I don’t know about you but I certainly have a selection of songs that have helped me to not completely give in to the spiralling nature of the pandemic: Trip a Little Light Fantastic from Mary Poppins Returns, Try Everything from Zootopia/Zootropolis, One Day More from Les Miserables, and Seize The Day from Newsies.
In fact, I’ve become slightly obsessed with Seize The Day and Newsies, playing it fairly regularly when I’ve felt myself slipping. It’s a story of belief, of taking a stand and fighting for rights, not giving in to the powers trying to crush our lives.
Right now it feels like the perfect song choice for Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Books, stepping away from the “I want” songs to fighting about rights and living another day.
As always, I have three books that I feel encompass this very same or similar message so let’s dive right in.
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow.
This was a rather divisive book last year with people either loving or disliking it and luckily for me I LOVED it. It encompassed a lot of different themes and messages, but what I enjoyed the most was the idea that witchcraft could be found everywhere and all women could draw from it whether they were particularly skilled in the craft or not. At the heart of the book are the three Eastwood sisters, James Juniper, Beatrice Belladonna, and Agnes Amaranth and their fight to live better lives, change the world for the next generation of women and witches, and it feels very real and relevant because whether we like it or not, we never stop fighting despite whatever changes and advancements have already been made.
Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
If Seize The Day is all about striking for rights and taking a stand, then a book about young women and the Suffrage movement is certainly the right fit. Whether their protests and campaigning are violent or peaceful, Evelyn, Nell and May won’t give into the world around them. It is being turned on its head with the First World War and women are finally being given a chance to show what they can do on all fronts. It’s both an inspiring and hard-hitting book too because we see their stands, their sacrifices but at the end of the day, whether they see it or not, it’s the Pankhurst, Fawcett and Davison names in the History books. It’s a similar tale to Seize the Day and Newsies because it is the leader Jack Kelly who ultimately gets the attention despite all the Newsboys playing their part in the strike.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
We’re talking about taking a stand, whether striking or not, using agency to inspire change and hard-felt discussions, and The Hate U Give is a prime example. Starr sees her childhood friend Khalil brutally shot by a white police officer and in time learns that she can’t keep silent about what she witnessed and the fear she lives with every day. She’s vocal, standing up for Black rights, and it is reminiscent of Jack Kelly and David Jacobs rallying everyone together to go on strike and fight for their rights against the paper owners as newsboys. The circumstances are at complete opposite ends of the social spectrum but each character is fighting for a voice and recognition and that’s what makes both stories incredibly powerful.
What do you think of these choices?
What other books would you pair with this song?
As always, thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!