcover from RAD WOMEN WORLDWIDE, which was all kinds of gorgeous (and also more durable). I’d also love it if the journal had that special “lay flat” binding, to make it easier to write in the book. My handwriting is messy enough without having to struggle against the journal. :)
This would make an excellent give for tweens and young adults, particularly those with a budding interest in feminism and women’s history (package it with RAD AMERICAN WOMEN A-Z and RAD WOMEN WORLDWIDE to make an awesome little gift set). That said, it’s suitable for humans of all ages and gender expressions; I’m barrelling towards forty and loved it just the same.
** Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Blogging for Books. **
This journal was created as a companion to those books (Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! (City Lights/Sister Spit) and Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History). However, I own neither and find it great as a stand-alone.
Basically it's a guided journal that makes it easier to relate these larger than life women to students' own lives AND in many cases introduce them to women who they probably haven't heard about in the classroom.
There are pages for drawing, doodling, and sketching...and pages with lines for writing. There are prompts based on quotes encouraging them to write about their own life or draw how they see themselves today.
The people vary from Beyoncé, who let's face it they already know to Agnes Varda (a European film maker).
As a teacher, in my mind, the journal accomplishes three tasks:
1. It gives students a touch of history and may ignite a curiosity in something or someone bigger than their life.
2. It helps students get to know themselves at a deeper level
3. It can have students create connections with people they otherwise distant from
Again, looking through the lens of a teacher, I LOVE this book as inspiration for my own journal bell ringers. I plan on gifting it to a student I know who has a love of history.
I was lucky enough to get this book in exchange for an honest review.
The pages are heavy stock and smooth, and the cover is stiff with secure binding. Very high quality. Some pages are completely blank with a colorful bar across the top and bottom. Other pages are lined. There are pages that feature a quote from a rad woman with her likeness done by the artist. On the opposite page is an assignment which pertains to the quote. The assignments vary from writing poems, to getting outdoors and observing the environment, thinking about family, reflecting on goals or failures, hopes for the future, emotions, empathy, diversity, etc. The last few pages offer short, biographical blurbs about the wide variety of rad women presented as role models and inspiration in the journal.
There is alot of blank space around the art/quotes, as well as the title page, fly leaf, and inside covers, so the entire journal can be used up. Not only for writing, it could also be used as a scrapbook for photographs, artist trading cards or other papercraft, pressed leaves/flowers, or concert/lecture tickets, etc.
Well worth the price, and a perfect companion to the book. This is something I wish I had had as a young girl (heck, I like it now at age 50).
Disclaimer: I received this journal free of charge from Blogging for Books, and the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.