Inspiring and heartbreakingly timely.

READ REVIEW

ACTIVIST

A STORY OF THE MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTING

Hogg relates her experience of surviving the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and her journey to becoming a gun control advocate.

This is a strong—and unfortunately relevant—addition to the publisher’s series of graphic treatments of contemporary social issues. Hogg tells her tale in a compelling voice, and the book begins with a page of arresting graphics, showing slender, then–high school freshman Hogg. She introduces herself and relates that she was on campus when 17 people died of bullet wounds on Valentine’s Day 2018. After revealing that two of her close friends died in the massacre, Hogg notes, “I lost my friends, but I found my calling.” A full page shows her and other students—fists in the air—beneath the slogan #NEVERAGAIN. Anecdotes about Hogg’s relationships with her mother, father, brother, and closest friends cleverly both inform readers about Hogg’s personality and foreshadow later incidents. In the midsection, Hogg relates her memories of the fateful day of the shooting. The images are appropriately gripping but never sensationalized. The final section covers grief, survivor guilt, and increasing empowerment—including students challenging the National Rifle Association. The use of “congressmen” for both male and female members of Congress is a startling regression, especially since Hogg is so politically aware. Hogg is white, and the diversity of her school community is represented in the illustrations.

Inspiring and heartbreakingly timely. (about the author, photographs, note for parents) (Graphic memoir. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947378-21-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Zuiker Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A powerful resource for young people itching for change.

WOLFPACK (YOUNG READERS EDITION)

HOW YOUNG PEOPLE WILL FIND THEIR VOICE, UNITE THEIR PACK, AND CHANGE THE WORLD

Soccer star and activist Wambach adapts Wolfpack (2019), her New York Times bestseller for adults, for a middle-grade audience.

YOU. ARE. THE. WOLVES.” That rallying cry, each word proudly occupying its own line on the page, neatly sums up the fierce determination Wambach demands of her audience. The original Wolfpack was an adaptation of the viral 2018 commencement speech she gave at Barnard College; in her own words, it was “a directive to unleash [the graduates’] individuality, unite the collective, and change the world.” This new adaption takes the themes of the original and recasts them in kid-friendly terms, the call to action feeling more relevant now than ever. With the exception of the introduction and closing remarks, each short chapter presents a new leadership philosophy, dishing out such timeless advice as “Be grateful and ambitious”; “Make failure your fuel”; “Champion each other”; and “Find your pack.” Chapters utilize “rules” as a framing device. The first page of each presents a generalized “old” and “new” rule pertaining to that chapter’s guiding principle, and each chapter closes with a “Call to the Wolfpack” that sums up those principles in more specific terms. Some parts of the book come across as somewhat quixotic or buzzword-heavy, but Wambach deftly mitigates much of the preachiness with a bluff, congenial tone and refreshing dashes of self-deprecating humor. Personal anecdotes help ground each of the philosophies in applicability, and myriad heavy issues are respectfully, yet simply broached.

A powerful resource for young people itching for change. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-76686-1

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Unfortunately, a great example of a book that adults think young people should read instead of one they want to read.

HIGH

EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT DRUGS, ALCOHOL, AND ADDICTION

After various books on addiction for adults and teens, here the Sheffs attempt to cover “everything” an early adolescent wants to know on the topic.

It’s a bold promise that, sadly, is not fulfilled. The book is divided into four main sections. The first summarizes Nic’s addiction and journey to sobriety before delving into a brief, general examination of drug and alcohol abuse. The second section surveys popular drug choices, and the third examines the road from drug use to drug addiction. The last section is a dialogue between the co-authors. Overall, the book does many things right: It never assigns blame to users, and it discusses such topics as marijuana legalization and opioid addiction without bias. Nic also periodically offers personal insights in separate text boxes. These points may not be enough to save the book, however. The overall tone is dry. Examples of adolescent addicts are discussed, but their stories are too brief to allow readers to find emotional touchstones. And though graphs and charts offer visuals, the clip art–like illustrations give the book the off-putting feel of a textbook. An “addictionary” confusingly arranges drugs by type instead of name (do readers know/care that PCP is a “dissociative drug” and GHB is a “club drug”?) and omits some current street names. A list of resources for recovery and further reading is appended.

Unfortunately, a great example of a book that adults think young people should read instead of one they want to read. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-544-64434-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more