Rookie Yearbooks: One and Two

STK517074

Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Drawn and Quarterly
Source: Purchased

The solipsism may turn off some but this book, the physical collection of contents found on Rookie, the website, give a glimpse into the fascinating psyches of teenage girls. Rookie offers an alternative to popular girls’ magazines promoting individuality and self-acceptance. This collection has everything from nifty DIY ideas to photos shoots featuring girls of all ages, colours, size and shapes modeling pretty clothes. Then there are the anecdotal articles that share experiences and by doing so, comfort those who are going through the same thing but lack the words to articulate themselves. Interviews with celebrities who have been through bullying and self-esteem issues are also liberally present. While adult readers may find reading this a tad bit wearying, teenagers will exult at the fount of colors, experiences and ideas present in this collection. This book will make a priceless gift to the teenage girl in your life.

2-rookie-mag-545

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Drawn and Quarterly
Source: Raincoast Books

Being a teenager is difficult. Constantly fluctuating hormones means emotional highs and lows for no reason often within the space of minutes. Trying to separate from being just a child to becoming your own person; a process through which you become an individual. This often leaves your parents hurt and you uncertain because it’s not like you hate your parents, (though you may have told them you did when the hormones were high), it’s just that you want to be your own person. Someone people know for him/herself and not as someone’s daughter or son. And then there are your peers; all of a sudden having their approval is tantamount to reaching the summit of Mount Everest – a big deal. How do you navigate the uncertainties? How do you ask questions that you feel are stupid but that you must know the answer to? Who will listen to you moan and groan about the crush who won’t look at you? How do you handle adolescence?

Well, Rookie, the magazine, doesn’t claim to have ALL the answers but it has people who have gone through the things you are currently going through. I found many of the articles illuminating and that helped me, an adult, put things into perspective so I’m thinking that the impact will be greater on adolescents who are just learning to figure things out. The articles and photoshoots are collected in an attractive volume and just flipping through the pages gives you a heady sense of youth. The playlists are marvellous as are the articles themselves – don’t know how to kiss? No problem, there is an article. Feeling low? Someone else has also felt that way.

I love that there is no didacticism to the magazine – no overt sense that these words are supposed to teach you something. This can be credited to the fact that the magazine is mostly staffed by adolescents and young adults who remember what adolescence is like. I enjoy dipping in to the yearbook once in a while, reading an article, feasting my eyes on a photo shoot. I highly recommend this as a gift to all adolescents in your life. Life doesn’t come with a guide but sometimes people have directions that you can use.