Burke was so impressive a figure, his story so gripping, that this book holds unquestionable merit.

SINGLED OUT

THE TRUE STORY OF GLENN BURKE

The story of a baseball player whose life serves as testimony to where we’ve come from and how far we still have to go.

In 1977, Burke was a gay Black man playing center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series; by 1995, he would be dead at 42 due to complications of AIDS. Maraniss meticulously charts a path from Burke’s Berkeley, California, upbringing as an all-around athlete through his relatively brief but significant MLB stint to San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, where he struggled through addiction, incarceration, poverty, housing insecurity, and sickness in the final chapters of his life. The author presents a critical interpretation of Burke’s life, juxtaposing interviews with contemporaries with accounts of 1969’s Stonewall uprising, Anita Bryant’s anti–gay rights campaign, and Magic Johnson’s 1991 HIV announcement. This creates a compelling narrative, offering helpful context for young readers in a complicated account of race, sexuality, and a dream deferred, yet it pushes Burke from the foreground, centering the national media and sports establishments that used and critiqued Burke’s body and what he did with it. Not exactly a biography, this is a meticulously researched history of the ways queer culture in the ’70s intersected with baseball, Blackness, and larger culture wars, with one man at their center.

Burke was so impressive a figure, his story so gripping, that this book holds unquestionable merit. (notes, interviews, bibliography, baseball statistics, timeline, Black LGBTQ+ individuals, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-11672-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

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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This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites.

THIS IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ART

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Curator, author, and activist Drew shares her journey as an artist and the lessons she has learned along the way.

Drew uses her own story to show how deeply intertwined activism and the arts can be. Her choices in college were largely overshadowed by financial need, but a paid summer internship at the Studio Museum in Harlem became a formative experience that led her to major in art history. The black artists who got her interested in the field were conspicuously absent in the college curriculum, however, as was faculty support, so she turned her frustration into action by starting her own blog to boost the work of black artists. After college, Drew’s work in several arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, only deepened her commitment to making the art world more accessible to people of color and other marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, and widening the scope of who is welcomed there. Drew narrates deeply personal experiences of frustration, triumph, progress, learning, and sometimes-uncomfortable growth in a conversational tone that draws readers in, showing how her specific lens enabled her to accomplish the work she has done but ultimately inviting readers to add their own contributions, however small, to both art and protest.

This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09518-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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