these are the words

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

This poetry collection is tender, fierce, kind and challenging, all at once. Nikita Gill has written about the things she wishes someone had told her when she was younger – and every teen will recognise the themes and the feelings.

There are over 100 poems here, encompassing topics of girlhood, sisterhood, family, protest, love, racism, friendship and body acceptance, among others. They are accessible, contemporary and, above all, caring. Most poems are written directly to the reader – you – and Gill’s compassion is strongly felt in every line. The contents are divided thematically and some sections are signposted as particularly useful: e.g. for when you are hurting, for when you hate your body, for when you need to heal, for when you need to protest.  

Illustrated throughout by Nikita Gill herself, and with positive astrological poems throughout, this powerful poetry collection feels like a crucial inclusion to a secondary school library.

As Gill says, ‘To all the girls who have dreams of being somebody/we won’t let those dreams go to waste.’

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