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A thorough account of interest to report writers as well as young women considering a military career.

This insightful look at women serving in all branches of the United States military reveals great obstacles that have been overcome and those that remain.

Beginning with a brief historical overview, the book explains that women have served in combat roles for millennia, but it was not until 2016 that the Department of Defense removed all barriers to service for American women, including combat. Nonetheless, objections persist: Women are minorities in all branches of the U.S. military and are frequently subjected to sexism, sexual harassment, and violence. Women may also face additional layers of racial and sexual orientation discrimination. Female combat veterans face the same problems as their male counterparts, such as PTSD, accessing adequate care from the Veterans Administration, homelessness, and suicide. Despite these obstacles, the book emphasizes the positive, as thousands of women volunteer for military service, and many pursue lifelong careers. Through interviews with women from all military branches, Goldsmith (Pandemic, 2018, etc.) profiles the tremendous variety of jobs they do. Many describe the personal satisfaction and career advantages they have gained through military service. References to #MeToo and well-known veterans such as Tammie Jo Shults and Sen. Tammy Duckworth make this a timely offering. Photographs (many in full color) showing servicewomen of varying ages and ethnicities, infographics, and sidebars enhance the lively and accessible text.

A thorough account of interest to report writers as well as young women considering a military career. (timeline, notes, glossary, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2812-3

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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From the Pocket Change Collective series

Small but mighty necessary reading.

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 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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From the Pocket Change Collective series

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change.

Teen environmental activist and founder of the nonprofit Hannah4Change, Testa shares her story and the science around plastic pollution in her fight to save our planet.

Testa’s connection to and respect for nature compelled her to begin championing animal causes at the age of 10, and this desire to have an impact later propelled her to dedicate her life to fighting plastic pollution. Starting with the history of plastic and how it’s produced, Testa acknowledges the benefits of plastics for humanity but also the many ways it harms our planet. Instead of relying on recycling—which is both insufficient and ineffective—she urges readers to follow two additional R’s: “refuse” and “raise awareness.” Readers are encouraged to do their part, starting with small things like refusing to use plastic straws and water bottles and eventually working up to using their voices to influence business and policy change. In the process, she highlights other youth advocates working toward the same cause. Short chapters include personal examples, such as observations of plastic pollution in Mauritius, her maternal grandparents’ birthplace. Testa makes her case not only against plastic pollution, but also for the work she’s done, resulting in something of a college-admissions–essay tone. Nevertheless, the first-person accounts paired with science will have an impact on readers. Unfortunately, no sources are cited and the lack of backmatter is a missed opportunity.

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22333-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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