A useful and organized jumping-off point for discussion.

THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY

This primer on the Donald J. Trump presidency covers most of the major controversies of his first three years in office.

This straightforward reference book explains Trump’s election and divisive personality and offers a quick look at most of the biggest issues of his presidency, particularly foreign policy, immigration, economics, and the environment. The author explains complex topics clearly, making them easy for young people—as well as less-informed adults—to understand, and the volume succinctly fulfills its purpose as a summary of the major occurrences of the presidency. Throughout, insets provide brief discussions of more specific topics, such as steel tariffs, renewable energy, and the travel ban directed at certain predominantly Muslim countries. The author is painstakingly neutral, ending each chapter with a paragraph that is essentially a pro and con treatment of Trump’s actions regarding the issue at hand. The attempt to present information without bias is noble, yet the resulting equivocation will likely fail to satisfy either supporters or opponents. Parents and teachers will wish to make this just one of several texts used to explore the Trump presidency. Additionally, conspicuous and even irresponsible in its absence are any discussion of Trump’s views, comments, and actions regarding women or the various responses of women to his presidency.

A useful and organized jumping-off point for discussion. (source notes, further reading, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68282-759-8

Page Count: 80

Publisher: ReferencePoint Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 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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Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story.

DISCOVERING WES MOORE

This story, an adaptation for young people of the adult memoir The Other Wes Moore (2008), explores the lives of two young African-American men who share the same name and grew up impoverished on the same inner-city streets but wound up taking completely different paths.

Author Moore grew up with a devoted mother and extended family. After receiving poor grades and falling in with a bad crowd, his family pooled their limited finances to send him to Valley Forge Military Academy, where he found positive role models and became a Corps commander and star athlete. After earning an undergraduate degree, Wes attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. When the author read about the conviction of another Wes Moore for armed robbery and killing a police officer, he wanted to find out how two youths growing up at the same time in the same place could take such divergent paths. The author learns that the other Wes never had the extensive family support, the influential mentors or the lucky breaks he enjoyed. Unfortunately, the other Wes Moore is not introduced until over two-thirds of the way through the narrative. The story of the other Wes is heavily truncated and rushed, as is the author's conclusion, in which he argues earnestly and convincingly that young people can overcome the obstacles in their lives when they make the right choices and accept the support of caring adults.

Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story. (Memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-74167-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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