Minerva, first ninth-grader on her school paper, is ready to be the next Christiane Amanpour. It’s 2013 and Twitter’s a Wild West full of misogynist trolls, bullies Minerva would love to see banned. The biggest troll of all? The hottest guy in school—Chaz, basketball phenom—and he’s doing a full-court press to get with Minerva’s best friend, Diana.
Diana wants to fit in, and the whole school seems all in with Chaz and his Hot or Not tournament. When Minerva investigates hazing allegations and tracks tweets to the scene of a kegger, she finds Diana on the fast track to his despicable “Final Four”—a game of no consent.
Should @nervesofsteel fight back with reporting like the NYT or like TMZ?
Maybe Minerva needs to serve up vigilante justice for a girl who’s feeling like a lot more than a friend.
High school in the digital age is harder than Hades, but Minerva’s got nerve to do what it takes so #truthwillout.
Lyn Fairchild Hawks writes about gifted, wise teens. She is the author of the young adult novels, @nervesofsteel and How Wendy Redbird Dancing Survived the Dark Ages of Nought, as well as Minerda, a middle grade graphic novella and collaboration with illustrator Robin Follet. She is also the author of The Flat and Weightless Tang-Filled Future, a short story collection.
Lyn is an MFA graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts' Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She's the 2021 winner of the Norma Fox Mazer Award, a recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation grant, and a James Jones First Novel Fellowship contest semifinalist. She is represented by Tara Gelsomino of One Track Literary.
In her other life, Lyn runs Success Story essay consulting, mentors young writers, and writes lessons for teachers. She's written Teaching Macbeth: A Differentiated Approach, Teaching Julius Caesar: A Differentiated Approach, and is co-author of The Compassionate Classroom: Lessons that Nurture Wisdom and Empathy and Teaching Romeo and Juliet: A Differentiated Approach.
I have read this author’s other YA books, and I really think they’re for anyone who likes a good story and a strong main character.
At first, when I began reading @nervesofsteel, I found the main character, Minerva, a bit unbelievable. How many almost-14-year-olds know who Christine Amanpour is? More than that, she aspires to be like her and Marie Colvin! She’s skipped a grade, reads everything, and has the vocabulary of a well-educated 25-year-old. Not only is she beyond her tender years, she’s sensitive, a chronic worrier, and questions everything.
As a former teacher, I’ve met kids like this. They’re gifted, extraordinary, and—yes—at times—unbelievable. I strongly recommend @nervesofsteel for very smart teens, for young adults, for oldsters like me, and for anyone in between!
As someone who was in high school in 2013 and who witnessed all kinds of bullying on social media during that time just like Minerva, it was truly a healing experience to read @nervesofsteel! The author does a beautiful job of describing all of the complex, uncomfortable, and thrilling feelings one has as they are exploring and discovering their sexuality. Each character in the book was unique and authentic, not to mention I was instantly hooked by the plot. This book was so hard to put down and I enjoyed every minute of this read!