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.
Mary Florence Bello was born in North London to Nigerian Parents. She grew up on a diet of Yoruba folk tales, Roald Dahl books and Seamus Heaney poems, has an eclectic taste in music (which often finds its way into her writing) and a penchant for cute dresses and impossibly high heels.
[3.5 ⭐️] I would really like to thank Stripes Books for sending a copy of this book my way!
This is an anthology, a collection of short stories by a wide range of diverse, British BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) authors and stories. The title, as written in the foreword of this book, is a song written by Sam Cooke that became an anthem during the 1960's Civil Rights Movement in the USA
I absolutely LOVED the concept of this book. It's stories such as these ones that we need more of in the publishing world and releasing this anthology just showcased the importance of having diverse authors and how many stories are out there that need to be told and heard!
My personal favourites were The Elders on the Wall, We Who? and Marionette Girl. They were by far the most memorable for me and hard-hitting. I personally didn't connect with as many stories as I would've liked, but I can see myself reading some of these again tbh.
The stories are varied in its format as well as topics, catering to all! Highly recommend picking it up.
This was a fantastic collection of short stories and poems written by 12 BAME authors from the UK, four of which were previously unpublished, but are definitely voices to look out for.
The stories in here are wonderfully varied, featuring a range of voices and stories. There were a few I didn't quite love as much as some others but overall the collection is fantastic. Some of my favourites include We Who? by Nikesh Shukla, Hackney Moon by Tanya Byrne, Marionette Girl by Aisha Bushby and Fortune Favours the Bold by Yasmin Rahman. So many of them were so easy to connect to which I find can be a difficulty when reading short stories.
I absolutely urge everyone to pick up this anthology. It's so important to support collections like these which support BAME voices and stories, particularly in the British publishing industry.
Twelve fresh, fantastic and well-written stories about change, from twelve new and established BAME authors. My particular favourites were Tanya Byrne's hopeful love story and Phoebe Roy's gloriously weird coming-of-age story, but there are so many wonderful ones in here that it's hard to choose. 12+
*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
This is an absolutely fantastic collection, with something for everyone. I actually liked everything included, which is very rare for me when it comes to anthologies. My mind is blown by how good it was.
There is something within the pages to laugh at and cry at. There are authors new and established within the pages, it was great to read some familiar voices - I recognised Patrice Lawrence's story from her writing style - and I discovered some new-to me writers. The poems are beautiful and I read them each over and over. The stories are set across multiple genres and times, all linked by the theme of Change.
I think Marionette Girl may become my go-to story for when I need a cry, it is heart-breakingly excellent. It made me cry like a baby.
I hope that Stripes are going to continue with their wonderful anthologies, but I can't imagine where they will go next! I just know I can't wait to read more exceptional writers.
A Change is Gonna Come is a collection of short stories and poems written by established and new BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) writers. The main theme of this book is "change" and the authors did an incredible job interpreting it in their most unique and effective ways of story-telling. From contemporary to magical realism to historical fiction to dystopia, this YA anthology explores a lot of important issues that we are currently facing and will surely inspire you to make the change you/we need.
Honestly, I am not familiar with all the authors including (the established ones) who have contributed their stories/poems in this collection that's why I am very grateful and beyond happy that I got the chance to read this amazing book. Special thanks to Daphne of Illumicrate for referring me to the publisher of this book.
I didn't connect to all of the stories as much as I wanted to but I totally enjoyed most of them and some even made me cry. Also, I wish some of the stories were much longer. Anyway, here are my personal favorites:
Marionette Girl by Aisha Bushby tells a story of a teenage girl who's dealing with OCD and anxiety. She loves Harry Potter, need I say more? I also like how the story ends and until now I'm still wondering what happened.
Dear Asha by Mary Bello takes us to Nigeria together with our protagonist, Asha, who recently lost her mother. It's interesting to know some of the culture and traditions of Nigeria.
A Refuge by Ayisha Malik is about Sabrina who has found a new friend during her volunteer work in a refugee camp. I liked her character development in this story.
Fortune Favours the Bold by Yasmin Rahman. After a terrorist attack happened in a nightclub, Zaibah becomes more anxious and scared to be in public. She wears her headscarf and knows that she will be harassed but she will not do anything about it. Until a girl (who is like Zaibah but totally different) appears and inspires her.
At the very last page, there is a list of the sensitive topics mentioned in the story (that can be triggering to some people) with links to their respective support/helplines and websites which I think is a great addition.
