Young readers will find intriguing—if only surface-skimming—historical context for today’s controversial sports headlines.

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MORE THAN A GAME

RACE, GENDER, AND POLITICS IN SPORTS

Sports, race, and gender have often clashed in American life and created greater impact than any individual game’s outcome.

NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit and then kneel during the national anthem in 2016 was certainly not the first time sports and race appeared to be on a collision course in America. This volume explores some of the chapters in this saga. African American heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson offended the racial sensibilities of the early 20th century simply by seeking a chance to become boxing’s champion. The struggles to integrate baseball and the challenges faced by African American athletes as they traveled during the Jim Crow era are described. Protests about the use of a team name considered to be a racial slur and the triumph of a female fencer who wore a hijab during the 2016 Olympic Games demonstrate how often societal concerns bleed into athletic events. Gender issues and sexual orientation in sports are addressed in the explosive case of sexual abuse in gymnastics and when gay athletes come out. This slim volume skims the surface of these complex topics, and young readers will need additional information to gain deeper understanding, although the large number of photographs is worth noting.

Young readers will find intriguing—if only surface-skimming—historical context for today’s controversial sports headlines. (source notes, glossary, select bibliography, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-4094-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Essential.

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THIS BOOK IS ANTI-RACIST

20 LESSONS ON HOW TO WAKE UP, TAKE ACTION, AND DO THE WORK

A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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SMILE

Telgemeier has created an utterly charming graphic memoir of tooth trauma, first crushes and fickle friends, sweetly reminiscent of Judy Blume’s work. One night, Raina trips and falls after a Girl Scout meeting, knocking out her two front teeth. This leads to years of painful surgeries, braces, agonizing root canals and other oral atrocities. Her friends offer little solace through this trying ordeal, spending more of their time teasing than comforting her. After years of these girls’ constant belittling, Raina branches out and finds her own voice and a new group of friends. Young girls will relate to her story, and her friend-angst is palpable. Readers should not overlook this seemingly simply drawn work; the strong writing and emotionally expressive characters add an unexpected layer of depth. As an afterword, the author includes a photo of her smiling, showing off the results of all of the years of pain she endured. Irresistible, funny and touching—a must read for all teenage girls, whether en-braced or not. (Graphic memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-13205-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Bantam Discovery

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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