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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

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

DISCOVERING WES MOORE

Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story.

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 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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