Despite occasional stumbles, this is an engaging overview to inspire socially minded readers.

INTO THE STREETS

A YOUNG PERSON'S VISUAL HISTORY OF PROTEST IN THE UNITED STATES

A visual primer covering some key U.S. protests from 1492 to 2018.

An introduction offers readers definitions of what protest is and the many ways it can manifest. The protests covered center people of different races, classes, sexual orientations, and genders as well as including non–identity related protests, making this a thoroughly representative book. Important players, like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, activists for transgender rights in the Stonewall uprising, are highlighted, and continued injustice is acknowledged, including the modern-day prison industrial complex. Bieschke ends by offering suggestions for readers interested in starting their own protests. Despite these strengths, some of the language used to describe nonviolent protest (such as calling sit-in protesters “polite”) harkens to respectability politics. Applying the word “violent” to early Native American resistance while positioning European settler-colonists as having “used force”—not violence—to “evict” Native Americans feeds into common biases. Later, the same chapter claims slave owners were “often abusive,” although the institution of slavery was itself inherently abusive. As the book progresses, these problematic missteps appear less frequently. Overall, Bieschke does an admirable job of connecting protests to their historical moments. Ample use of photos, historical illustrations, and informative sidebars adds visual engagement.

Despite occasional stumbles, this is an engaging overview to inspire socially minded readers. (source notes, recommended reading, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7904-0

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 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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