Brimner adds another strong text to his growing oeuvre of social justice–themed informational texts.

FINDING A WAY HOME

MILDRED AND RICHARD LOVING AND THE FIGHT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY

An overview of the landmark 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia that legalized interracial marriage in the United States.

Richard and Mildred Loving didn’t set out to change marriage laws. Richard was White and Mildred was Black and Native American, and the young couple only wanted to live together as husband and wife. Married in Washington, D.C., in 1958, the newlyweds couldn’t cohabitate in their home state of Virginia because interracial marriage was still illegal there. What followed was almost a decade of arrests, legal battles, and separation until their case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court. Brimner presents the facts in no-nonsense prose while providing context for the couple’s plight: The history of segregation, the impact of the civil rights movement, and background on the judicial system are woven throughout. Brimner presents the debate about whether Mildred was multiracial or only Native American without drawing a definite conclusion. The concluding chapters show how the Loving case had a direct impact on the legalization of same-sex marriage, bringing home the lasting effect of this historic Supreme Court decision. This thoroughly researched, attractively designed work is rich with primary sources, making history tangible. The placement and size of the photos, including intimate family shots, increase the narrative’s appeal and add momentum to every page turn.

Brimner adds another strong text to his growing oeuvre of social justice–themed informational texts. (author’s note, bibliography, source notes, index, picture credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62979-751-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

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.

CONTINUUM

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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