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Book Review: Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen

Publisher’s description

here-we-areLet’s get the feminist party started!

Here We Are is a scrapbook-style teen guide to understanding what it means to be a twenty-first-century feminist. It’s packed with contributions from a diverse range of voices, including TV, film, and pop-culture celebrities and public figures such as ballet dancer Michaela DePrince and her sister Mia and politician Wendy Davis, as well as popular authors like Nova Ren Suma, Malinda Lo, Brandy Colbert, Courtney Summers, and many more. All together, the book features more than forty-four pieces and illustrations.

Here We Are is a response to lively discussions about the true meaning of feminism on social media and across popular culture and is an invitation to one of the most important, life-changing, and exciting parties around.



Amanda’s thoughts

Just go ahead and buy like twenty of these, okay? Give them out for birthdays, for holidays, for graduation gifts. This book is for everyone and makes it clear that feminism is, too.


Set up scrapbook-style, like Rookie, this book packs in a bunch of pieces in a bunch of formats. I read the whole book in one sitting. There are personal essays, poems, song lyrics, comics, letters, lists, illustrations, and more. Readers are given a brief history of feminism and information on its various waves. Chapters are divided up by themes like Body and Mind, Relationships, Culture and Pop Culture, etc. The contributions range from less than a page long to much longer. Some pieces are original and some were previously published elsewhere. A sampling of some of my favorites: Kody Keplinger’s “Feminist Songs To Sing Along To” playlist; Malinda Lo’s essay on her paternal grandmother who introduced her to feminist heroes in literature and created young Malinda’s ideal of a feminist; Anne Theriault’s “The Monster Book of Questions,” which examines feminism and mental health; Angie Manfredi’s piece about the word “fat” and how feminism helped her take the word back and embrace it; the always brilliant Liz Prince’s comic “I Guess This Is Growing Up,” about moving from misogyny to feminism; Mikki Kendall’s essay on inclusive feminism, the many ways to be a feminist and approaches to feminism, and how feminism doesn’t mean you’re still not biased, harmful, ignorant, and exclusive; Ashley Hope Perez’s piece on being a nice girl feminist (and the nice girl commandments we all have to learn to break); and Kaye Mirza’s essay on being a feminist and a Muslim. FAQs are interspersed, asking things like, “What does intersectional feminism mean?” and “Is there a difference between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’?” Fun lists include women scientists, black girl friendships, and great girl friendships in fiction.

This diverse, inclusive, intersectional, and immensely readable anthology needs to be in every school, public, and personal library. A fantastic read.



Review copy courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9781616205867

Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

Publication date: 01/24/2017



  1. Stephanie says:

    Appropriate for grades 6-8? This is a book I would love to have in our collection!


  1. […] It is an absolute must, though it might (sadly) be something in a YA collection you would have to sell to prospective readers depending on your library’s community.  However, for readers interested in Here we are, I would recommend the online magazine Rookie, which describes itself as, “an independently run online magazine and book series founded in 2011 by Editor-in-Chief Tavi Gevinson. We publish writing, photography, and other forms of artwork by and for teenagers (and their cohorts of any age!)” (http://www.rookiemag.com/us/).  Here is Gevinson’s TedxTeen Talk:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6osiBvQ-RRg.  Amanda MacGregor in her review of Here we are in Teen Librarian Toolbox comments on the stylistic similarities (“scrapbook-style”) between the two publications (http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2017/01/book-review-here-we-are-edited-by-kelly-jensen/). […]

  2. […] School Library Journal reviewer Amanda MacGregor similarly lists specific parts of this work, providing titles and brief descriptions of each. This review also only names two of the seven themes, and does not include the actual number of chapters. However, it does include a description of the general length of the contributions, which is likely of interest to potential readers. MacGregor does not name a specific audience outside of “every school, public, and personal library.” […]

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