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Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  352 ratings  ·  71 reviews
7 Hours and 5 Minutes

A powerful collection of essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, actress Alia Shawkat, actor Maulik Pancholy, poet Azure Antoinette, teen activist Gavin Grimm, and many, many more, each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back because of their race,
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  352 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Ericka Clouther
The title of this book strikes me as opportunistic capitalizing on a phrase that was popularized by Senator Warren’s political dedication. It’s an essay collection by various authors with an introduction by Senator Amy Klobuchar... and no essay by Warren. This collection is all over the place. Some of the essays are related to issues of political oppression or representation and overcoming challenges. Some of the essays seem only tangentially related to the theme. More importantly, some of the ...more
Liza Wiemer
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book cover to cover in one sitting and found the stories to be inspiring. Not only that, but after some reflection what impressed me was the attitude of almost every one of the authors. They faced difficult challenges, but the lack of bitterness was impressive, especially since they could easily have fallen into that and allowed their anger, frustration, hurt, and pain to be their message. Instead, almost every one utilized their adversity—whether it was racism, anti-Semitism, a ...more
Inspirational middle grade/YA book on people who persisted despite all obstacles.
Stephanie Ward
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
'Nevertheless, We Persisted' is exactly what it's title says: stories about hate and prejudice and how these people overcame their obstacles with strength, courage, and defiance. I'm not normally a YA contemporary person - especially not nonfiction, but I'm glad I gave this book a shot because it really opened my heart and my eyes. We all go about our daily lives with problems that bother us - some small and others large - and we can decide to let them win or we can defeat them. I can personally ...more
Books like this one that have multiple authors often carry the risk of being uneven in quality, depending on the authors included. I was impressed by the high quality of all the selections in this book. That's rare for a book like this. I found each account compelling and thought-provoking. I also appreciated the variety of experiences that were included. Obstacles of many kinds are shared by those telling their stories in this book. Physical disability, childhood trauma, bullying, racism, lack ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I picked this up as it came through the sorter at the library. One of my favorite musicians wrote an essay in this anthology and I decided to grab it and read it while I had it in my hand. I think this is a great read for teens who are just coming into their own. All of the writers had very meaningful experiences to share, all from the perspective of those awkward adolescent years that you look back to in hindsight and say “yuck. That was pretty awful.” And usually that’s followed with “but I ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
The individual stories of people who have faced, are facing, and are overcoming a wide rage of problems whether facing prejudice, physical limitations, a less than nurturing home, or dealing with their own sexuality- all these are stories of determination and courage, and perseverance. The style is simplistic, but I assuming the book is designed for a YA reader primarily. If I were still in the classroom, I would most definitely find a way to use these powerful stories.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I did NOT know what I was getting into when I checked this out from the library. A litany of incredible stories each more intense than the last. This collection shows the resilience and determination people can have in the face of the most debasing, dehumanizing events.... And still prosper.
Ended up having to return this before I was able to finish, but I enjoyed what I read. Each chapter is an essay about a person overcoming adversity. The contributors are as diverse as the challenges they faced. Definitely geared toward teens, but there’s probably something for everyone.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading through this. I read this while I was traveling for work, and it was easy to read a few stories at a time but not feel like I was getting lost in the narrative of a book since this is filled with short stories of all different kinds from 48 different voices.
I think that this is a wonderful YA book that gives so much meaning to the word persist.
If you're looking for stories from individuals (celebrities, athletes, average joes, etc.) about how they got through some
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-books
This is an incredibly inspiring book. Stories of strength and persistence by people from all walks of life; important stories that need to be shared so that we can all start to understand the adversity that our fellow humans face every day.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was the worst takeover of a hot quote/knock off of StoryCorps I have read. The people’s stories are touching but the sentiments are so Hallmark Greeting Card/list of things you never say to someone in the shit. And pacing/order is... off putting. For example, the story of a guy who got dumped for being short (and his dad’s advice to be grateful because he will find someone better) was next to the story of the sister of a Sandy Hook victim.

It was not until I searched for this in Goodreads in
Enne (they/them)
I really loved the idea behind this book and I was very intrigued when I first saw it in the library. It was kind of a split-second decision to pick this up because those are the kinds of decisions I make when in a library. It took me about three weeks to get through the whole thing because I was reading two stories a day. And while some of them struck a chord with me and I really enjoyed them, I found most of them rather forgettable, which is exactly the reason this book is getting 3.5 stars. ...more
Julie Barnard
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookgroup
A collection of stories well worth reading.

I read this again for bookgroup - great discussion, though people didn’t enjoy the book. This was actually not a surprise.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nevertheless, We Persisted is a collection of powerful essays about overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of your dreams. The essays are written by athletes, actors, activists, politicians, writers, teenagers, musicians, and more. Even though this book is geared toward young adults, people of all ages will be inspired by these essays.

From the foreword to the very last page, this book is full of wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration.
In this world where we are defined by our limitations and
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage by Amy Klobuchar, 275 pages. Alfred A. Knopf (Random House Children’s Books), 2018. $18.99

Language: R (12 swears, 4 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13



The 48 contributors who have shared their stories have done so to help readers know that they are not alone, that they can overcome the obstacles in their paths, and that they can accomplish anything they want. These
Ben Truong
Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage is an anthology of personal essays collected and edited by In This Together Media with a Forward by Amy Klobuchar. This anthology explores the disenfranchised and how they through defiance and courage persisted despite what is happening around them. It covers heavy topics of prejudice, racism, sexism, and targeted to children and middle graders.

