Breezy but thoughtful, a timely, practical resource for newbie cooks.



This compact cookbook offers young adults affordable options for feeding themselves on their journeys to independence.

The first of four sections aims to build culinary confidence in the novice cook, interspersing recipes (for example, avocado toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta, and chocolate chip cookies) with food-preparation principles, safety, and techniques (such as tips on knife handling). Recipes in “Dorm Room Dining,” most requiring only a microwave oven and access to a refrigerator, range from variations on ramen noodles to gourmet popcorn crowd pleasers for feeding hungry friends. For those living with roommates, the third section offers heartier, more complex, but still budget-conscious choices (e.g., bean chili and options for using a rotisserie chicken) and includes practical tips on shared-kitchen etiquette. The final section, “First Solo Kitchen,” presents more sophisticated dishes, including bruschetta, risotto, braised pork, and lemon pound cake. As the recipes progress in complexity, photo-illustrated culinary techniques are introduced—e.g., caramelizing onions, deep frying, and braising. The lively, colorful layout packed with useful tips is a plus, as are the plentiful hacks, simple variations that accompany most recipes. Recipes geared to impecunious students honor today’s dorm life and shared-housing realities. Each section includes annotated lists of ingredients and kitchen tools required. Reliance on processed foods is limited. There are vegetarian options but fewer for vegans.

Breezy but thoughtful, a timely, practical resource for newbie cooks. (index, blank pages for notes, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7854-8

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Small but mighty necessary reading.


From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Deaf, trans artist Man meditates on his journey and identity in this brief memoir.

Growing up in conservative central Pennsylvania was tough for the 21-year-old Deaf, genderqueer, pansexual, and biracial (Chinese/White Jewish) author. He describes his gender and sexual identity, his experiences of racism and ableism, and his desire to use his visibility as a YouTube personality, model, and actor to help other young people like him. He is open and vulnerable throughout, even choosing to reveal his birth name. Man shares his experiences of becoming deaf as a small child and at times feeling ostracized from the Deaf community but not how he arrived at his current Deaf identity. His description of his gender-identity development occasionally slips into a well-worn pink-and-blue binary. The text is accompanied and transcended by the author’s own intriguing, expressionistic line drawings. However, Man ultimately falls short of truly insightful reflection or analysis, offering a mostly surface-level account of his life that will likely not be compelling to readers who are not already fans. While his visibility and success as someone whose life represents multiple marginalized identities are valuable in themselves, this heartfelt personal chronicle would have benefited from deeper introspection.

Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author. (Memoir. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-22348-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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