An urgent book about the impact of Israel’s occupation on Palestinian youth.

DETERMINED TO STAY

PALESTINIAN YOUTH FIGHT FOR THEIR VILLAGE

Through the personal stories of Palestinians, Sokolower lays bare daily realities of segregation and displacement.

Sokolower, a Jewish social studies teacher from California, never intended to make multiple visits over the course of 7 years to Silwan, near Jerusalem, documenting the injustices Palestinian youth face under Israel’s military occupation. But after learning about U.S. military funding to Israel and the many parallels between the lives of Palestinians and the experiences of Black Americans facing police brutality, she couldn’t remain silent. An introduction by professor Nick Estes (Lower Brule Sioux) draws a powerful parallel between settler colonialism and the plights of Palestinians and Native Americans. Each chapter in this clear, evocative, moving work shows how Palestinians are routinely harassed, dehumanized, and detained. The author presents stories such as that of Sahar Abbasi, who works with youth suffering from PTSD after being interrogated and threatened by Israelis soldiers and settlers. Bayan Abbasi (no relation to Sahar) lives less than 20 miles from her university, but with checkpoints and the apartheid wall, the journey takes hours each way. Whenever Sokolower returned, she saw the devastating impact of Israeli expansion into Silwan. The narratives and background information vividly show readers how Israel’s occupation affects mental health, education, employment, and everyday familial life, but they also paint a beautiful picture of resistance in the face of harrowing despair. Maps and photographs enhance and clarify the text.

An urgent book about the impact of Israel’s occupation on Palestinian youth. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 12-adult)

Pub Date: June 22, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62371-888-6

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Olive Branch/Interlink

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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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 fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

BEYOND THE GENDER BINARY

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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