Utterly vital in its historical prowess, essential in its portraits of lived experiences.

Adapted for teen readers from the 2019 original, Treuer’s seminal account offers a fresh, distinct historical reconsideration.

The author’s purpose is clear from the outset: to present a deliberate counternarrative to mainstream assumptions and push back against the constrictive specter of the framing of the Wounded Knee massacre of 1890 as a turning point representing the end of Native American cultures. In seven chapters spanning prehistorical times to the present, this chronicle of Indigenous communities and peoples in North America is a scintillating version reduced in length but not breadth. Beginning with a brief overview of the pre-colonization period and the ensuing violent disruptions of the Europeans, the opening chapter also covers Indigenous resistance. The next chapter depicts the role of the U.S. government in an ever increasing, violent push for assimilation via boarding schools and the Dawes Act. The further the book goes into the 20th century and the rise of Native American social action in the 1960s and 1970s, such as through the American Indian Movement, the more Treuer includes firsthand stories from his research interviews. These accounts clearly delineate the ties between the continued impact of the past and the possibilities for a viable, hard-fought future for Native American lives. This essential work ends with a review of the Standing Rock protest and its potential and asks the fundamental, yet-to-be-answered question: “What kind of country do we want to be?”

Utterly vital in its historical prowess, essential in its portraits of lived experiences. (notes, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-20347-7

Page Count: 286

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022


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


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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