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

HOOKED

WHEN ADDICTION HITS HOME

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

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This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites.

THIS IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ART

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Curator, author, and activist Drew shares her journey as an artist and the lessons she has learned along the way.

Drew uses her own story to show how deeply intertwined activism and the arts can be. Her choices in college were largely overshadowed by financial need, but a paid summer internship at the Studio Museum in Harlem became a formative experience that led her to major in art history. The black artists who got her interested in the field were conspicuously absent in the college curriculum, however, as was faculty support, so she turned her frustration into action by starting her own blog to boost the work of black artists. After college, Drew’s work in several arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, only deepened her commitment to making the art world more accessible to people of color and other marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, and widening the scope of who is welcomed there. Drew narrates deeply personal experiences of frustration, triumph, progress, learning, and sometimes-uncomfortable growth in a conversational tone that draws readers in, showing how her specific lens enabled her to accomplish the work she has done but ultimately inviting readers to add their own contributions, however small, to both art and protest.

This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09518-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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This is clearly not unbiased reporting, but it makes a strong case that justice in our legal system does not always fit the...

ONE CUT

From the Simon True series

Porinchak recounts how the legal system fails five teens who commit a serious crime.

The May 22, 1995, brawl in a white suburb of Los Angeles that resulted in the death of one teen and the injury of another is related matter-of-factly. The account of the police investigation, the judicial process, and the ultimate incarceration of the five boys is more passionately argued. Since the story focuses on the teens’ experiences following the brawl, minimal attention is given to Jimmy Farris, who died, although the testimony of Mike McLoren, who survived, is crucial. The book opens with a comprehensive dramatis personae that will help orient readers, and the text is liberally punctuated by quotes drawn from contemporary newspaper and magazine coverage as well as interviews with several of the key figures, including three of the accused. Porinchak argues that the proceedings were influenced by the high-profile 1994 trial and acquittal of the Menendez brothers, and unfounded accusations of gang involvement further clouded the matter. Despite the journalistic style, there is clear intent to elicit sympathy for the five boys involved, three of whom were sentenced to life without parole; of two, the text remarks that “they were numbers now, not humans.”

This is clearly not unbiased reporting, but it makes a strong case that justice in our legal system does not always fit the crime. (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8132-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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