Title: I Am Change
Author: Suzy Zail
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: August 1st, 2019
Publishers: Walker Books Australia
They told her that her body belonged to men and her mind didn’t matter. They were wrong.
“What if I don’t want to marry?” Lillian held her breath. She had never said the words out loud. “Not want to marry?” Her aunt frowned. “What else would you do?”
Set in a Ugandan village, Lilian has learned to shrink herself to fit other people’s ideas of what a girl is. In her village a girl is not meant to be smarter than her brother. A girl is not meant to go to school or enjoy her body or decide who to marry. Especially if she is poor.
About the Book
Inspired by the stories told to the author by young Ugandan women. Timely and salient – the rights of girls and women in African countries are only now being exercised. A moving story of one girls struggle.
200,000 million girls in developing countries don’t have the opportunity to go to school. Their education is disrupted by poverty, child marriage, gender based violence and cultures which favour boys’education. I Am Change highlights the issues that these young women face.
Through Lilian, Suzy Zail gives readers a connection and a meaning to the young women’s stories.
This is for all the girls who have been whistled at on the street or groped behind classrooms… For anyone who’s hidden bruises or been visited by the cutter or been asked to stay back late after class. For girls who said “No” to a boy who heard “Yes”, and for all of us who’ve been told not to dream big.
I’m not sure how long this review will be because I am struggling to put my thoughts into words about this book!
This book is amazing! This is a book like The Hate U Give that needs to be shared & read because the message is so freaking important! I learnt so much about the culture around Uganda by reading this book. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about any of the African cultures at all, so while I can’t say I’m happy to have learned from this book because it’s not happy at all I’m glad I read it and learned these things. But it’s definitely not happy, it’s scary and heartbreaking and makes me furious honestly. But, it’s important, so it needs to be learned.
Obviously I can’t speak for the representation in this book but based on everything the author did to create this story I hope it’s accurate. This is such an important story that needs to be shared. It’s also empowering & inspiring. It makes you think about how freaking lucky you are to have no experienced that. It’s brutal and I recommend caution going into this book because the author does not sugar coat anything to make it an easy read. It’s a hard book to get through but it’s one that everyone needs to read. There were times where it was hard for me to think that this is a book set in present day. I wanted to believe that this is how it used to be and that things are better now but they aren’t! This is the type of thing that could be happening to a young Uganda girl RIGHT NOW!
The characters were also so well written! I fell in love with Lilian as a MC and I just wanted to bundle her up in my car and protect her from the shit she had to endure. And same with most of the girls in this story. There are characters I wanted to save, characters I wanted to slap sense into and characters I wanted to hang for their actions. I couldn’t help falling into & being wholeheartedly investing in their story.
That’s about all the words I can put right now as it’s still fresh and hard to process at this point. But I encourage every single one of you to go and purchase this book, or borrow it from your library, or whatever means you need to take to get this book & then read it! Or if for whatever reason you aren’t able to purchase the book and the library isn’t an option then please enter the Giveaway below.
Make sure you go and check out everyone else’s posts for the Tour aswell! You can find them all linked on the Aussie YA Bloggers post!
Firstly I would like to note that this Giveaway has nothing to do with the Blog Tour or the organisers of the Tour. I am doing this by my self and under my own free will.
This Giveaway is not going to run like they usually do on this blog. I will not be picking one winner & there is no time frame or specific rules to this giveaway (except that Book Depository must ship to you to enter). I will be simply sending out books to random people that enter when I can afford them. I won’t be notifying people if I’m sending it your way, you will just get a surprise in the mail. This giveaway is for the people that can’t get a hold of this book on their own for whatever reason but genuinely want to read this book. So please only enter if you intend to read the book.
I am also not responsible for any shipping fees or taxes that occur after the purchase of this book. So be mindful when entering.
How to enter:
Simply send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘I Am Change Giveaway’ and include your name & address in the email. That is all you need to do. I would also appreciate that if you enter and then end up purchasing the book yourself to just email me and let me know that you no longer need the book so I can purchase it for someone that still needs it instead.
Suzy Zail’s Held Girls Learn, Uganda
The Uganda Youth Alliance for Family Planning and Adolescent Health
Thank you to Aussie YA Bloggers for hosting this tour & Walker Books for providing the books for us to review.
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