A helpful introduction to they/them pronouns for those in the know and those in the process of learning more.

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A QUICK & EASY GUIDE TO THEY/THEM PRONOUNS

This cartoon guide provides readers with information and advice about nonbinary pronouns and identities using equal parts sarcasm and sincerity.

Archie, a white nonbinary person with a septum piercing, teamed up with their friend Tristan, a bearded white cis man, to “educate and inform people on gender neutral pronouns...so that you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting yourself.” In expressive but sparsely illustrated panels, this book explains what pronouns are (“a substitute for a noun that you don’t know the identity of or…shorthand when the person/place/thing you’re talking about is understood”), Archie’s experiences of being misgendered, different ways for allies to support nonbinary people, and tips and tricks for navigating the world with a gender identity that isn’t just “male” or “female.” At some points the snark is a little grating, and at other points the earnestness can be cloying. The absence of any discussion of how race, ability, or other marginalized identities intersect with gender may be intentional to keep a sharp focus, but this also results in a flattening of perspective that may frustrate nonbinary readers with identities that Archie and Tristan don’t acknowledge. However, the text is conversational and accessible, providing helpful information to binary readers without privileging their needs over those of a nonbinary audience.

A helpful introduction to they/them pronouns for those in the know and those in the process of learning more. (Nonfiction graphic novel. 12-adult)

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62010-499-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Oni Press

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today.

THEY CALLED US ENEMY

A beautifully heart-wrenching graphic-novel adaptation of actor and activist Takei’s (Lions and Tigers and Bears, 2013, etc.) childhood experience of incarceration in a World War II camp for Japanese Americans.

Takei had not yet started school when he, his parents, and his younger siblings were forced to leave their home and report to the Santa Anita Racetrack for “processing and removal” due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. The creators smoothly and cleverly embed the historical context within which Takei’s family’s story takes place, allowing readers to simultaneously experience the daily humiliations that they suffered in the camps while providing readers with a broader understanding of the federal legislation, lawsuits, and actions which led to and maintained this injustice. The heroes who fought against this and provided support to and within the Japanese American community, such as Fred Korematsu, the 442nd Regiment, Herbert Nicholson, and the ACLU’s Wayne Collins, are also highlighted, but the focus always remains on the many sacrifices that Takei’s parents made to ensure the safety and survival of their family while shielding their children from knowing the depths of the hatred they faced and danger they were in. The creators also highlight the dangerous parallels between the hate speech, stereotyping, and legislation used against Japanese Americans and the trajectory of current events. Delicate grayscale illustrations effectively convey the intense emotions and the stark living conditions.

A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today. (Graphic memoir. 14-adult)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60309-450-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Top Shelf Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2019

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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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