Amid the strife and sadness there are moments of joy and passion, and the message of standing up for your convictions makes...

GRAND THEFT HORSE

Gail Ruffu, a woman of Creole descent, grew up with a love of horses and later took a stand against their abuse.

This biography focuses on Gail, an Air Force brat raised in various parts of the U.S. and, later, Europe, where she received a formal education in horse riding and training. She eventually returned to America and became a respected trainer in the world of thoroughbred racing. Known for her unconventional methods, Gail became part owner and trainer of the racehorse Urgent Envoy. After it became clear that Urgent Envoy was injured and would become another casualty of a profit-driven industry that often turned a blind eye to cruel practices, Gail took matters into her own hands. Spiriting Urgent Envoy away to a secret location one Christmas Eve, she began living as an outlaw and eventually suffered legal consequences for her humanitarian choice. The pen-and-ink illustrations vividly capture the drama of this riveting tale that will provoke readers to ponder the ethics of our treatment of animals who suffer for human entertainment as well as the actions of a woman who broke the law to stand up for her principles and the horse she loved.

Amid the strife and sadness there are moments of joy and passion, and the message of standing up for your convictions makes this a necessary tale. (Nonfiction graphic novel. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62014-855-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Tu Books

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 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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Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.

CONTINUUM

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Deaf, trans artist Man meditates on his journey and identity in this brief memoir.

Growing up in conservative central Pennsylvania was tough for the 21-year-old Deaf, genderqueer, pansexual, and biracial (Chinese/White Jewish) author. He describes his gender and sexual identity, his experiences of racism and ableism, and his desire to use his visibility as a YouTube personality, model, and actor to help other young people like him. He is open and vulnerable throughout, even choosing to reveal his birth name. Man shares his experiences of becoming deaf as a small child and at times feeling ostracized from the Deaf community but not how he arrived at his current Deaf identity. His description of his gender-identity development occasionally slips into a well-worn pink-and-blue binary. The text is accompanied and transcended by the author’s own intriguing, expressionistic line drawings. However, Man ultimately falls short of truly insightful reflection or analysis, offering a mostly surface-level account of his life that will likely not be compelling to readers who are not already fans. While his visibility and success as someone whose life represents multiple marginalized identities are valuable in themselves, this heartfelt personal chronicle would have benefited from deeper introspection.

Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author. (Memoir. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-22348-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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