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Dear Girl coverDear Girl

Pub­li­ca­tion Date: 25 August 2020

Pub­lish­er: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Genre: Poet­ry



From a poet and cel­e­brat­ed spo­ken-word per­former comes a debut poet­ry col­lec­tion that takes read­ers on an empow­er­ing, lyri­cal jour­ney explor­ing truth, silence, wounds, heal­ing, and the resilience we all share.

Dear Girl is a jour­ney from girl­hood to wom­an­hood through poetry
It is the search for truth in silence
The free­ing of the tongue
It is deep wounds and deep healing
And the resilience that lies with­in us
It is a love letter
To the sisterhood

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My Review

I’m a big fan of Andrews McMeel Pub­lish­ing (they’re on my own “dream press” wish list!) and was absolute­ly delight­ed to receive a review of this poet­ry col­lec­tion through Net­Gal­ley. I was­n’t famil­iar with Aija May­rock before this book but, with­in a few stan­zas, could tell that she must be a spo­ken word performer–a quick glance at her bio proved me right. The rhythm inher­ent in so many of these poems makes this ver­bal back­ground undeniable.

This poet­ry col­lec­tion reads like a call to action, an encour­ag­ing tale, and a jour­nal entry all in one. Here’s an excerpt that stood out as a par­tic­u­lar favourite:

Dear Girl,
there is a fire rag­ing inside of you;
do not allow any­one to try to extin­guish it:
it is mighty
it is brave
it is you.
And so on those nights
when you think you are broken,
remem­ber the flame
and feel it burn.

This is the sort of col­lec­tion that I wish I’d read fif­teen years ago. The affir­ma­tion-style of these lines could all too eas­i­ly come off as per­for­ma­tive or even patron­iz­ing but May­rock ensures that does­n’t hap­pen. Instead, her gen­uine implo­ration comes through; these sen­ti­ments are absolute­ly heart­felt and, I imag­ine, as much a call to the speak­er’s younger self as they are a mes­sage for the reader.

Still, this col­lec­tion hit home for me, even as a full-blown adult. I’d sug­gest that Dear Girl could be addressed to just about any read­er, though espe­cial­ly apt for the girl in question.

It’s also worth not­ing that May­rock has pre­vi­ous pub­lish­ing expe­ri­ence despite Dear Girl being her debut col­lec­tion. After deal­ing with bul­ly­ing her­self, she cre­at­ed The Sur­vival Guide to Bul­ly­ing, “where she shares the strate­gies that helped her sur­vive and thrive.” While I haven’t read this one myself, I’m con­fi­dent that it would be an incred­i­ble resource. I’d glad­ly pick up copies of both books for any teen girl in my life!

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About the AuthorAija Mayrock

Aija May­rock is a 19-year-old girl who expe­ri­enced bul­ly­ing first­hand. Instead of let­ting her expe­ri­ences break her down, she chan­neled her pos­i­tive ener­gy into writ­ing and self-pub­lish­ing The Sur­vival Guide to Bul­ly­ing, where she shares the strate­gies that helped her sur­vive and thrive. Aija writes about how to han­dle bul­ly­ing, cyber bul­ly­ing, deal­ing with fear, per­son­al safe­ty, and ulti­mate­ly cre­at­ing the life that you dream of hav­ing. Aija is also an accom­plished screen­writer. Her film Diego received a Sil­ver Key from Scholastic’s Art and Writ­ing Awards.

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