For the most part, I really like most of these entries – if not all of them.
Carro Herdegen
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kiss-the-book
Language: R (12 swears, 4 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13
The 48 contributors who have shared their stories have done so to help readers know that they are not alone, that they can overcome the obstacles in their paths, and that they can accomplish anything they want. These men and women have faced biases and bigotry, war and injury, divorce and disability, discouragement and more—and they have chosen to come out of all those hardships on top. They rally around their readers to help
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This collection of essays highlights the experiences of a variety of individuals from politicians to professional athletes to teen activists. These are real people telling real stories in their own words. As a result, these essays are often a little less polished than those in similar anthologies (recent release Hope Nation for instance). However, these stories are still powerful. Two standouts include a letter written from an older sister to her younger brother who was a victim of the Sandy ...more
Gabrielle McCaffrey
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, as it said the book has 48 inspiring stories that range from people overcoming racism to people overcoming disabilities or coming out as gay, lesbian, and more. Though this book has some stories that may not be considered very kid appropriate all of them has a strong sense of strength from the person telling them. They have people that feel so real and relatable. Because they are. The people in this book have experienced all of these things and they persisted they trived. They ...more
Jan 08, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF @ 32%
This was not the type of book I would normally choose to read, but I requested it on Netgalley and ordered it for my library's collection so decided to try it. I thought 48 voices was too many considering the book barely had 300 pages. I would have preferred fewer stories with more depth. I also did not know any of the anthology's contributors by name. There was a brief biography at the end of their contribution, but I would have preferred to read the brief biography before their story
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
While this book is filled with amazing stories of perseverance by a diverse range of individuals, I found myself feeling just okay about it. With the amount of contributors to the collection it resulted in pieces that were fairly short and that didn't feel complete in a way. I wanted more from most of these and would have liked to spend longer with each author instead of a quick blurb. However, I don't want to take away from the really moving and inspiring stories that these people did share. ...more
Wow. This was great. I don't know what else to say about it other than I think this was a book I would have needed when I was younger. The breadth of voices that are pulled together here, and the fact that each of them struggled in a different way when they were teenagers (this is key!), is humbling to read, and a great empathy-builder. It's non-fiction with short narratives, there are recognizable figures in it from across a wide swath of profession and cultures, and I can see it being easy to ...more
The power of the individual story has long been an important part of my journey as a reader. I've often found my own voice through reading the stories of others. Warren's quip with McConnell inspired a huge movement amongst females after he declared "Nevertheless, she persisted." I often wonder what McConnell thought was going to happen after he spoke those words. I'm thankful they inspired this collection of stories because this country has some incredibly strong, diverse individuals in various ...more
Sarah Adamson
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book which is a collection of stories from people who have been told they’re wrong, they’re not capable, they’re not the right shape or size or color or ability or like the wrong gender. All have persevered in their lives to find their way forward - with courage, with fear, with hope.
On balance, all stories are worth a book in themselves. Some were very well written, some done in the style of interviews which I found harder to read. A great book to inspire hope and inspiration in
Lionel Torres
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy this book. At first, it was kind of boring and somehow I didn't understand what the gender of the individual was because the author's name of the particular essay could be used for both genders. Then, it got really interesting and I liked seeing the different characters persevere and go against the conforms of society, like going against prejudice and bullying, especially the LGBT characters because I love seeing that books. People like Wade Davis and Gavin Grimm and many others. ...more
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: feminist
This is a collection of essays written by people who defied the odds and were successful in developing their dreams and aspirations. Some of the contributors are celebrities and others are not, but they are all dedicated to making the world a better place. My major criticism of the book is that, which a few exceptions, their stories are neoliberal accounts of personal success without a systemic analysis of the material conditions that held them down in the first place.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
As with any compilation, some of the stories were better than others, but overall it was a quick and interesting read. It did feel sort of odd that there was a huge disparity between some of the topics (i.e. there was a story from a Holocaust survivor recounting being separated from her family at Auschwitz, right after a story about someone playing basketball). But overall, most of the personal stories were eye-opening in some way or another.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This short collection of essays by people from all walks of life conquering adversity was vey inspiring in the current era. From standing up to sexism and homophobia, to making great strides for a particular race, to recognizing and flourishing in the face of discrimination against a disability, this book is a great read for anyone who feels like they are up against a wall. There is an answer, there is support, and there is a way. You just have to persist.
This is a collection of essays about people who persevered against the challenges presented by racism, bigotry, and various types of discriminating. Some of the stories are inspiring. Others were less so. It definitely has a political agenda, which is not a bad thing, but it will appeal mostly to people who are Team Blue Democrats.
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Amy Jean Klobuchar is the senior United States Senator from Minnesota. She is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic Party. She is the first woman to be elected as a senator for Minnesota and is one of twenty female senators serving in the 113th United States Congress.

She previously served as the county attorney for Hennepin County, Minnesota, the
“We are not merely the effect of our environment; we can be creators. We can respond to what happens and make something that might reach, touch, communicate with another person. We get to participate in this ongoing conversation with kindred spirits across time and space, and the more we do, the more we seek out and attract the kinds of connections that make us feel less anxious and more at home. Instead of living under someone else’s rules, we can cocreate the kinds of spaces we wish to inhabit—where insides talk to insides, and we feel grateful to be in such extraordinary company.” 0 likes
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