An honest look at OCD, offering help in managing and overcoming it.

STUFF THAT'S LOUD

A TEEN'S GUIDE TO UNSPIRALING WHEN OCD GETS NOISY

From the Instant Help Solutions series

A guidebook that seeks to empower those living with OCD.

Clinical psychologists Sedley and Coyne give an authentic look at how different minds dealing with OCD function, including personal stories from teens and their family members. Incorporating techniques from Exposure Response Prevention and principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, this book provides tools and activities aimed at helping affected teens figure out how to live the lives they want. The direct, matter-of-fact approach runs the risk of triggering readers, something the authors acknowledge and even note as intentional; they explain that they trust readers to be able to handle the material and that not feeling ready to plunge in is an inherent part of the cycle of remaining trapped and anxious. The book does not proclaim to be a cure for OCD or even that any easy, external fix exists. That clarity in itself offers relief as it preempts the pressure readers may feel if they don’t feel fully transformed after using the book. The book, which the authors encourage readers to use along with therapy, puts faith and the power to change in the hands of teens. A supportive, empathetic tone is present throughout, making it a useful guide for young people who may need help identifying and overcoming intrusive thoughts.

An honest look at OCD, offering help in managing and overcoming it. (resources) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68403-536-6

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Instant Help Books

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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A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

BEYOND THE GENDER BINARY

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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