Heavy going, both in content and prose style, but filled with critical content.

This young readers’ adaptation of Wallace-Wells’ acclaimed 2019 adult original outlines the effects of human-caused climate change.

With sections on heat death, hunger, drowning, wildfire, loss of freshwater, dying oceans, unbreathable air, plagues, economic collapse, climate conflict, and the multiplying effects of these individual scourges, the author makes it clear just how many ways climate change caused by human activities has already affected us and is likely to affect us even more in the not-so-distant future. He goes on to consider the stories we tell, the dream that technology will save us, the politics of consumption, the loss of the historical idea of progress, and what can be done with our despair. This condensed version retains the substance of the adult edition, including much of the same language, which may lack appeal for many teen readers (“It is only intuitive, in other words, that impulses toward purity represent growth areas of our culture, destined to distend further inward from the cultural periphery as apocalyptic ecological anxiety grows, too”). The story presented here is terrifying. The afterword summarizes some more positive recent political decisions and shifts in public opinion. But the author ends with tentative positivity, noting that global action could yet result in a less unhappy future. The dense text is not broken up with sidebars or other design features, and the book is notably missing sources or further reading suggestions.

Heavy going, both in content and prose style, but filled with critical content. (index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2023

ISBN: 9780593483572

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023


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


Though not the most balanced, an enlightening look back for the queer future.

An adaptation for teens of the adult title A Queer History of the United States (2011).

Divided into thematic sections, the text filters LGBTQIA+ history through key figures in each era from the 1500s to the present. Alongside watershed moments like the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, the text brings to light less well-known people, places, and events: the 1625 free love colony of Merrymount, transgender Civil War hero Albert D.J. Cashier, and the 1951 founding of the Mattachine Society, to name a few. Throughout, the author and adapter take care to use accurate pronouns and avoid imposing contemporary terminology onto historical figures. In some cases, they quote primary sources to speculate about same-sex relationships while also reminding readers of past cultural differences in expressing strong affection between friends. Black-and-white illustrations or photos augment each chapter. Though it lacks the teen appeal and personable, conversational style of Sarah Prager’s Queer, There, and Everywhere (2017), this textbook-level survey contains a surprising amount of depth. However, the mention of transgender movements and activism—in particular, contemporary issues—runs on the slim side. Whereas chapters are devoted to over 30 ethnically diverse gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer figures, some trans pioneers such as Christine Jorgensen and Holly Woodlawn are reduced to short sidebars.

Though not the most balanced, an enlightening look back for the queer future. (glossary, photo credits, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8070-5612-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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