Watch Us Rise (ebook)
by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan
In Watch Us Rise, the story bounces between the points of view of Chelsea and Jasmine, high school juniors who attend a progressive high school in NYC, when they discover their school has a lot more progress to make. Chelsea is white and a strong proponent of women, equality, respecting women’s bodies, and respect. Jasmine is black and full-figured, and joins Chelsea with these added lenses. Together, they form a Women’s Rights Club at school and their blog begins to get a lot of attention when they point out the harassment and narrow mindedness coming from several staff members and students. They post everything from poetry to descriptions of the sexist and racist behaviors they see, but they soon run into opposition from their school and trolls online. They do not let this deter them from their cause.
What I like about this book is that it teaches young readers about what women go through and gives them examples of young women their own age who are able to make a difference. Many of the stereotypes pointed out in the book are widely accepted, and this book will educate readers and teach them to keep their eyes open to them. I also appreciate that it teaches self-love, but the characters are both humanized when they start to question their own beliefs for the sake of romance.
What I don’t like, or didn’t care for as much, was that it seemed like the dialogue was, at times, too staged. It was like the authors needed the readers to understand a bit of history, so the characters were educating each other. I also felt that it might go over the heads of some readers who aren’t old enough to appreciate it.
Book 5 of 2019