A high-interest, empowering read.

LIVING THE CONFIDENCE CODE

REAL GIRLS. REAL STORIES. REAL CONFIDENCE.

An impressive group of girls lead with hope and confidence.

Building on the premise of empowering girls, this title showcases 30 true stories from the U.S. and all over the world of young people who are striving toward their goals. The title opens with a foreword by Olympic gold medal winner Laurie Hernandez; an introduction that defines confidence and explains why it matters; and a glossary of terms used in the book. The varied format, which includes Q&A’s and photos, adds appeal as readers learn about each girl’s story. The featured girls are diverse in ethnicity, national origin, ability, socio-economic status, and religious beliefs as well as in their accomplishments. One example is Autumn Peltier, a member of the Eagle Clan Anishinaabekwe and Wikwemikong First Nation in Ontario. She is a water activist, protesting the pollution of the Great Lakes. Yekaba Abimbola of Ethiopia advocated for herself and sought community support after discovering at age 12 that she was betrothed to a 20-year-old. Passionate about her education, she persuaded her father to cancel the engagement and support her dreams. Handling many subjects, from gender inequality in Nepal to disability access in sports, the stories offer efficient synopses of each girl’s journey. Each also emphasizes that success is not linear and that failure is a normal part of the process. The last chapter is blank, inviting readers to write their own stories.

A high-interest, empowering read. (sources & references, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-295411-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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Go adventuring with a better guide.

50 ADVENTURES IN THE 50 STATES

From the The 50 States series

Find something to do in every state in the U.S.A.!

This guide highlights a location of interest within each of the states, therefore excluding Washington, D.C., and the territories. Trivia about each location is scattered across crisply rendered landscapes that background each state’s double-page spread while diminutive, diverse characters populate the scenes. Befitting the title, one “adventure” is presented per state, such as shrimping in Louisiana’s bayous, snowshoeing in Connecticut, or celebrating the Fourth of July in Boston. While some are stereotypical gimmes (surfing in California), others have the virtue of novelty, at least for this audience, such as viewing the sandhill crane migration in Nebraska. Within this thematic unity, some details go astray, and readers may find themselves searching in vain for animals mentioned. The trivia is plentiful but may be misleading, vague, or incorrect. Information about the Native American peoples of the area is often included, but its brevity—especially regarding sacred locations—means readers are floundering without sufficient context. The same is true for many of the facts that relate directly to expansion and colonialism, such as the unexplained near extinction of bison. Describing the genealogical oral history of South Carolina’s Gullah community as “spin[ning] tales” is equally brusque and offensive. The book tries to do a lot, but it is more style than substance, which may leave readers bored, confused, slightly annoyed—or all three. (This book was reviewed digitally with 12.2-by-20.2-inch double-page spreads viewed at 80% of actual size.)

Go adventuring with a better guide. (tips on local adventuring, index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-5445-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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A timely, necessary read.

LA FRONTERA

EL VIAJE CON PAPÁ / MY JOURNEY WITH PAPA

Co-authors Mills and Alva demystify la frontera in this autobiographical tale based on Alva’s childhood journey with his father from Mexico to Texas.

To provide for his growing family, Alfredo’s father decides to journey northward to “find a new home.” Alfredo joins his papá on this arduous voyage, knowing he’ll miss his family and his small village. After saying goodbye to his home and loved ones, Alfredo sets off in the early morning light alongside his father. Led to the Rio Grande by el coyote, Papa and Alfredo cross the river with the help of an old inner tube. When el coyote abandons Alfredo and his father, the pair must escape further into the harsh Texan landscape, away from la frontera. Presented in both Spanish and English, the retrospective narrative overflows with grueling, poignant details about the journey Alfredo and his father undertook. Yet Navarro’s mixed-media artwork succeeds in emphasizing the more-hopeful aspects of Alva’s story, namely love and strength in a familial context. Vivid shifts in color, light, and shadows from scene to scene gently pull readers along, complemented by powerful facial expressions during key moments. After almost a week of struggles, Alfredo and his father arrive at “the Embassy,” a makeshift camp behind a factory. As father and son adjust to their new life in the U.S., they never forget about those left behind.

A timely, necessary read. (appendix) (Picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78285-388-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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