An encouraging handbook for action.

PROTECTORS OF THE PLANET

ENVIRONMENTAL TRAILBLAZERS FROM 7 TO 97

Detailed profiles of 12 environmental activists prove that individuals can help save the world.

Ontario teen Sophia Mathur rallied, protested, and lobbied until her local government declared a climate emergency. Ian McAllister used civil disobedience and visual storytelling to spread awareness about Canada’s rainforests and defend them against destruction. Anne Innis Dagg pioneered the study of giraffe behavior in South Africa. Home-schooled siblings Rupert and Franny Yakelashek, inspired by David Suzuki’s Blue Dot campaign, have received international recognition for their activism. Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier spearheaded a legal battle to protect the Arctic. Each chapter covers the subject’s inspiration and early experiences, including childhood and family life, presenting their adventures and concluding with “Trailblazer Tips” that encourage readers to take specific actions. Biologist Bastedo narrates his encounters with these heroes as a journalist might, describing each as a relatable person in their element. The profiles include many direct quotes, offering a sense of immediacy. The focus on concrete goals, successes, and challenges will keep readers engaged. The coverage of many different aspects of the climate crisis makes a clear case for the urgency of the situation while the change-makers’ examples inspire hope that the human race, when informed and motivated, can meet the challenge. Most of the activists profiled are White; Mathur has Indian heritage, and Watt-Cloutier is Inuit.

An encouraging handbook for action. (resources, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-88995-569-1

Page Count: 330

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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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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