Review: A Change Is Gonna Come

Posted September 4, 2017 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments

Review: A Change Is Gonna ComeA Change Is Gonna Come by Various
Published by Stripes Publishing on August 10th 2017
Pages: 384
Source: Stripes

Featuring top Young Adult authors alongside a host of exciting new talent, this anthology of stories and poetry from BAME writers on the theme of change is a long-overdue addition to the YA scene. Contributors include Tanya Byrne, Inua Ellams, Catherine Johnson, Patrice Lawrence, Ayisha Malik, Irfan Master, Musa Okwonga and Nikesh Shukla.

Plus introducing four fresh new voices in YA fiction: Mary Bello, Aisha Bushby, Yasmin Rahman and Phoebe Roy.

Review: I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this was probably one of the most anticipated releases of Summer 2017. After the success of their Christmas and home themed anthology, Little Tiger announced a BAME YA anthology of poetry and prose with some of the country’s best YA voices. I’ve read several YA anthologies this year and I really like the format and introduction to new authors as well as more work from authors I already know.

Before I talk about the stories themselves, I think it’s worth saying how vitally important it is to for an anthology like this to be published and also how depressing it is that books like this are unusual. Darren Chetty wrote the foreword and he wrote a brilliant essay within The Good Immigrant about children being able to see themselves, or as the case may be currently sadly not, in literature.

I particularly found Nikesh Strukla’s contribution We Who? thought-provoking and depressingly realistic. It stayed with me afterwards and was very powerful. I think with the news in recent weeks and our 2017 world,  it shines an honest light. Tanya Byrne’s Hackney Moon was beautifully written and poignant. I also always enjoy Catherine Johnson’s writing and her addition to the anthology was not an exception to the rule there.

It stayed with me afterwards and was very powerful

A Change Is Gonna Come is not just about the established voices within UKYA though. Stripes held a competition and have published four new BAME authors in the anthology. I look forward to hearing more about these each of these talented authors in the future. Each story showed insight and had a strong, unique voice.

As an aside this anthology is also named after one of my favourite songs; A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke who was a brilliant singer and the song became an anthem in the 1960s civil rights movement (and the song has had a lasting legacy and acclaim since)

This is one of those cases where the hype is worth it; A Change Is Gonna Come has been talked about in the blogosphere for some time and so it should. It offers something for everyone and is important and meaningful and a brilliant addition to UKYA.

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