cover image Unbossed: How Black Girls Are Leading the Way

Unbossed: How Black Girls Are Leading the Way

Khristi Lauren Adams. Broadleaf, $18.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-5064-7426-7

Baptist minister Adams (Parable of the Brown Girl) celebrates in this uplifting volume the stories of eight young Black girls who are united by their “sheer will, desire, and passion to turn unfortunate circumstances into something hopeful.” Among them is Hannah Lucas, 17, whose struggle with suicidal depression became the catalyst for her NotOK app, which notifies users’ close contacts during mental health emergencies. Sixteen-year-old Ssanyu Lukoma’s faith and love for reading inspired her to found the nonprofit organization Brown Kids Read, which promotes literature for young people that features traditionally marginalized voices. Grace Callwood, now 17, was diagnosed with cancer before starting first grade, but she found purpose in helping others and started the We Cancerve Movement to provide services to young people in need. Adams also analyzes the leadership style of each girl, such as the “transformational” approach of gun safety activist Tyah-Amoy Roberts that turns individuals into a collective in pursuit of a common interest. The author portrays her subjects with compassion and admiration, emphasizing their remarkable accomplishments while reminding that they are ultimately “ordinary girls who reach for the extraordinary.” This empowering collection offers plenty of inspiration to younger readers pushing for change. (Mar.)