The extraordinary website Style Rookie, started by then-12-year-old Tavi Gevinson begat the Style Rookie magazine, and then the annual Rookie Yearbooks. Last year, I reviewed the first Rookie yearbook, which was an absolute triumph: a beautiful, lavishly illustrated and designed book that anthologized the sharp, smart, savvy and sensible writing from the site.
Now there's Rookie Yearbook Two, and it tops the first volume in every way. As an artifact, it is spectacular: every page is a full-bleed, full-color extravaganza of great design and sassy, tongue-in-cheek elaborations. It goes to enormous lengths not to take itself seriously -- there are punch-out altar-cards and stickers and activity pages, alongside great articles about everything from coping with racism, cutting and body image to playing music, the special nature of adolescent friendships and bands.
Gevinson has tapped into a network of young, exuberant writers whose insight, attitude and compassion are matched by their distinctive voices and points-of-view.
Rookie is the magazine that Sassy might have been, if it had been allowed to run its course. As the father of a young daughter, it gives me enormous hope for girl-positive, friendly and sane media for young women that manages to be fun and sweet as often as it is serious and sharp. Rookie Yearbook Two covers a titanic amount of ground -- a random sampling of five pages yields up
* a deeply personal episode about growing up transgendered;
* another essay on dealing with an alcoholic parent;
* a viciously funny April Fools column (We've collaborated with Axe to bring you a scent that will make you feel especially...strong and stuff the next time you buy shoes, give birth, or march for voting rights. Feminism!);
* an Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired fashion spread; and
* an insightful, long interview with Emma Watson.
Gevinson and friends are forces of nature, a counterbalance to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and a great and good face for a new, vigorous, unapologetic feminism. Give this one to the young women in your life and stand back.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.