A celebration of young female writers that would be a great addition to classroom shelves as an inspiring example of honest...

GIRLS WRITE NOW

TWO DECADES OF TRUE STORIES FROM YOUNG FEMALE VOICES

A diverse group of teenage girls from New York City offer glimpses into their lives in this collection of short autobiographical essays interspersed with pieces of advice from leading women authors of today.

As a shy eighth-grader, Diamond Abreu found a sanctuary that released her inhibitions in the world of a comic-book store, showing how passion can open doors and build bridges. Dominican immigrant Alexa Betances muses over a photo of the father, who unexpectedly abandoned her family when she was 3, while Charlene Vasquez claims her autism as her own normal and speaks out against stereotypes. Iemi Hernandez-Kim wisely points out the futility of the metal detectors installed in her school, referencing a student who used a house key as a weapon against a security guard. Jennifer Lee reflects on her mother’s sacrifices, both in leaving Korea and in all she has done for her daughters in America. This volume gives the girls a platform to share some of their most intimate stories. In between essays, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sums up this collection by encouraging young women to embrace the honesty of their stories and refuse to succumb to fears about likability. Elsewhere, Francine Prose speaks to the power of writing to allow us to freely express ourselves.

A celebration of young female writers that would be a great addition to classroom shelves as an inspiring example of honest writing. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-947793-05-7

Page Count: 250

Publisher: Tin House

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 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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A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today.

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THEY CALLED US ENEMY

A beautifully heart-wrenching graphic-novel adaptation of actor and activist Takei’s (Lions and Tigers and Bears, 2013, etc.) childhood experience of incarceration in a World War II camp for Japanese Americans.

Takei had not yet started school when he, his parents, and his younger siblings were forced to leave their home and report to the Santa Anita Racetrack for “processing and removal” due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. The creators smoothly and cleverly embed the historical context within which Takei’s family’s story takes place, allowing readers to simultaneously experience the daily humiliations that they suffered in the camps while providing readers with a broader understanding of the federal legislation, lawsuits, and actions which led to and maintained this injustice. The heroes who fought against this and provided support to and within the Japanese American community, such as Fred Korematsu, the 442nd Regiment, Herbert Nicholson, and the ACLU’s Wayne Collins, are also highlighted, but the focus always remains on the many sacrifices that Takei’s parents made to ensure the safety and survival of their family while shielding their children from knowing the depths of the hatred they faced and danger they were in. The creators also highlight the dangerous parallels between the hate speech, stereotyping, and legislation used against Japanese Americans and the trajectory of current events. Delicate grayscale illustrations effectively convey the intense emotions and the stark living conditions.

A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today. (Graphic memoir. 14-adult)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60309-450-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Top Shelf Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2019

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