My two books, Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu and Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson, are both very different, yet very similar. Moxie is about a white girl in a privileged town who is fed up with the politics of her high school, while Piecing Me Together is told by a poor African American teen desperate to escape her neighborhood and find a better life for herself and her family. However, both are realistic fiction and the basis of both stories is woman’s empowerment and feminism.
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Let’s talk about Moxie first. It isn’t often you come across a book with such a strong female character. Viv is fed up with her school and especially the principal. Fed up with the sexist dress codes, sexual harassment, and a football team that can do no wrong (it has the best of everything, including equipment and uniforms). One night instead of going to the football game (in which the entire town literally shuts down), she single-handedly creates the Moxie zine. Moxie unites all the girls in the school and encourages them to fight back. It takes off like rapid fire and soon the Moxie group is formed. This book is fun and entertaining while providing a great lesson in feminism. I feel this book will empower many teen readers. It is definitely a feel good book and an inspiration to all.
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
In Piecing Me Together, Jade is one of the few African American students in a privileged high school which she attends on scholarship. She has few friends and desperately seeks the opportunity to travel abroad. She knows it is her only way out of her poor neighborhood. Instead she gets selected to be in a “woman-to-woman” group where she is paired with a mentor, Maxine. Although this seems to be a great opportunity, Maxine isn’t very emotionally stable herself. Jade’s determination and learning along with Maxine makes this a powerful book. They both teach each other a lot about the outside world. Watson’s focus is on teaching the reader that you create your own future and that empowerment and standing up for oneself is as important as the opportunities one may receive.
And the winner is…
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
While I enjoyed both books very much and both are well written, Moxie shows a stronger character from the beginning and has more facets to the book, including humor. I loved how the actual zines she creates are included in the book. This enhances the entertainment and feel of empowerment throughout the book. Both books could be used in the classroom to teach students to speak up for themselves and others, but I feel Moxie would reach a wider audience and is more entertaining. Therefore, I think Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu should go on to the next round.
Moxie Girls Fight Back!!!