One teen’s vision of hope shines through.

COLORBLIND

A STORY OF RACISM

An African-American teen explores the way his life has been affected by his imprisoned relative and racial profiling.

Fifteen-year-old Johnathan Harris tells his story in a graphic format that enhances his young voice. Johnathan and his close-knit working-class family (mom’s a nurse, dad’s a probation officer) live in Long Beach, California, but one of the biggest influences in his life, his uncle Russell, is serving time in Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, four hours away. “Crazy, right? My dad works in law enforcement and my uncle’s in jail.” Despite this, Johnathan’s uncle provides guidance during visits and via other communication, encouraging him to understand and appreciate both his culture and those of others. Both early trauma and incidents as an older child playing soccer and in Boy Scouts make Johnathan question his uncle’s efforts to get him to relinquish skin color prejudice, but he is ultimately able to hold onto those teachings. This memoir has a strong authentic youth voice and reflects a young teen’s perspective. The full-color graphics are a strong accompaniment, often using visual metaphor. The concept of “colorblindness” is a dubious one, but it is Johnathan’s efforts to avoid racial bitterness as he grows into manhood that come through. This volume, part of a series of graphic novels written by young adults, includes additional biographical information, information for parents, and teacher support (through the publisher’s website).

One teen’s vision of hope shines through. (Graphic memoir. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947378-12-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Zuiker Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A breezy guide for fostering a happy adolescence by maneuvering its challenges and pitfalls.

KID CONFIDENT #1

HOW TO MASTER SOCIAL POWER IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

From the Kid Confident series , Vol. 1

Advice for tweens and teens on building healthy relationships and avoiding toxic ones.

Zucker uses brief stories involving middle school students to illustrate social power, or the dynamic between peers. When this becomes unbalanced, the resulting shift in power can be mild or extreme, resulting in stress, belittling, and even bullying. However, when it’s balanced there’s mutual respect and generosity. With this foundation in place, the author moves on to offer examples of balanced and unbalanced interactions told in dialogue bubbles and from there, advice and examples. Individual chapters tackle concepts like assertiveness, self-confidence, self-control, the unique problems presented by social media, and strategies for repairing unhealthy interactions. These often include concise checklists. In the penultimate chapter, readers are reminded to nurture positive thinking, which takes practice, and are given concrete strategies. Finally, the book wraps up with information about cultivating resilience. Zucker’s advice lands best when accompanied by dramatizations or by the stories of individual teens who have succeeded by following her guidelines. The lively design, including playful illustrations, makes for accessible reading, with ideas unpacked into digestible pieces. Some concepts may be too abstract for younger readers, who may require help from adults to understand and implement them. The extensive list of resources that concludes the book has recommended reading lists for both caregivers and young people.

A breezy guide for fostering a happy adolescence by maneuvering its challenges and pitfalls. (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3814-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An excellent mental health resource for adolescents and those who support them.

KID CONFIDENT #2

HOW TO MASTER YOUR MOOD IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

From the Kid Confident series , Vol. 2

This second volume in the Kid Confident series is a guide to the intense emotions many middle schoolers experience.

Designed for young people to explore independently in bite-sized chunks, the book contains graphics, comics, sidebars, and prompts to vary its format and sustain reader interest. The first half details why mood struggles are more intense in middle school, empowering tweens and teens by letting them know they are not alone. Next, the author explores the impacts of thoughts, mindset, perfectionism, and actions on mood and includes concrete suggestions on how to feel better. The book features intriguing facts, self-reflection activities and questions related to key concepts, strategies for self-regulation, writing exercises, and chapter summaries as well as anecdotes about diverse middle schoolers who worked through the struggles illustrated. Simple illustrations and diagrams support the text, making subjects like the structure of the limbic system or yoga poses that calm or energize more accessible. Importantly, the final chapter helps readers understand when and how to ask for professional help for themselves and their friends. Packed with valuable material, this volume is an informative read for middle schoolers who struggle with their emotions.

An excellent mental health resource for adolescents and those who support them. (resources, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3818-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more