I highly recommend this book to all. It's quite refreshing to read some of the stories and characters that I haven't encountered before. I really hope that there will be more of this kind of books in the future.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
I received an ARC of A Change Is Gonna Come from Netgalley. This anthology is target audience are young adults of colour. The stories are written by authors of colour, are for readers of colour and features main characters of colour.
Marginalisations that are repped include: multiracial, Nigerian, brown, Jewish, Muslim, blind, OCD, anxiety.
Most of the stories in this book are #ownvoices for certain aspects.
One of the first things that struck me about this book is the intersectionality. The stories don’t just feature POC main characters. They show that it is possible to be marginalised in more than one aspect.
I enjoyed the variety of genres and writing styles. This book contains poetry and prose. There are fantasy, historical fiction, dystopian, and contemporary stories. This makes the book suitable for a classroom, since most students will be able to find a story written in the style/genre that they enjoy reading.
I just have one critique and that is that the narrator in the short story Hackney Moon tells the reader that they know that they are thinking of someone (in a romantic sense), which is a statement that assumes that everyone falls in love. This is aroantagonistic.
One of my favourite stories was We Who by Nikesh Shukla. It’s so powerful. The gender of the main character isn’t mentioned, neither is the gender of their best friend, who is slowly starting to have extreme right views. We only know that the MC is brown and the best friend is white. It’s amazing, because it portrays a situation that I’ve been in a lot, where you wonder whether your friendship is worth the hurt that you receive, when your friend starts to have an awful political opinion. Since the gender of the main character and their best friend isn’t mentioned, the reader might find it easier to imagine themselves in the main character’s situation. I think it’s a great story for teenagers and young adults to read. It doesn’t give the reader a solution, but it does show that this situation happens to many people, thus possibly showing the reader that they’re not alone, if this is happening or has happened to them.
I am multiracial and it was amazing to read some stories about young adults who were also multiracial. We aren’t main characters that often, so I was so happy about reading about similar experiences, even if I didn’t have the exact ethnicities that the main character had. It made me feel less alone.
The book also included a list of the sensitive topics that were the focus of several stories at the back of the book, thus giving people who need content warnings a possibility to check for them there. This is amazing! I was really happy about it.
A Change Is Gonna Come is an amazing anthology that is catered towards young POC. I thought it was wonderful. I wholeheartedly recommend that you read this book, and if you have older children (teens/young adults) or work with older children (i.e. in a library, at a school, etc.), I recommend getting this book for them.
It’s a book that I would have loved to have as a teenager. I am 25, thus older than the target audience, and this book was still such an great source of strength for me. It was an empowering read.
If you’re looking for a similar anthology geared towards an adult audience, try The Good Immigrant. The stories were great! All the stories in this anthology are non-fiction. Here is my review.
Trigger warnings: death of parent, Islamantagonism, ableism in respect to OCD and anxiety, racism, homoantagonism, mention of a terrorist attack, mention of a refugee situation, aroantagonism (not called out).
Underwhelming with a disjointed, messy prose that didn't flow very well from one story to the next. I think what had a chance to tell impactful stories about people we don't see usually represented in the main stream media was missed - in the end the characters all just felt the same kind of 2d cut characters.
I liked the different settings, and some of the aims of the stories. I just feel like the short stories didn't work very well as I never felt truly invested in the characters before I was being shoved out and shuffled along to the next one. Maybe that was the point? To just get a glimpse of these peoples lives that we wouldn't usually? But if that was the case, it didn't translate well through text via reader.
With the prose feeling messy, because of the limited time and the abundance of stories, it often felt difficult to set in to a new writing style, especially when it was one starkly dissimilar to the one previous. For example there's a story written where the MC directs a character 'Ruby' and I'm still unsure if Ruby is a daughter, a sister, a friend, a niece. The setting in this story wasn't clear either - was it prison? Somewhere else? I really wasn't sure. A lot of them just felt very rushed.
Some of the stories did work well. I find the story with the girl and her best friend who have different views and feel disconnected by each other was good. Especially with the whole "well you're not like them - you were born here, you're English" and then the ownership of "well yes, but I'm also not" and then the other persons denial spoke volumes. I've experienced this, hearing people saying this, and then go with something like "oh but not him, he doesn't count, he's a nice black man" for me to be like "you do realise how completely idiotic you sound right now?"
