Fashion blogger Sicardi introduces readers to 52 queer heroes from around the world.

The book’s survey of diverse individuals should be applauded. Commendable ranges of ages, ethnicities, genders, professions, and time periods are covered. However, the book’s downfall begins with the sparseness of information offered about each subject. Each entry includes a name, a date range and birthplace, a few scant paragraphs, a stylized portrait, and nothing else. For example, while the joint entry on Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson covers their friendship and work with homeless LGBTQIAP youth in New York City, it makes no mention of Rivera’s historic 1973 speech regarding homophobia and transphobia within the LGBTQIAP community. That was kind of a big deal. Likewise, David Bowie is praised for his music, but mention of his infamous 1983 Rolling Stone article, in which he identified as heterosexual, is absent. (In fairness, the title could refer to heroes of queer people.) The book’s other major deficit is its disorder. The subjects are arranged arbitrarily, without a table of contents or an index. There is no further reading section and no bibliographies for references. A haphazard two-page glossary exists (thankfully in alphabetical order), but that’s it. The book has some merit as a brief introduction to people readers may not have heard of but doesn’t have the follow-through necessary to lead them to further discoveries.

Save your money. (Biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-476-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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The art underperforms, but the descriptions of athletic feats admirably compensate.



Sequential panels offer accounts of select achievements and milestones in modern sports history.

Literally blow-by-blow only in the case of Muhammad Ali’s “Rumble in the Jungle” with George Foreman, each entry breaks down a memorable moment in a different sport or event—in the case of soccer, for instance, Brandi Chastain’s winning penalty kick in the 1999 Women’s World Cup final and Germany’s 7-1 demolition of Brazil in 2014’s Men’s World Cup semifinal. The featured athletes are a diverse lot, ranging from White ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean to African American gymnast Simone Biles, Jamaican speedster Usain Bolt, Japanese wrestling legend Kaori Icho, and Australian Indigenous Olympic track star Cathy Freeman. Paralympics champion Jonnie Peacock and surfer Bethany Hamilton, who has one arm, make the roster, too. Degnan’s figures don’t always quite resemble their subjects, but she does tuck versions of iconic photos, like the raised fists of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics, into her sets of freeze frames. In adrenalized prose (crediting Jesse Owens, for example, with “single-handedly crushing Hitler’s myth of white supremacy”), Skinner adds both historical context and descriptions of the action to each entry, then closes with a set of character card–style tributes. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The art underperforms, but the descriptions of athletic feats admirably compensate. (glossary) (Sports history. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4197-6023-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Magic Cat

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Finally, an astro-memoir for kids that really gets down to the nitty-gritty.



A former space shuttle pilot and International Space Station commander recalls in unusually exacting detail what it’s like to be an astronaut.

In the same vein as his more expansive adult title How To Astronaut (2020), Virts describes and reflects on his experiences with frank and photographic precision—from riding the infamous “Vomit Comet” to what astronauts wear, eat, and get paid. He also writes vividly about what Earth looks like from near orbit: the different colors of deserts, for instance, and storms that “are so powerful that the flashes from the lightning illuminate the inside of the space station.” With an eye to younger audiences with stars in their eyes, he describes space programs of the past and near future in clear, simple language and embeds pep talks about the importance of getting a good education and ignoring nay-sayers. For readers eager to start their training early, he also tucks in the occasional preparatory “Astronaut Activity,” such as taking some (unused) household item apart…and then putting it back together. Lozano supplements the small color photos of our planet from space and astronauts at work with helpful labeled images, including two types of spacesuits and a space shuttle, as well as cartoon spot art depicting diverse figures.

Finally, an astro-memoir for kids that really gets down to the nitty-gritty. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 11, 2023

ISBN: 9781523514564

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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