Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
Woke : a young poet's call to justice
Book
2020
Scroll down the list in the 'Find a Copy' section to see all your options. Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons.
Map It
Find a Copy
Reviews

Booklist Reviews

What does it mean to be woke? Simply put, "to be WOKE is to understand that equality and justice for some is not equality and justice at all." In this poetry collection, Browne, accompanied by Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, unpacks the weight of social inequities in 23 standalone poems in a variety of forms. Topics include activism, community, joy, prejudice, and resourcefulness, to name a few, blending the hard lines of fighting and resisting injustice with sweet moments of peace in our shared humanity. Aimed toward the middle grades, each poem offers lyrical strength and resolve that will encourage budding activists to develop an ever-important ethical and justice-oriented muscle. Taylor's cartoonlike digital art embraces each poem, though depending on the reader, the strength of the illustrations may at times compete with the text. A title worth adding to any youth poetry collection, Woke will call out to and empower its readers with a reminder that "our voice is our greatest power." Grades 2-5. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Booklist Reviews

What does it mean to be woke? Simply put, "to be WOKE is to understand that equality and justice for some is not equality and justice at all." In this poetry collection, Browne, accompanied by Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, unpacks the weight of social inequities in 23 standalone poems in a variety of forms. Topics include activism, community, joy, prejudice, and resourcefulness, to name a few, blending the hard lines of fighting and resisting injustice with sweet moments of peace in our shared humanity. Aimed toward the middle grades, each poem offers lyrical strength and resolve that will encourage budding activists to develop an ever-important ethical and justice-oriented muscle. Taylor's cartoonlike digital art embraces each poem, though depending on the reader, the strength of the illustrations may at times compete with the text. A title worth adding to any youth poetry collection, Woke will call out to and empower its readers with a reminder that "our voice is our greatest power." Grades 2-5. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Following an introduction that defines what it means to be woke, these poems combine clear declarations with easy-to-grasp metaphors to convey progressive values. Privilege is compared to a toolbox ("We can choose/ to use it to help people who don't have what we do") and gender to a rainbow ("There are so many shades between boy and girl"). Each poem's intended value appears next to its page number—including individuality ("Teeth Dance With Silver"), body positivity ("The Good Body"), and ableism ("The Ability to Be"). The text's direct style is matched by Taylor's clear illustrations, notable for their bold lines and bright colors. With its references to figures such as Janet Mock and Trayvon Martin, it's a useful conversation-starter on the topic. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 3–6—This new book from the team behind Woke Baby introduces concepts and explains issues that concern activists of all ages. These 24 poems celebrate diversity and individuality, touching on issues of gender, physical ability, race, immigration, and protest. The authors recognize the complex web of discrimination and systemic oppression that impacts many marginalized people. The message is clear: We must fight against injustice, and our words can be our greatest source of power. The cover image (a young person of color wearing a pen behind their ear and gazing upward) reflects a hopeful solution: poetry. The poems, written by three different poets, function well (perhaps better) as read-alouds. Their rhythm and natural flow are reminiscent of spoken word poetry, and the way they appear on the page is important. The illustrations resemble the modern, color-saturated, stylized work of graphic novelists like Raina Telgemeier and Victoria Jamieson. VERDICT An important book that demands to be seen. It adds to the conversation of #OwnVoices and speaks to a young person's need for expression and social justice.—Shannon O'Connor, Unami Middle School, Chalfont, PA

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Author Biography

Mahogany L. Browne is a California-born, Brooklyn-based writer, organizer, mentor, and curator. She has published several books of poetry and facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. She is an Agnes Gund, Cave Canem, AIR Serenbe, Poets House, Rauschenberg fellow, and the current artistic director of Urban Word NYC. Her previous books for young readers include Woke Baby and Black Girl Magic.

Theodore Taylor III is an artist and designer. He is the winner of the John Steptoe New Talent Award for his work in When the Beat Was Born, and is the illustrator of Woke Baby. He lives in Richmond, Virginia, with his wife and their very own woke baby.

Elizabeth Acevedo is the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning novel, The Poet X. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. She resides in Washington, DC with her partner.

Olivia Gatwood has received national recognition for her poetry, writing workshops, and work as a Title IX Compliant educator in sexual assault prevention and recovery. She is a finalist at Brave New Voices, Women of the World and the National Poetry Slam. Olivia has been featured on HBO, Huffington Post, MTV, VH1, and BBC, and she has performed internationally at over two-hundred schools and universities. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, she now lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Olivia's poetry books include Woke, Life of the Party, and New American Best Friend.

Jason Reynolds is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author. Jason’s many books include Miles Morales: Spider Man, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), and Long Way Down, which received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor. His novel, Look Both Ways, was a National Book Award Finalist. Jason has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and CBS This Morning. He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program and lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at his website.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

Annotations

Presents a collection of poems covering topics related to social justice, social change, discrimination, and empathy. - (Baker & Taylor)

A collection of poems by women of color, written for today’s generation of young activists, reflects the passion of the fight for social justice while tackling subjects ranging from discrimination and empathy to acceptance and speaking out. Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations. - (Baker & Taylor)

"This collection of poems by women of color covers topics relating to social justice, activism, discrimination and empathy, focusing on the need to speak out and inspiring middle-graders." -Vogue

Woke: A Young Poet's Guide to Justice
is a collection of poems to inspire kids to stay woke and become a new generation of activists.


Historically poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out.

With Theodore Taylor’s bright, emotional art, and writing from Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, kids will be inspired to create their own art and poems to express how they see justice and injustice.

With a foreword by best-selling author Jason Reynolds.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

A collection of poems to inspire kids to stay woke and become a new generation of activists. - (McMillan Palgrave)

Large Cover Image
Displaying 1 of 1