Topical and timeless well beyond high school


High school junior Vivian "Vivvy" Carter is not the kind of girl you expect to lead a rebellion. In fact, she is so dutiful her mother has never given her a curfew! Then something changes.

During English class, when a female student answers a question, a football player yells out, “make me a sandwich.” Just like every other teacher in school, Vivian's English teacher ignored the comment and the behavior. This is Texas, and Vivian lives in a small town where football players are revered. At East Rockport High School, where Vivian goes to school, one of the football player’s dad is the principal.

When the biased treatment becomes too much to handle, Vivvy's mother inspires her to make fliers called zines. These zines call on every girl in the high school to stand up as the girls of Moxie. Girls from every race, grade, and social group begin to use the name to stand up for the rights they have been denied. Moxie is now beyond Vivvy's control. The girls are challenging the social constructs of the school are challenged, and the administration is fighting back. Do you think they'll be able to stop a Moxie girl?

BTSYA / Teen Reader (Age 16):
The movement Vivian starts is truly profound. Lauren Matthieu sheds much-needed light on what it means to fight for a group of people. It is difficult to find a book that offers a direct call to action and still maintain a captivating plot. Moxie does this, and is a truly remarkable book. It combines high school life (sports, pep rallies, dating, and student clubs) with a personal look at who Vivvy’s is. As her character unfolds, she inspires the reader to act in their community for a worthy cause. I consider Moxie a crucial read for teenagers, as it is helps broaden one’s perspective.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Moxie is realistic (and topical!) fiction at its finest. It shows the beautiful and not-so-pretty sides of trying to introduce change, whether at a personal level or in a community. This is a must-read for rising high school students - including athletes.

Content Awareness Factors:


Type of Book:
Although set in high school, this young adult novel also embodies broader cultural themes.
Educational Themes:

Moxie is a doorway to candid discussions about sexism, behavior, culture (in high school and beyond), and consequences (sometimes unintended) of the choices we make. Although some will see "other people" in the behaviors the book creates opportunities to look in the mirror, too.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
11 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. This is a book to read with your daughter and your son.

Title Moxie: A Novel
Author Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher Roaring Brook Press, Imprint Macmillan Children's Publishing Group © 2017
ISBN 9781626726352
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Family, School, Realism | Realistic Fiction, Social Issues
be the star you are Cybils
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