Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a book that I wish I’d had in my life a long time ago.
Whilst not technically a children’s book, I decided to include this on The Inquisitive Newt for two reasons.
Firstly, because I wish I had read this during my teenage years, when I was stumbling into my initial romantic relationships. I feel that having reasonable expectations, printed in black and white, would have given me permission to advocate for myself and my rights within the ‘partnerships’ more. I plan to give a copy to Daughter when puberty takes hold.
Secondly, I included it because I would have loved to read it after having given birth. I came to a lot of the conclusions myself, but I often felt alone in my convictions regarding feminism and motherhood. Ironically, given that I’ve categorised this review as my first ‘parenting’ title, I especially loved the section regarding the use of ‘parenting’ as a verb.
I really love the tone of the text – that it was adapted from a letter gives it an enormous warmth and immediacy. I’ve read a lot of books about feminism but they can often feel… Academic, rather than practical. This one felt like a conversation with a friend, which I suppose it is.
Are there any books you wish you had come across sooner? Are there any you plan to read/gift to your children for this reason?