Black Girls Unbossed by Khristi Lauren Adams


Black Girls Unbossed: Young World Changers Leading the Way by Khristi Lauren Adams. Beaming Books, 2022. 9781506479231

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Inspirational

What did you like about the book? This collective biography will introduce middle and high school readers to 8 young Black women who have taken leadership roles in their communities. Fighting against cancer, environmental inequity, and gun violence or for inclusive children’s books, arts education, and better mental health resources, these activists are definitely inspirational and worthy of recognition. Each chapter tells us a bit about the young woman’s back story, how she became involved in her cause, the challenges she faced, what kind of training or preparation she had, and how she organized for change. As she closes out the sections, Adams summarizes what we can learn from the activists’ stories. For Kynneddy Simone Smith, for example (a young musician), the takeaways include “pacesetting leadership”, taking action one step at a time, the importance of sisterhood, and learning from her mistakes. The book is colorful and attractive: lots of hot pink, shades of lavender, and stock graphics, with each young woman represented by a stylized photograph.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I don’t know how or why Adams selected these 8 activists for inclusion in the book; what was the criteria? That would have been useful information.  It also seemed a bit premature to me to have a book about their accomplishments as they are really young. 

To whom would you recommend this book?  Middle or high school students looking for inspiration. I can’t see it being accurate for very long, as presumably these young women will probably continue to pile up accomplishments or find new interests and change course. I think it would be a better fit for a classroom or club collection as it may remain undiscovered for too long on a library shelf.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries

Where would you shelve it? 305.896

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: August 8, 2022

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