A unique and well-organized survey of reproductive behaviors that belongs in every middle and upper school library but will...

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THE ANIMAL MATING GAME

THE WACKY, WEIRD WORLD OF SEX IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

“Without animal sex there would be no animal life.”

Downer, author of several acclaimed nonfiction titles about animals, turns her attention to sex. Chapter by chapter, she documents the way animals get one another’s attention through dancing, singing, showing off, gifts, and fragrances. She goes on to describe varieties of sexual equipment (the penis bones called baculums some mammals have, a female hyena’s pseudo-penis, a blanket octopus’s detachable hectocotylus) as well as group sex, once-in-a-lifetime sex, and infidelity. Her exposition is clear. The topic is so engaging and her choices are so varied that the numerous examples never feel like too many. There are hermaphroditic, penis-fencing flat worms, giraffes who pee in the mouths of likely mates to show they are in estrus, and subordinate male gelada baboons who sneak away and do the deed silently and secretly. Dramatic design elements include colorful, stylized print edgings, close-up color stock photographs, and occasional text boxes that break up the pages. An extensive list of suggestions for further information will encourage further research and help convince young readers that she was not making this up!

A unique and well-organized survey of reproductive behaviors that belongs in every middle and upper school library but will probably not last long on the shelf. (notes, glossary, selected bibliography, index, acknowledgements) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-8571-6

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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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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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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