BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [in Library Journal]

Before Adichie became a mother herself, a childhood friend – the titular Ijeawele – asked Adichie to tell her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist.

She begins here with two “Feminist Tools”: 1. “I matter equally. Full stop”; and 2. “Can you reverse X and get the same results?,” a demand for gender equity. The suggestions that follow are fulfilling (“Motherhood is a glorious gift, but do not define yourself solely by motherhood”), just (“a father is as much a verb as a mother”), wise (“Her job is not to make herself likeable, her job is to be her full self”), and even literary (“Teach her to love books”).

January LaVoy proves to be an ideal stand-in for the author, her voice thoughtful and supportive, insistent and assuring, as she reads Adichie’s “honest and practical” letter.

Verdict: For parents and children of all ages, Adichie’s Manifesto should certainly encourage discussion and even enable change.

Review: “Feminism with Adichie,” Library Journal, June 16, 2017

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2017


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