Like you can't pick and choose, and then lump everyone else in a section together. So I do think a lot of these stories passed on messages well. However others felt too . . .tokenised? Like they did tell the everyday stories, but then the comments, clearly coming from the narrator, like "this is what it's like to be black/mixed raced" felt too heavy handed.
Maybe that's what people need. A heavy hand. But isn't this a fictional piece of prose? And surely in order to tell you actually have to show, and not forcefully tell?
Overall though, this book had some nice short stories.
Very highly anticipated within the UKYA community, I was delighted when I was accepted for an early copy of this on NetGalley. A Change is Gonna Come is every bit as wonderful as I expected and so, so much more.
This anthology holds such a diverse collection of stories from a wonderful host of BAME writers, some already well known authors and some fantastic debuts. Covering topics such as bereavement, mental health, racism and sexuality there is so much to be garnered from reading this anthology. There really is something in here for everyone. Whether you are able to relate to one of the many brilliant characters and stories on a personal level or whether you learn something from reading this anthology, this is a book that should be read by people of all ages and backgrounds.
As is the case with any anthology I read, there were some pieces that I didn’t connect with as well as others but every piece in here is unique and I think everyone who reads it will find certain pieces that they connect with on a more deep, personal level. My favourites were Marionette Girl by Aisha Bushy and Hackey Moon by Tanya Byrne. Both of these stories were so delicately written and had me in tears by the end – they really are stand out pieces of fiction. I absolutely have to give a shout out to the following stories too which I thought were exceptionally powerful in their subject matter and their voice: We Who? by Nikesh Shukla, Dear Asha by Mary Bello, A Refuge by Aiysha Malik and Fortune Favours the Bold by Yasmin Rahman.
I certainly feel that this anthology gave me a lot to think about and consider and I am really excited to see what comes from this in the publishing world. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for future works from the authors involved.
This collection of stories is sure to provide many teenage readers with their first experience of seeing themselves represented in published fiction and that is very, very special.
Huge thank you to NetGalley, Stripes Books and all of the contributing authors for my advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
A fantastic collection of short stories by BAME authors and poets in the UK.
I picked this up in my local library on a whim, attracted by the bright yellow cover. Some of the authors were ones I'd heard of before - Nikesh Shukla (The Good Immigrant) and Patrice Lawrence Orangeboy), for instance - but the majority were new to me so I have discovered some great new writers.
There wasn't a single story I didn't like, although obviously I had my favourites. My top three: - We Who? by Nikesh Shukla - an unnamed narrator (and we're not told their gender either, which was interesting) tries to deal with their best friend becoming a far-right extremist - Dear Asha by Mary Bello - a young woman travels to her late mother's homeland (Nigeria) to bury her, and gets a warm welcome from her extended family - A Refuge by Ayisha Malik - a girl takes a trip to the Calais jungle and befriends a young refugee Special mention for Marionette Girl by Aisha Bushby - about a Harry Potter fan with OCD - because Hermione is a great name for a cat.
The stories were powerful, moving and often funny too. Best of all they were really diverse, not only featuring people of colour but also people with mental illnesses and disabilities, intersectional viewpoints you don't often see in books. It's great that these authors have been given a chance to shine and I hope that, like me, other people will now seek out their other books and give them the attention they deserve.
A Change is Gonna Come is a collection of short stories/poetry by various authors (both debut authors and already published) with the aim to "give creative space to those who have been historically had their thoughts, ideas and experiences oppressed". This anthology covers a range of topics, with a list of issues raised at the end of the book if you wish to find out more information or get trigger warnings, which I think is a fantastic idea and should be done more frequently with other books! Other publishers/authors TAKE NOTE!!
I often find it hard to review an anthology as an overall rating doesn't reflect all the stories in the book, but this is perhaps the first anthology where I feel all the pieces of writing were equally as good, each with their own unique message. There's something for everyone - whether you're into historical fiction, fantasy or poetry, this YA anthology reflects a larger range of genres.
My favourite 3 pieces were....
Marionette Girl by Aisha Bushby - a short story about a girl who is obsessed with Harry Potter and has severe OCD, which she has to try and overcome after there is a sudden incident which means she cannot follow her usual routine.
A Refuge by Ayisha Malik - Sabrina goes to help and volunteer in a refugee camp but meets Homa, a young girl who lives there by herself. They form a brief friendship and Sabrina does everything she can to try and help her.
