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 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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Small but mighty necessary reading.


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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Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Deaf, trans artist Man meditates on his journey and identity in this brief memoir.

Growing up in conservative central Pennsylvania was tough for the 21-year-old Deaf, genderqueer, pansexual, and biracial (Chinese/White Jewish) author. He describes his gender and sexual identity, his experiences of racism and ableism, and his desire to use his visibility as a YouTube personality, model, and actor to help other young people like him. He is open and vulnerable throughout, even choosing to reveal his birth name. Man shares his experiences of becoming deaf as a small child and at times feeling ostracized from the Deaf community but not how he arrived at his current Deaf identity. His description of his gender-identity development occasionally slips into a well-worn pink-and-blue binary. The text is accompanied and transcended by the author’s own intriguing, expressionistic line drawings. However, Man ultimately falls short of truly insightful reflection or analysis, offering a mostly surface-level account of his life that will likely not be compelling to readers who are not already fans. While his visibility and success as someone whose life represents multiple marginalized identities are valuable in themselves, this heartfelt personal chronicle would have benefited from deeper introspection.

Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author. (Memoir. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-22348-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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