STORIED CITY

A CHILDREN’S BOOK GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY

More than 200 books for children and teens make their appearance in Marcus’s affectionate and limpidly clear walking tour of the literary sidewalks of New York. Excellent, wide-ranging, brilliantly and carefully done, Marcus leaves no scholarly stone unturned. Beginning in lower Manhattan and proceeding to its tip, and exploring the outer boroughs of Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, Marcus explains exactly how to get there (subway and bus stops, directions, number of blocks to walk) and what you will see once you do. In Lower Manhattan, the African Burial Ground recalls Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence, Chinatown and Little Italy bring to mind Peppe the Lamplighter and My Chinatown. He’s absolutely up-to-the-minute, whether questioning Clement Clarke Moore’s authorship of The Night Before Christmas or including Maira Kalman’s Fireboat in his discussion of the World Trade Center disaster. New York’s mosaic of ethnicities and cultures in books for young people are well represented, from Irish and African to Algonquin and Lenape. For wandering about the city, or for answering children’s questions as to whether a place or a moment in New York City literature really exists, this is extremely cool. (bibliography, index, maps) (Reference. All ages)

Pub Date: May 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-525-46924-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2003

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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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A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

BEYOND THE GENDER BINARY

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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