Fortune Favours the Bold by Yasmin Rahman - There has just been a terrorist attack in a nightclub with seven fatalities and Zaibah fears the next time she goes out in public because of the blame and harassment she receives because she wears a headscarf. That's until she comes across a girl who has she admires for standing up for herself...
I definitely recommend this anthology, whether you usually read YA or not. There is something for everyone and the emphasis on characters which are usually marginalised and unfortunately ignored in the wider world is fantastic to read! I really hope there are similar anthologies like this to come in the future!!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
I received this free from the publisher via NetGalley
A Change is Gonna Come is a YA anthology written by both new and established BAME authors based on the theme of change – each author approaching the theme differently. I had heard so many brilliant things about this anthology but the hype is to be believed.
While there has been active discussions and campaign for more diverse books and voices in YA, I do feel like UK publishing is still overwhelmingly white and straight, especially compared to USYA. A Change is Gonna Come is full of dynamic and captivating stories that are definitely needed on the UKYA scene, and hopefully paves the way for more stories by BAME authors.
Some of my favourite stories from A Change is Gonna Come include Hackney Moon by Tanya Byrne, Fortune Favours The Bold by Yasmin Rahman, Marionette Girl by Aisha Bushby, and We Who? by Nikesh Shukla. I feel like We Who? is an extremely relevant and extremely important story for the modern British teenager. The story focuses on a friendship that has started to fall apart after post-Brexit racial tensions. It’s powerful and truthful. Aisha Bushby’s story Marionette Girl is about Amani, a young girl who suffers from OCD who adheres to a strict routine. Yasmin Rahman’s story highlights the Islamophobia Muslims face in Britain, especially in the aftermath of a terrorist attack and follows an anxious Muslim girl called Zaibah as she tries to navigate this.
But, my favourite story of them all is Hackney Moon by Tanya Byrne – an exquisite story following Esther, a Guyanese-British girl who we follow as she goes through her first heartbreak with her girlfriend, and then a new found love. We follow this story through the eyes and narration of the Moon, which made this story all the more wonderful.
Overall, I would highly recommend A Change is Gonna Come because it is an inclusive and important anthology full of original and exquisite stories.
As a Brit, I’m always on the lookout for local authors to support, but it’s not easy - American authors dominate the ‘Teen and YA’ sections of most British bookshops. It’s even harder to find diverse #UKYA lit. We’re behind the times when it comes to diversifying our shelves - with some notable exceptions (Patrick Ness, Malorie Blackman and Juno Dawson to name a few), the biggest names in British children’s literature are overwhelmingly straight and white. So when I heard about A Change Is Gonna Come - an anthology of black, Asian and minority ethnic British authors - I was immediately excited.
The poems and short stories in this anthology explore the theme of ‘change’, and the authors’ interpretations of the theme vary widely, but each story feels undeniably relevant to modern British teenagers - from Nikesh Shukla’s exploration of a teenage friendship torn apart by post-Brexit racial tensions, to Patrice Lawrence’s frighteningly familiar dystopian version of my own city.
Like most anthologies, there’s something for everyone in A Change Is Gonna Come, whether you’re a fan of historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy or contemporary. Celebrating and championing the voices of British people of colour, A Change Is Gonna Come is a much-needed collection of stories, and I hope to see it gracing the shelves of libraries and schools up and down the country.
Many thanks to Stripes Publishing for providing a copy of A Change Is Gonna Come. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. A Change Is Gonna Come will be released on August 10th.
A Change Is Gonna Come is a compilation of short stories and poems from 12 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic writers, ranging freely over a series of topics and themes, and pretty much all of them are rather wonderful, powerful contributions. What really struck me about this collection is the care that's been taken over every element in it; from the striking and wonderful cover design (for more on that, have a look at this, to the note in the introduction from the editorial mentee (a good thing, publishing world), and the inclusion of debut writers, A Change Is Gonna Come feels like it's been loved. And that sensation of love is powerful when it slides into the hand of the reader, so very powerful.
A frank highlight for me was Tanya Byrne's lyrical and incandescent love story 'Hackney Moon'. Byrne is a writer whose debut Heart-Shaped Bruise was something I called kind of spectacular, and Hackney Moon is right up there. An aching, tender, and fiercely told love story, it's honestly, one of the best things I've read for a long time. I finished reading it and did one of those little 'oh that was good' pauses. (Don't you love them?)
