A valuable resource filled with productive possibilities.



From spells to mindfulness, this work offers some methods to help boost holistic health.

Initial chapters address the practices of tarot, astrology, witchcraft, energy work, and spirit guides, while later ones examine body positivity, therapy, mindfulness, and creative pursuits. Throughout the book, Scelsa uses a broad definition of energy that leaves plenty of room for individual connections, spiritual or otherwise, while always stressing that readers should employ these strategies in ways that are helpful for them personally. She candidly discusses her own journey of navigating depression and anxiety. Her tone is remarkably approachable and nonjudgmental—it’s like you’ve struck up a conversation with a more experienced relative or family friend who’s more than willing to talk shop while adamantly wanting what is best for you. This dialogue extends to actual conversations Scelsa has with experienced professionals chosen with care for each chapter. They each speak from diverse perspectives concerning race, queerness, and physical and mental conditions. Scelsa gives a primer on the basics of each set of tools, including simple introductory exercises at the end of each chapter. Whether readers are seasoned practitioners or baby witches—or just open-minded people interested in expanding their self-care toolboxes—this is a fantastic resource for getting a new perspective on why these practices are potentially valuable and how they interrelate to one’s physical, mental, and metaphysical well-being.

A valuable resource filled with productive possibilities. (author’s note, references) (Self-help. 12-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66590-234-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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Small but mighty necessary reading.


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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Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Deaf, trans artist Man meditates on his journey and identity in this brief memoir.

Growing up in conservative central Pennsylvania was tough for the 21-year-old Deaf, genderqueer, pansexual, and biracial (Chinese/White Jewish) author. He describes his gender and sexual identity, his experiences of racism and ableism, and his desire to use his visibility as a YouTube personality, model, and actor to help other young people like him. He is open and vulnerable throughout, even choosing to reveal his birth name. Man shares his experiences of becoming deaf as a small child and at times feeling ostracized from the Deaf community but not how he arrived at his current Deaf identity. His description of his gender-identity development occasionally slips into a well-worn pink-and-blue binary. The text is accompanied and transcended by the author’s own intriguing, expressionistic line drawings. However, Man ultimately falls short of truly insightful reflection or analysis, offering a mostly surface-level account of his life that will likely not be compelling to readers who are not already fans. While his visibility and success as someone whose life represents multiple marginalized identities are valuable in themselves, this heartfelt personal chronicle would have benefited from deeper introspection.

Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author. (Memoir. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-22348-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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