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. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Small but mighty necessary reading.

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 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change.

Teen environmental activist and founder of the nonprofit Hannah4Change, Testa shares her story and the science around plastic pollution in her fight to save our planet.

Testa’s connection to and respect for nature compelled her to begin championing animal causes at the age of 10, and this desire to have an impact later propelled her to dedicate her life to fighting plastic pollution. Starting with the history of plastic and how it’s produced, Testa acknowledges the benefits of plastics for humanity but also the many ways it harms our planet. Instead of relying on recycling—which is both insufficient and ineffective—she urges readers to follow two additional R’s: “refuse” and “raise awareness.” Readers are encouraged to do their part, starting with small things like refusing to use plastic straws and water bottles and eventually working up to using their voices to influence business and policy change. In the process, she highlights other youth advocates working toward the same cause. Short chapters include personal examples, such as observations of plastic pollution in Mauritius, her maternal grandparents’ birthplace. Testa makes her case not only against plastic pollution, but also for the work she’s done, resulting in something of a college-admissions–essay tone. Nevertheless, the first-person accounts paired with science will have an impact on readers. Unfortunately, no sources are cited and the lack of backmatter is a missed opportunity.

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22333-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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