Covering territory already surveyed in The Journey is the Destination (1997), compiled by Eldon’s mother Kathy, and New’s...

DAN ELDON

SAFARI AS A WAY OF LIFE

Strictly for completists, this album combines new and previously published pages from the collage-filled notebooks of a 22-year-old photojournalist killed in Mogadishu in 1993, along with yet another account of his brief life and peregrinations.

Covering territory already surveyed in The Journey is the Destination (1997), compiled by Eldon’s mother Kathy, and New’s own Dan Eldon: The Art of Life (2001), this version leaves out direct references to Eldon’s sexual exploits but again retraces in mapless, often eye-glazing detail his youth in Nairobi and his restless journeys around Africa and overseas up to his tragic death at the hands of an angry mob. The narrative text is tucked in and around full-page images of his busy, heavily worked collages—constructed from snapshots, found items, loose, emotional sketches, handwritten letters, scrawled comments and other materials, all jumbled together and all visually of a sameness. Bland tributes from associates (“I think he carried in him instinctive wisdom that bridged cultures and generations”), a lengthy closing tally of charity projects and workers inspired by his example (and added features like an iron-on transfer and foldout postcards that are only included with the trade edition) provide insufficient reason for teen readers to prefer this iteration over either of the earlier ones.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8118-7091-7

Page Count: 194

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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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 beautiful meditation on the tender, fraught interior lives of Black boys.

THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE (ADAPTED FOR YOUNG ADULTS)

The acclaimed author of Between the World and Me (2015) reflects on the family and community that shaped him in this adaptation of his 2008 adult memoir of the same name.

Growing up in Baltimore in the ’80s, Coates was a dreamer, all “cupcakes and comic books at the core.” He was also heavily influenced by “the New York noise” of mid-to-late-1980s hip-hop. Not surprisingly then, his prose takes on an infectious hip-hop poetic–meets–medieval folklore aesthetic, as in this description of his neighborhood’s crew: “Walbrook Junction ran everything, until they met North and Pulaski, who, craven and honorless, would punk you right in front of your girl.” But it is Coates’ father—a former Black Panther and Afrocentric publisher—who looms largest in his journey to manhood. In a community where their peers were fatherless, Coates and his six siblings viewed their father as flawed but with the “aura of a prophet.” He understood how Black boys could get caught in the “crosshairs of the world” and was determined to save his. Coates revisits his relationships with his father, his swaggering older brother, and his peers. The result will draw in young adult readers while retaining all of the heart of the original.

A beautiful meditation on the tender, fraught interior lives of Black boys. (maps, family tree) (Memoir. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984894-03-8

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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