COLLATERAL DAMAGE

THE MENTAL HEALTH EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC

A useful guide to counter feelings of helplessness.

A general overview of mental health issues stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mooney handles a broad topic in six brief chapters, each centering one aspect of the many social-emotional challenges related to the ongoing health crisis. Together, they contextualize the overall impact of increased isolation associated with the loss of normal routines, from depression to stress and anxiety. The text discusses problems like the economic strain on families, challenges for those in caregiver roles, dealing with death and grief, substance use, finding resources for support, issues facing essential workers, and other topics. Many teen readers will recognize their struggles with changes in schooling and dealing with family concerns, but insights for marginalized communities are somewhat limited. The photographs reflect some ethnic diversity, and specific stressors facing families of color are mostly acknowledged in financial terms. The disproportionate impact of anti-Chinese hate speech on Asian Americans is not mentioned; neither is the rise in domestic violence. Each chapter includes stories that offer varied individual perspectives that may resonate with many readers. The thematic chapters include some overlapping concepts and can stand alone. This carefully researched and informative title covers key concepts with an approach grounded in the importance of recognizing unhealthy behaviors and identifying coping strategies, thus meeting a need for digestible information on a much-needed contemporary topic.

A useful guide to counter feelings of helplessness. (source notes, resources, further research, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-6782-0076-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: ReferencePoint Press

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Small but mighty necessary reading.

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 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

DISCOVERING WES MOORE

Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story.

This story, an adaptation for young people of the adult memoir The Other Wes Moore (2008), explores the lives of two young African-American men who share the same name and grew up impoverished on the same inner-city streets but wound up taking completely different paths.

Author Moore grew up with a devoted mother and extended family. After receiving poor grades and falling in with a bad crowd, his family pooled their limited finances to send him to Valley Forge Military Academy, where he found positive role models and became a Corps commander and star athlete. After earning an undergraduate degree, Wes attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. When the author read about the conviction of another Wes Moore for armed robbery and killing a police officer, he wanted to find out how two youths growing up at the same time in the same place could take such divergent paths. The author learns that the other Wes never had the extensive family support, the influential mentors or the lucky breaks he enjoyed. Unfortunately, the other Wes Moore is not introduced until over two-thirds of the way through the narrative. The story of the other Wes is heavily truncated and rushed, as is the author's conclusion, in which he argues earnestly and convincingly that young people can overcome the obstacles in their lives when they make the right choices and accept the support of caring adults.

Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story. (Memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-74167-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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