Successfully broadens the reach of the original to a younger audience.

As Jason Reynolds did with Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (2020), a teen edition of Kendi’s National Book Award–winning Stamped From the Beginning (2016), Stone puts her own distinctive spin on Kendi’s personal exploration of anti-racism in his widely acclaimed 2019 title, How To Be an Antiracist.

The original work is part memoir, and Stone approaches this in her adaptation by addressing Kendi in the second person as she explicates and contextualizes the epiphanies that brought him to anti-racism, placing the concepts themselves center stage. She switches comfortably between informal and formal modes, even within single passages: “In the 1960s—yeaaaaaars before you were born—President Lyndon B. Johnson implemented Affirmative Action…with the aim of leveling the employment playing field (creating more equity) between White dudes and women and non-White people as a means of expanding employment opportunities for people of color and women.” Frequent faux Post-its labeled “NIC’S NOTES” offer further context and commentary. “Peep this quote from racist policymaker Thomas Jefferson,” one begins. With key concepts set in boldface, the narrative bristles with definitions as it moves back and forth from Kendi’s life to his taxonomy of racism, always touching back on how his own internalized racism inflects on it. Though it’s too easy to lose track of whether Stone is addressing “you, IXK,” or “you, dear reader,” it’s a notably effective adaptation.

Successfully broadens the reach of the original to a younger audience. (endnotes) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-46160-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 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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