Title: This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work
Author: Tiffany Jewell
Illustrator: Aurelia Durand
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Genre: Children’s non-fiction
This book serves as a great source for information for recognising racism and intentionally taking action to address and help dismantle it. This book presents information that is both applicable at an individual and a group level. Furthermore, not only does this book armour the reader with information, but it also provides practical activities such as reflection and journaling throughout the read. The reflective and journaling activities are extremely beneficial, enabling readers to effectively dismantle concepts and therefore grapple better in reacting to various situations.
The book is divided into four sections and comprises of concepts that are broken down into concise chapters within the sections. The four sections of this book consist of:
1. Waking up: understanding and growing into my identities
The first phase introduces concepts such as identity, social constructions, and defines racism whilst providing examples and activities to deconstruct and help identify.
2. Opening the window: making sense of the world
The second phase builds upon the first, presenting a little bit of world history (mainly in the West) as well as introducing more deeper concepts such as micro-aggressions, colonisation, assimilation, amongst many other concepts. I appreciate how this book mentions colonisation and the effects of it.
3. Choosing my path: taking action and responding to racism
Following that, the third section concentrates reacting to racism and ways to do so.
4. Holding the door open: working in solidarity against racism
Finally, the final phase focuses on the portrayal of privilege and allyship.
I liked how the book introduced topics like intersectionality, concepts such as gender, neurodiversity, class, religion, amongst many other factors are considered and discussed.
Also, I loved the illustrations—they’re bright and vivid, complementing the book well. The art style keeps the reader engaged without detracting too much attention away from the narrative.
As a PoC (person of colour) myself, this book truly resonated with me and I deeply appreciate this book. Despite being a PoC, I, too have much to learn. And quite frankly, there is always more to learn in this field and I definitely learnt something new upon reading this book. Moreover, despite being marketed for a younger audience, I feel that this book is suitable for all ages. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Overall, this is a highly beneficial book, presenting important information regarding racism whilst also emphasising application in real-world scenarios.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.