THE OTHER SIDE

A TEEN’S GUIDE TO GHOST HUNTING AND THE PARANORMAL

Behind the enticing title lurks a dry lecture on Paranormal 101. Targeting a middle-school audience, the tone resembles a manual on any outdoor activity with an emphasis on being prepared. Readers are warned to get permission to search a property to avoid trespassing and to wear comfortable clothing because spirits on the other side don’t care about glamour. Several interesting tips remain undeveloped. Ballpark prices for EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) are given, but no company or website for purchasing these items is provided. There is some practical advice: If one should encounter an undead being, it’s good to know the ghost’s year of death so as not to speak in 21st-century slang. The authors insert an odd chapter of prophylactic Christian and Wicca prayers along with religious artifacts to carry along on the hunt. This work is presented in a chatty style, placing information in long paragraphs rather than bulleted points. The authors warn there will always be skeptics and cynics; their book will probably fail to change readers of that persuasion. (sample interview questionnaire, glossary) (Nonfiction. YA)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-547-25829-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Graphia

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2009

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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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TWILIGHT

From the Twilight series , Vol. 1

Sun-loving Bella meets her demon lover in a vampire tale strongly reminiscent of Robin McKinley’s Sunshine. When Bella moves to rainy Forks, Wash., to live with her father, she just wants to fit in without drawing any attention. Unfortunately, she’s drawn the eye of aloof, gorgeous and wealthy classmate Edward. His behavior toward Bella wavers wildly between apparent distaste and seductive flirtation. Bella learns Edward’s appalling (and appealing) secret: He and his family are vampires. Though Edward nobly warns Bella away, she ignores the human boys who court her and chooses her vampiric suitor. An all-vampire baseball game in a late-night thunderstorm—an amusing gothic take on American family togetherness that balances some of the tale’s romantic excesses—draws Bella and her loved ones into terrible danger. This is far from perfect: Edward’s portrayal as monstrous tragic hero is overly Byronic, and Bella’s appeal is based on magic rather than character. Nonetheless, the portrayal of dangerous lovers hits the spot; fans of dark romance will find it hard to resist. (Fantasy. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-316-16017-2

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2005

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