Featured Title: Advice to 9th Graders: Stories, Poetry, Art & Other Wisdom

Early in this volume of poetry, essays, stories, and wisdom created by the youth of The PATHfinder Club and POPS the Club and edited by Amy Friedman, Tamira Shany advises readers that we have just two options: “Take pride and fail or endure and succeed.” As you dive into Advice for 9th Graders (designed to guide 9th graders as they navigate high school but equally inspiring for the rest of us), we begin to understand that these young people are steering us toward endurance. As Rachael Galper’s photograph, Biased Comparisons, so beautifully illustrates, the best course is to find a way to express yourself without fear of judgment.

These young people, whose lives have been impacted by incarceration and other systems, have found a sense of comfort, or, as Jess Sandoval writes, “I made myself my home.” The anthology resounds with sage advice and poetry; with sometimes sad longings of youth; and with buoyant joy, sharp insights, and unstoppable energy.