The accounts are varied and honest enough that readers with addiction in their own families will likely find plenty to...



A collection of personal accounts from young people whose family members have struggled with a variety of addictions.

Each chapter of this slim volume is a short, accessible personal narrative written from the point of view of someone who lived with addiction as a child. The stories are diverse, not only in the kinds of addictions represented (alcohol, gambling, various drugs), but also in the feelings and identities of the writers. The events and emotions in each chapter are straightforwardly told, with demarcated sections, such as “My mom, the middlewoman” and “How I coped.” Short contextualizing interpolations (“Many addicts try to blame others—most often family members—for their behavior”) are interspersed with the narratives in an easily distinguishable typeface. Peculiarly, the chapters are written in first person, but there are no biographies or other indications as to who the writers are outside the stories they tell. Aside from a brief foreword, an introductory personal account by children’s author Robert Munsch, and a few pages of questions and answers with a professor of social work, little attempt is made at tying together the collection.

The accounts are varied and honest enough that readers with addiction in their own families will likely find plenty to relate to, but a bit more context would have been helpful. (list of resources) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: July 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55451-475-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet