UNDERSTANDING SEPTEMBER 11TH

ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ATTACKS ON AMERICA

So often when big events occur, a flurry of articles appears in the newspapers, and when the reader feels the need for more background information—more context—it’s too late; it’s old news. This is an important volume for students and adult, because it provides that context. After several months of headlines, on-the-spot reports, news specials, and human-interest stories, many readers will crave a work such as this. Exactly what is al Qaeda? What is Islam? Why does the Middle East matter to us? Who are the Taliban? Why did we go after Afghanistan? Who is Osama bin Laden? These are some of the questions answered in this clearly written, straightforward report by Frank, a reporter for Time magazine. It supplies solid information, maps, photographs, and many sidebars with statistics, further information, and historical context. One detail, unfortunately, trivializes the account of the terrorism efforts: “When the Taliban had taken power, they had searched for all the television sets in the country and smashed them. Now Afghan men dug up TVs and VCRs they had buried in their backyards. One Afghan popped in a hidden copy of Titanic and sat down to watch.” Clearly a Western perspective: fighting terrorism to make the world safe for the American movie industry. Otherwise, this report provides thorough information for a study of 9/11 or for looking up information on specific aspects of the story. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-670-03582-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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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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A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today.

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THEY CALLED US ENEMY

A beautifully heart-wrenching graphic-novel adaptation of actor and activist Takei’s (Lions and Tigers and Bears, 2013, etc.) childhood experience of incarceration in a World War II camp for Japanese Americans.

Takei had not yet started school when he, his parents, and his younger siblings were forced to leave their home and report to the Santa Anita Racetrack for “processing and removal” due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. The creators smoothly and cleverly embed the historical context within which Takei’s family’s story takes place, allowing readers to simultaneously experience the daily humiliations that they suffered in the camps while providing readers with a broader understanding of the federal legislation, lawsuits, and actions which led to and maintained this injustice. The heroes who fought against this and provided support to and within the Japanese American community, such as Fred Korematsu, the 442nd Regiment, Herbert Nicholson, and the ACLU’s Wayne Collins, are also highlighted, but the focus always remains on the many sacrifices that Takei’s parents made to ensure the safety and survival of their family while shielding their children from knowing the depths of the hatred they faced and danger they were in. The creators also highlight the dangerous parallels between the hate speech, stereotyping, and legislation used against Japanese Americans and the trajectory of current events. Delicate grayscale illustrations effectively convey the intense emotions and the stark living conditions.

A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today. (Graphic memoir. 14-adult)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60309-450-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Top Shelf Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2019

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