The Radical Element

The Radical Element cover
Release Dateout now

“Respect yourself,” she says. “Respect, and perhaps, one day, even love yourself. It’s the most radical decision you can make.” 

Respect yourself. Love yourself. As radical a decision for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927, as radical for a student as for a spy, for a printer’s apprentice or a poker player. It’s a radical decision when you’re balancing on the tightrope of being a second-generation immigrant, of neurodivergence, of facing down American racism while loving America. It’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. 

With respect and love, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today —an impressive sisterhood that includes Marieke Nijkamp, Meg Medina, and Anna-Marie McLemore — have created a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections, young women of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs. They are ignoring their mothers’ well meant advice and forging their own paths — whether 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.

/// This anthology follow-up to A Tyranny of Petticoats combines fact, fiction, and fantasy to tell stories about young women throughout history whose voices have been ignored for too long. Edited by Jessica Spotswood, with contributions from: Dahlia Adler, Erin Bowman, Dhonielle Clayton, Sara Farizan, Mackenzi Lee, Stacey Lee, Anna-Marie McLemore, Meg Medina, Marieke Nijkamp, Megan Shepherd, and Sarvenaz Tash.

Praise for The Radical Element

⭐️ These are tales across time and cultures, offering diverse women as witnesses to historical times. Contributor Dhonielle Clayton sums up the necessity of such an anthology when she writes, “There are few stories about what nonwhite people endured [during World War II], and I wanted to explore that.” A needed collection to broaden understanding of the many different faces of history.

Kirkus, starred review

Twelve stories from acclaimed YA authors focus on women who, one way or another, have radical, groundbreaking experiences…Short story collections can be uneven, but this one has an admirable goal, and there is plenty to love.

Booklist

Each story has an unique voice and tone, appealing to a variety of readers…This collection is extremely informative, intersectional, and inspirational, and will be sure to spark dialogue. Recommended for all young adult collections.

School Library Journal
Publishers

World English: Candlewick Press