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A profound declaration of love for the city of New York.

From the Munsee and Lenape peoples to the Covid-19 pandemic, this book presents the history of Manhattan and the essence of New York City.

Centering the narrative around Manhattan, specifically the four iconic thoroughfares of 125th Street, Forty-Second Street, Wall Street, and West Fourth Street, historian Aronson transports readers through the vast and complex history of New York City in a vivid accounting of its cycle of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. Written in a conversational tone and broken up into manageable units and chapters with handy snapshot timelines and ample illustrations, this work has appeal for readers interested in the forces that have shaped this unparalleled global city. As relayed here, New York’s past is filled with stories of bravery, hard work, determination, and perseverance—as well as being rife with racism, classism, sexism, antisemitism, ableism, and more. Leaders, activists, politicians, and icons are not framed simplistically as heroes; instead, Aronson presents them as the real people they were—sometimes motivated by greed, hatred, fear, and desire. The narrative includes Indigenous people, colonizers, enslaved people, immigrants, queer people, and people of all genders, and it incorporates a broad range of subjects including the arts, sports, and education. This beautifully written book eloquently gives voice to the myriad people who built New York into the singular city it is today.

A profound declaration of love for the city of New York. (terminology, author's note, source notes, bibliography, image credits, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5137-4

Page Count: 440

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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From the Pocket Change Collective series

Small but mighty necessary reading.

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 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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From the Pocket Change Collective series

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change.

Teen environmental activist and founder of the nonprofit Hannah4Change, Testa shares her story and the science around plastic pollution in her fight to save our planet.

Testa’s connection to and respect for nature compelled her to begin championing animal causes at the age of 10, and this desire to have an impact later propelled her to dedicate her life to fighting plastic pollution. Starting with the history of plastic and how it’s produced, Testa acknowledges the benefits of plastics for humanity but also the many ways it harms our planet. Instead of relying on recycling—which is both insufficient and ineffective—she urges readers to follow two additional R’s: “refuse” and “raise awareness.” Readers are encouraged to do their part, starting with small things like refusing to use plastic straws and water bottles and eventually working up to using their voices to influence business and policy change. In the process, she highlights other youth advocates working toward the same cause. Short chapters include personal examples, such as observations of plastic pollution in Mauritius, her maternal grandparents’ birthplace. Testa makes her case not only against plastic pollution, but also for the work she’s done, resulting in something of a college-admissions–essay tone. Nevertheless, the first-person accounts paired with science will have an impact on readers. Unfortunately, no sources are cited and the lack of backmatter is a missed opportunity.

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22333-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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