Rookie, a blog style site for teenage girls, was launched on an unsuspecting day in September 2011 when it's creator, Tavi, was only 15 years old. The site broke the one-million page views five days later.
Tavi and the Rookie staff are like a beacon in the tumultuous, drowning sea that is puberty. Teen years may seem like some of the loneliest, awkward, and desperate years of our lives, but Rookie provides a place not only to talk about it, but make it fashionable. Moving from blog format to book, Rookie Yearbook One compiles some of the best articles, interviews, poetry, photo editorials, and illustrations from the Rookie site's first year. It's contributors are talented girls of many shapes, sizes, colors, and styles from all over the world covering topics of health, love, fashion, feminism, and entertainment. Some of my favorites include articles like "Literally the Best Thing Ever: The Golden Girls," "Teenage Girls Assaulted by Wild Animals: an interview with John Waters," and the photo editorial "Younger Than Yesterday" where pictures of five girls at dusk are having "the kind of day you don't want to get called inside for dinner".
Tavi with the yearbook's first publication
Oh, how I wish I had Rookie to lean on as an awkward teenager, but still today these yearbooks are a must-read to evoke laughter, tears, creativity, empowerment and nostalgia. Tavi and the Rookie team have caught the attention of many influential celebrities and figures, including the Queen Bee herself, Ms. Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue. Tavi was even invited to do a TED Talk for her inspiring role in modern feminism. Be sure to check out some of Rookie's talented veterans like Roxanne Gay's Bad Feminist and Emma Straub's The Vacationers. And if you get as hooked as I did, be sure to put on hold Rookie Yearbook Two and Rookie Yearbook Three.
Review by Stevie Z.