Concise and easy to read, with advice that is sex-positive and straightforward—it’s a shame the illustrations lack...

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An exhaustive guide for teens about sex and relationships written by Spanish vlogger Chusita.

From the start, readers are primed for a frank approach to the topics on offer. These include descriptions of basic anatomy, proper terminology related to sexual attraction and gender expression, and discussions about consent, emotional readiness, masturbation, and preventing STDs and pregnancy. The final sections address and explain sexual practices, fantasies, and sex toys. Each section is boldly headed with its subject and is briefly but clearly explored in a conversational tone. Highly stylized illustrations and short comic strips depict various trendy young people who appear relatively ethnically and gender diverse in pen-and-ink drawings that are washed in tones of black and red. These are eye-catching, lend a fashionable flair to the guide, and are refreshingly explicit in their presentation of sexual positions and body parts, but they don’t completely reflect the reality of variances in body size, shape, and ability—for example, there is no representation of teens who are overweight or who have a physical disability. Sidebars and stand-alone graphics include lists of slang, statistics, and questions posed by teens to Chusita; a short glossary is featured in the backmatter.

Concise and easy to read, with advice that is sex-positive and straightforward—it’s a shame the illustrations lack inclusivity. (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-13388-5

Page Count: 162

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

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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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There are some funny moments, particularly in the simple black-and-white cartoons of a girl and boy that accompany the text...

HOW NOT TO BE A DICK

AN EVERYDAY ETIQUETTE GUIDE

Jokes about cheese logs abound in this humorous but sometimes-belabored etiquette guide ostensibly aimed at teens.

Following an introduction that defines what makes a person seem like a dick, seven chapters address situations ranging from initiating romantic relationships to behaving responsibly at after-office get-togethers. An uneasy line is straddled in terms of its intended age range. Readers are dutifully exhorted to make sure they wear proper attire to school dances: “Most schools have dress codes for dances. Read them carefully!” Yet there’s also advice on how to politely use a coffee shop as your office if you’re working from home. Further, a section on safety and manners at parties seems at times to employ the euphemistic term “sugary beverages” for alcohol and suggests “If you are buzzing on sugar or if someone spiked the punch, DO NOT DRIVE.” This cagey approach to the topic of teen drinking is confusing at best and at worst, may strike readers as condescending.

There are some funny moments, particularly in the simple black-and-white cartoons of a girl and boy that accompany the text throughout. However, as etiquette goes, there’s not much that is new here and a real question of whom this is for. (Nonfiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-936976-02-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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