A biography fit for a queen.

VICTORIA

PORTRAIT OF A QUEEN

One of history’s most influential rulers became queen just out of girlhood and led her country during a time of great change.

Victoria, until recently Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, became queen through a series of tragedies and accidents. Her father, the Duke of Kent, died when she was an infant, so she and her German-born mother moved into Kensington Palace, where Victoria grew up as part of the royal family but suffered the machinations of her mother and her late father’s assistant. Although Victoria was just 18 when she became queen, she was old enough to act on her own behalf—and did so. During her reign, she worked with various prime ministers, saw her country and its empire through multiple wars, and presided over a nation coping with vast technological and social change. Reef is an accomplished biographer for young readers, and this is one of her best. Victoria’s personality comes through in the lively narrative, though Reef never shies from the public and personal controversies that Victoria brought on herself. All the necessary context for understanding her life and times is woven through without ever getting in the way. The text is enhanced by a plethora of contemporaneous illustrations, making this a handsome volume. The backmatter includes a list of British monarchs, family tree, extensive source notes, bibliography, and picture credits.

A biography fit for a queen. (index) (Biography. 12-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-71614-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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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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Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.

CONTINUUM

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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