Its heart’s in the right place….




Meet some popular (and amazing) individuals involved with the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

Twelve-year-old drag artist Desmond is Amazing narrates this glimpse into popular names and faces that make up the recent history of queer rights in the U.S. Along the way, the author introduces himself (“I like to play video games, read, sing, collect toy trains, dance, and model. I enjoy going to school and have many friends”) and his drag inspirations. Following a brief glimpse at life before the Stonewall riots, readers learn about this historic uprising. Important figures from this time period, including Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, are introduced; RuPaul also warrants a double-page spread a little later on. Additional names and faces appear, such as Pepper Labeija, Stormé DeLarverie, James Baldwin, and Laverne Cox, but only as labeled portraits; it will be up to readers to seek out more information. No drag queen likes to be upstaged, but that’s what happens with Glynn’s artwork. The bright, bold colors evoke the energy of fingerpainting and add much-needed depth and vibrancy to the work. It’s a jolt of energy, doing its best to elevate a pedestrian text: “We look back on those who took a stand at the Stonewall Riots as heroes who should be celebrated for giving LGBTQ people, like me, the freedoms we enjoy today.”

Its heart’s in the right place…. (author’s note, glossary, sources) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-374-31258-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Timely and stirring.



A shoutout to heroes of nonviolent protest, from Sam Adams to the Parkland students.

Kicking off a proud tradition, “Samuel threw a tea party.” In the same vein, “Harriet led the way,” “Susan cast her vote,” “Rosa kept her seat,” “Ruby went to school,” and “Martin had a dream.” But Easton adds both newer and less-prominent names to the familiar roster: “Tommie and John raised their fists” (at the 1968 Summer Olympics, also depicted on the cover), for instance; “John and Yoko stayed in bed”; “Gilbert sewed a rainbow” (for San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day parade in 1978); “Jazz wore a dress”; and “America [Ferrera] said, ‘Time’s up.’ ” Viewed from low or elevated angles that give them a monumental look, the grave, determined faces of the chosen subjects shine with lapidary dignity in Chen’s painted, close-up portraits. Variations in features and skin tone are rather subtle, but in general both the main lineup and groups of onlookers are visibly diverse. The closing notes are particularly valuable—not only filling in the context and circumstances of each act of protest (and the full names of the protesters), but laying out its personal consequences: Rosa Parks and her husband lost their jobs, as did Ruby Bridges’ first-grade teacher, and Tommie Smith and John Carlos were banned for life from Olympic competition. Pull quotes in both the art and the endnotes add further insight and inspiration.

Timely and stirring. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-984831-97-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable...



An extraordinary athlete was also an extraordinary hero.

Gino Bartali grew up in Florence, Italy, loving everything about riding bicycles. After years of studying them and years of endurance training, he won the 1938 Tour de France. His triumph was muted by the outbreak of World War II, during which Mussolini followed Hitler in the establishment of anti-Jewish laws. In the middle years of the conflict, Bartali was enlisted by a cardinal of the Italian church to help Jews by becoming a document courier. His skill as a cyclist and his fame helped him elude capture until 1944. When the war ended, he kept his clandestine efforts private and went on to win another Tour de France in 1948. The author’s afterword explains why his work was unknown. Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum, honored him as a Righteous Among the Nations in 2013. Bartali’s is a life well worth knowing and well worthy of esteem. Fedele’s illustrations in mostly dark hues will appeal to sports fans with their action-oriented scenes. Young readers of World War II stories will gain an understanding from the somber wartime pages.

What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable springboard. (photograph, select bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68446-063-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Capstone Editions

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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