Another highlight for me was Aisha Bushby's 'Marionette Girl', a distinctive, eccentric and powerful story of growth. Bushby's writing is sympathetic and kind, but also full of a very subtle sense of drive. The sense of a character pushing up against barriers all around her mixed with the knowledge that she's going to break through. Does that make sense? I hope it does. This is a story full of drive and determination and power, and it's kind of heartbreaking and beautiful, all at once.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review!
This is one of my most anticipated reads for the latter half of this year! Although the anthology features a host of already established BAME authors, it was my first time reading anything by the majority of its contributors.
The anthology is made up of short stories that each respond to the theme of change, as well as two poems that are placed at the beginning and the end. Each piece interprets the theme in a unique way, allowing for a diverse collection of writing that deals with other important and timely issues.
As with all anthologies, there were some pieces I didn’t particularly enjoy and others which I loved and could really relate to. Nikesh Shukla’s We Who?, Ayisha Malik’s The Refuge, and Yasmin Rahman’s Fortune Favours The Bold were some of my favourites. Mary Bello’s Dear Asha will also speak to many readers of the diaspora.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this anthology and my only criticism is that I wish it, or at least some of the pieces within it, were much longer.
#ChangeBook is the breath of fresh air the publishing industry needs right now. It’s a collection of short stories and poems from 12 BAME authors centred around the theme of ‘change’ - four of those authors are unpublished and ones to watch out for.
I bought this book because I think it’s important to send out a message to the publishing industry that we need more diverse books, more BAME authors. A bonus was the amazing stories inside, which were exactly what I was looking for - stories about cultures other to my own, that weren’t too focused on themes such as gang culture and violence. I loved that there’s a real selection of female BAME voices here, and I’d love to see more and more in future.
Every single story in here is absolutely fantastic, covering topics that are regularly in the media nowadays - mental health, grief, sexuality, gender, racism.
My absolute favourite story in here has to be Mary Bello’s Dear Asha, but I enjoyed every single story in it’s own right, and can’t wait to read more from these authors.
Get down to your nearest bookstore and grab a copy of #ChangeBook - you won’t regret it.
Change is hard; still, maintain the charge. They may have the safety, But the bravery is all ours.
This is a wonderful anthology. It's incredibly diverse- including not only different races and religions but also mental health issues and the LGBT+ spectrum. I would love to see this book get more publicity and see more own voices reviews of it too!
The vast majority of the stories are well written and beautiful- I really enjoyed all but two, which is much better than I was expecting and both of the poems were gorgeous too.
The idea behind this is also fabulous and I hope that we see more diverse anthologies. I've definitely found some new authors to look out for too!
My personal favourites were Musa Okwonga, Nikesh Shukla and Mary Bello's pieces.
This is truly a much-needed addition to the growing trend of of YA anthologies. A Change is Gonna Come is collection of poetry and short-stories by UK-based black and other minority ethnic authors. The stories contained within this volume are varied and interesting, featuring protagonists from a wide range of backgrounds: from a girl with anxiety and OCD, to a blind boy who discovers wormholes and time travel. The running theme is, as the title suggests, on the idea of change - whether in the course of an individual's life, or in the wide scheme of global politics, which is, to use 2016's word of the year, a dumpster fire. My only issue is that I find it quite difficult, on occasion, to connect with short story collections, but this is very much a fault of mine, not the book's.
What a fantastic book. This collection of short stories from BAME writers is thought-provoking and stirring, and the talent within its pages is astounding! Aisha Busby's touching story was a particular favourite, and as in all collections there were some that weren't quite as well suited to my reading tastes as others, but what Stripes have done getting this book out there is awesome. What a great book!
Very quick read of stories by some established BAME writers and four new ones. Look out for Yasmin Rahman's Fortune Favours the Bold, although I know the author so may be a tad biased! Nikesh Shukla's We Who? is powerful and hard-hitting, and unfortunately resonated with me due to a similar experience.
Fabulous collection offering a real range. Historical, contemporary, realism, fantasy, prose, poetry: everything is represented here - and all approaching the theme of change in very different ways. Brilliant way to explore the kaleidoscope of current writing for YA readers by writers of BAME heritage. Suitable for readers 12+ and highly recommended.
Read as part of my 24 hour readathon for Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity. Longer review will be over on my blog. I really enjoyed this, the various authors all had such a different take on this concept and I thought every story and poem was so unique. Definitely recommend.