An affirmation that, with support and resources, kids with disabilities can shine—or sparkle.


Born missing her left arm above the elbow, Reeves relates how she came to design a glitter-shooting prosthesis and start a nonprofit.

In her upbeat account, the middle schooler chronicles growing up in Columbia, Missouri, with a family who encourages her to “figure it all out,” enabling her to do everything her peers do and more. With and without a “helper arm” and task-specific hands, she plays everything from basketball to piano and attends mentoring and sports camps for kids with limb differences. Readers with disabilities will appreciate her humorous, candid approach to stares and recognize the “magical” understanding she finds among other limb-different kids. At the Superhero Cyborgs camp, she devises Project Unicorn, a glitter-shooting prosthetic arm, earning widespread fame; to involve kids with disabilities in design, she starts the Born Just Right organization. Unfortunately, Reeves’ clichéd assertion that “[t]he only thing that can stop us is our attitudes” rings somewhat hollow against her acknowledgement of various privileges that help her to feel “limitless,” such as her family’s ability to travel across the country. However, her enthusiasm for building an inclusive world where limb-different people can succeed “and it doesn’t have to be big news” is infectious. In a separate typeface, Reeves’ mom occasionally interjects her encouraging thoughts on parenting a limb-different child. Black-and-white photos appear throughout. Reeves and her family present white.

An affirmation that, with support and resources, kids with disabilities can shine—or sparkle. (Memoir. 9-adult)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2838-6

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Jeter Children's/Aladdin

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats.


From the They Did What? series

Why should grown-ups get all the historical, scientific, athletic, cinematic, and artistic glory?

Choosing exemplars from both past and present, Mitchell includes but goes well beyond Alexander the Great, Anne Frank, and like usual suspects to introduce a host of lesser-known luminaries. These include Shapur II, who was formally crowned king of Persia before he was born, Indian dancer/professional architect Sheila Sri Prakash, transgender spokesperson Jazz Jennings, inventor Param Jaggi, and an international host of other teen or preteen activists and prodigies. The individual portraits range from one paragraph to several pages in length, and they are interspersed with group tributes to, for instance, the Nazi-resisting “Swingkinder,” the striking New York City newsboys, and the marchers of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Mitchell even offers would-be villains a role model in Elagabalus, “boy emperor of Rome,” though she notes that he, at least, came to an awful end: “Then, then! They dumped his remains in the Tiber River, to be nommed by fish for all eternity.” The entries are arranged in no evident order, and though the backmatter includes multiple booklists, a personality quiz, a glossary, and even a quick Braille primer (with Braille jokes to decode), there is no index. Still, for readers whose fires need lighting, there’s motivational kindling on nearly every page.

A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats. (finished illustrations not seen) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-14-751813-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Puffin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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