This useful and accessible how-to of creative projects and tips will inspire altruistic preteens and teens




A guide to planning gatherings that raise awareness and solicit donations for a variety of social causes, written by a Los Angeles teen who founded a philanthropic organization and advocacy group called LemonAID Warriors.

Employing a conversational, personal, yet pithy tone, this guide begins with an introduction that gives some background on how Cerone became involved with social activism and how she came to work the hosting of parties into the mix. Organized in a calendar-year format, each month features a list of potential national celebratory events and then expands at length on three of the themes, giving a blueprint that includes details such as crafts, activities, recipes for snacks, playlists, and fundraising ideas. Photos of these events feature diverse groups of partygoers and embellish this appealingly designed guide, though some of the assumptions made—that friends invited to a pre-prom shindig will have old dresses to donate, for instance—suggest that the imagined audience is predominantly middle and upper class. There are also some elements that meld awkwardly, such as the glib description of an “I Have a Dream” board constructed for an MLK Day celebration as “super-cute.” However, Cerone is also careful to advise teens to spend time researching and thinking out their ideas, offering this valuable caveat: “What might seem like a good idea in the moment could create challenges for the people we are hoping to help."

This useful and accessible how-to of creative projects and tips will inspire altruistic preteens and teens . (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: May 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58270-587-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Beyond Words/Aladdin

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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An earnest examination of mental health in sports.


Sixteen-year-old Gus Bennett lives in the shadow of his older brother, Danny, a former Olympic swimming hopeful who recently died by suicide.

Gus does not have an easy home life: He has a strained relationship with his mother, a single parent who’s still struggling after Danny’s death; and his older sister, Darien, has a drug addiction and abandoned her now 18-month-old child to the care of their mother. But Gus hopes to train with Coach Marks, the renowned trainer who worked with his brother. He even sneaks into the country club to get access to the pool, willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. He has his eye on qualifying for the national team and seems poised for success, but he soon experiences a downward spiral and engages in reckless behavior. Although the side characters are underdeveloped, Gus’ first-person narration carries the story along smoothly. Conceptualized by the late Academy Award–winning basketball player Bryant and written by Clark, this emotional novel contains lyrical prose that beautifully captures the energy of swimming and short chapters that will keep readers engaged. Physical descriptions are limited, suggesting a white default, but naming conventions suggest some diversity among the swim team members.

An earnest examination of mental health in sports. (resources) (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: July 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-949520-05-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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