I began reading A Change is Gonna Come and felt like something a little special was happening within the e-pages.
Not that I’d ever completed an anthology before (in my head, it was pronounced anthropology, aka the study of humans), but I was excited none-the-less.
This is a highly enjoyable range of short stories by a mix of established and new BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) authors. Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me access to it in exchange for an honest review.
I’m struggling with this review. While I enjoyed the book and found many of the pieces successfully grabbed me, I just don’t feel like it provoked many thoughts other than “Oh, this is good.”
The four new YA voices introduced to us are Mary Bello, Aisha Bushby, Yasmin Rahman and Phoebe Roy, all of whom are welcome additions to the community.
The stories range from Bushby’s Marionette Girl, about a teen whose life is controlled by her OCD to The Clean Sweep by Patrice Lawrence, where problem teens are sent to a the Truman Show style rehabilitation center.
Through all the worlds we’re taken, the overarching theme is change. It doesn’t come as a surprise – the publishing industry isn’t the most inclusive of industries. Written stories are the freest of media when it comes to creating characters. All it takes is words to make new worlds in our heads. Film, tv and photography don’t have such a simple luxury at hand. As someone who once worked on a short horror film, believe me – it takes a lot of work. Yet somehow this freedom doesn’t always translate to books. Many are written by cis white authors with straight white characters. Obviously not all, but it’s the general trend.
Thankfully, A Change is Gonna Come is a breath of fresh air. It provides many tales where my POC friends may see themselves in stories. This is exactly what we need. I’m not sure I’ve previously read the work of any of these authors – including the established contributors – but I’m glad Stripes Publishing chose to include each one.
Usually I wouldn’t do this, but I genuinely believe this to be a fantastic book and would recommend you read peoples thoughts on Twitter by searching #ChangeBook. It was the topic of discussion for last weeks #SundayYA chat. As an abled, cis, straight white person, I always have more to learn on diversity. The chat provided a good conversation, acting as a reminder of how vital inclusion and diversity is.
Anyway, if you’re interested in buying A Change is Gonna Come, you can grab it here on Book Depository.
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