Activist by Louisa Reid

It all started with an anonymous post on social media. A scandal, they said. Things like this don’t happen in our school, said another. But they were wrong. Rape is not something to laugh about or to ignore and hope that it goes away. But that’s what they thought would happen.
Cassie’s rage seems to never end. She is done with conforming to the misogynistic rules that her school seems to follow. She is done with the secrets and lies that protect the privileged man-boys in her year. She is done with the council adding to the climate emergency by uprooting the centuries-old forest that breathes life into her concrete community – her only safe haven from the jagged memories that haunt her waking hours.
It’s time for action.
With her friends Dilly, Lori and Ria, Cassie navigates the school corridors as the new terms starts amid the perks of being seniors. The boys she remembers from the start of summer are now men-like, their egos as large as the space they take up in the common room. She knows they’re not all the same, not all after ‘one thing’ or are happy to proudly proclaim their masculine prowess at the weekend with the girls who seem to be under their spell.
Her voice needs to be heard. But shouting into the abyss when no-one seems to be listening calls for drastic action. Determined to find out who was responsible for the attack, she gathers allies as they disrupt classes, school assemblies and more – anything to get those with power to listen. She doesn’t want to ‘know her place’ or ‘prove her worth’. She wants justice and she will do everything in her power to get it – for her and for everyone else who is afraid to speak up. Her family life takes the heat for the stand she takes, but with the help of her friends and those willing to not look the other way, she is determined to succeed.
Louisa Reid’s third novel in verse is outstanding. A moving, heart-felt look at the stigma and consequences for those who tell their truth. They are not believed. They are ridiculed and ostracised for daring to speak out. As a teenager/school age child, the adults in your life should be relied on to help but a lot of the time this is not the case. ‘Activist’ carries such an important message for all the boys/girls/NBs out there to stand up for their right to be heard. This is the book that every school should have available for each pupil and teacher alike. It’s a quickly devoured novel creating waves across the teenage world and beyond. If only it were around back when I was making my way through school life. I would have welcomed it with open arms, memorising every word.

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