Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Nic Stone

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as thirty-three authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Nic Stone

Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work. You can find her goofing off and/or fangirling over her husband and sons on most social media platforms as @GetNicced.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

I love science. Laws of thermodynamics. The general theory of relativity. Mitosis. Meiosis. Cell division.

Empiricism: Coming up with a question, setting a hypothesis, designing an experiment (with a meticulously managed control group), and recording results that support a specific conclusion.

Checking for test-retest reliability.

I love the concrete. The tangible. Things that can be explained using the one thing that’s the same the whole world over: Math.

I also love reading. But sadly, up until last year, I hadn’t encountered many science-loving girls like me in books. Especially not black girls.

But then I met Natasha Kingsley, the Jamaican main character in Nicola Yoon’s The Sun Is Also A Star who’s on a mission to save her undocumented family from deportation.

Natasha loves science.

In the book, Natasha finds herself in the thick of shitty circumstances she isn’t the cause of, but feels a responsibility to try and correct. (Been there.)

Natasha is a teen forced to handle very adult problems. (Been there, too.)

Science, cold, hard facts, indisputability — these are the things that keep Natasha’s head above water when it seems like allllllll the stuff she can’t control is trying to drown her. (Honestly, still there.)

Natasha has trouble putting faith in ideas that either can’t be tested or lack sufficient concrete evidence of validity. (Still there, too.)

Natasha, in a world where teen girls in books are often moony-eyed and in search of true love (not that there’s anything wrong with this), is so much of a realist, true-love stepped right into her face, and she told it to go away; she had her family’s entire state-of-being to save and too much to do. (Also been here.)

And while it’s true that Natasha’s constant skepticism toward anything that can’t be proven is often just a means of trying to keep herself from getting hurt, it still makes her a heroine to me. Because girls like me needed to see girls like her: smart girls for whom survival is the highest priority. For whom family and responsibility reign supreme. Girls who keep their feet on the ground, who pursue concrete goal with provable results because they have to. Girls who haven’t yet learned it’s okay to dream big.

Like Natasha, I eventually learned to accept that science is great, but there are things it doesn’t (yet?) have a concrete explanation for. Like People. Emotions. Personalities.

And that’s okay.

Because as I saw through Natasha, 1. It’s okay to love science, and 2. It’s vital to have a firm place (like science!) to set your feet when things around you are crumbling. But also through Natasha, I learned that 3. To love science is to love possibility.

Title Dear Martin
Author Nic Stone
Pages 224 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
To Be Published October 17th, 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Justyce McAllister is top of his class as Braselton Prep, captain of the debate team, and set for an Ivy League school next year — but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He’s eventually released without charges (or an apology) but the incident rattles him. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his new classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous — and white — debate partner he wished he didn’t have a thing for.

Justyce has long studied the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But do they hold up now? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

But then Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Riveting and revealing, Nic Stone boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

One response to “Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Nic Stone”

  1. Aww, Nic <3

    My daughter has struggled with getting into reading because she's so into math and science. There's this terrible dichotomy keeping people from being well-rounded.

    All the push for girls in STEM has typically been white and blonde so they don't look like my Little One. It's slowly improving and I'm so glad she'll have books like yours in a couple years to read.

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