Muse Journal

International Women's Month: Female-Led YAP Picks

Happy International Women’s Month!

As a publisher, we find it crucial that we continue to highlight racial representation in the literature we publish, the authors we invest in, and the content we produce. And gender representation is just as important to us in all spheres of existence.

There are unique experiences that lie at the intersection between race and gender. Especially for Black women, they are often penalized for being both Black and identifying as a woman. So, what this month–and every other–does is give us space to bring voice to these specific identities.

So, enjoy the list below, which highlights a few of our empowering, female protagonists! They each illustrate the beauty and struggle in navigating racial and gender identity. Not only that, but these stories are authored by five incredible, female writers who continue to advocate for themselves and others through their creativity.

1. Fatima the Activist (2020) by Olivia James

At Palm Valley Elementary School, the female students are being discriminated against by the other male students. A young girl named Fatima has had enough of this mistreatment, and decides she wants to do something about it! Fatima gathers all of the girl students to host a protest demanding equality. Will the girls finally be treated fairly by the boys?

2. New Kid Rule Book (2021) by Sydney Jeffrey

Juliet and her dad have been moving around a lot due to the gentrification happening in their communities. Moving so frequently has caused Juliet to feel down, and she has a lot of anxiety. With the help of the "New Kid Rule Book," she’s able to overcome her anxious feelings and is more comfortable at her new school.

3. Dinner Table Distractions (2021) by Addison Gordon

Addie Soundland is 11 years old and lives with her mom, dad, and sister. The dinner table is where Addie gets to spend the most time with her family, but now that her parents have started a new business and her sister goes to school, they are all too busy for dinner time. Instead of talking at the dinner table, her parents are sending emails and her sister plays games on her tablet. Addie comes up with a super secret plan to get her family back at the dinner table like old times. Will Addie's plan bring her family back to the dinner table without all the distractions?

4. My Girls & Curls (2022) by Layla Steele

It’s Lila’s birthday and what better way to celebrate than spending the day with her best friends, Ashley and Sarah, at the pool. Before going to the pool, Ashley gets a silk press, but that doesn’t stop her from jumping in the pool with her girls. Ashley’s curls come alive the moment she rises from the pool and she runs to the bathroom. Realizing her hair is no longer straight, she cries to her friends that she doesn’t know what to do with her hair when it’s curly. Lila and Sarah take it upon themselves to help Ashley style her natural hair. My Girls & Curls is all about friendships and learning to love what makes you naturally you.

5. Snack Attack: Maya and Her Snack Filled Sleepover (2022) by Taylor Je T’aime Hightower

It’s Maya's birthday sleepover and she wants to eat all of her favorite sweet snacks. That's every child’s birthday dream, right? But, Maya's wishes quickly turn into a nightmare when she's reminded what happens when she eats too many treats before bed. Will Maya finally learn her lesson?


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