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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Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story.

DISCOVERING WES MOORE

This story, an adaptation for young people of the adult memoir The Other Wes Moore (2008), explores the lives of two young African-American men who share the same name and grew up impoverished on the same inner-city streets but wound up taking completely different paths.

Author Moore grew up with a devoted mother and extended family. After receiving poor grades and falling in with a bad crowd, his family pooled their limited finances to send him to Valley Forge Military Academy, where he found positive role models and became a Corps commander and star athlete. After earning an undergraduate degree, Wes attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. When the author read about the conviction of another Wes Moore for armed robbery and killing a police officer, he wanted to find out how two youths growing up at the same time in the same place could take such divergent paths. The author learns that the other Wes never had the extensive family support, the influential mentors or the lucky breaks he enjoyed. Unfortunately, the other Wes Moore is not introduced until over two-thirds of the way through the narrative. The story of the other Wes is heavily truncated and rushed, as is the author's conclusion, in which he argues earnestly and convincingly that young people can overcome the obstacles in their lives when they make the right choices and accept the support of caring adults.

Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story. (Memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-74167-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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