A smart, honest, and comprehensive education on movement building and menstrual rights.

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PERIOD POWER

A MANIFESTO FOR THE MENSTRUAL MOVEMENT

The story of how one young woman turned her passion for menstrual rights into an international movement.

When debut author Okamoto was 16, her family experienced financial hardships that led to housing instability. The Portland, Oregon, teen, now a Harvard undergraduate, was deeply shaken by this crisis. She began speaking to homeless women about their experiences living on the streets, and as she developed relationships with them, she was shocked to discover that many had no access to safe menstrual hygiene products, often resorting to discarded newspapers or grocery sacks. These conversations inspired her to found PERIOD, a nonprofit dedicated to making menstrual health a universal human right. Part memoir and part manifesto, the book uses Okamoto’s personal journey as a teen activist as a springboard to discuss everything from the technical aspects of menstruation to the history of menstrual taboos in the United States to the menstrual movement’s policy priorities and environmental sustainability. The book is truly intersectional, and Okamoto is refreshingly open about her commitment to amplifying the menstrual experiences of transgender and nonbinary people as well as menstruators of various races, religions, sexualities, and class backgrounds. The final chapter is dedicated to taking action and will be a useful guide for activists inspired by this work. The friendly, chatty writing style ensures that the information-packed text remains accessible. Art not seen.

A smart, honest, and comprehensive education on movement building and menstrual rights. (notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3021-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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

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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DRAGON HOOPS

The trials of a high school basketball team trying to clinch the state title and the graphic novelist chronicling them.

The Dragons, Bishop O’Dowd High School’s basketball team, have a promising lineup of players united by the same goal. Backed by Coach Lou Richie, an alumnus himself, this could be the season the Oakland, California, private Catholic school breaks their record. While Yang (Team Avatar Tales, 2019, etc.), a math teacher and former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, is not particularly sporty, he is intrigued by the potential of this story and decides to focus his next graphic novel on the team’s ninth bid for the state championship. Yang seamlessly blends a portrait of the Dragons with the international history of basketball while also tying in his own career arc as a graphic novelist as he tries to balance family, teaching, and comics. Some panels directly address the creative process, such as those depicting an interaction between Yang and a Punjabi student regarding the way small visual details cue ethnicity in different ways. This creative combination of memoir and reportage elicits questions of storytelling, memory, and creative liberty as well as addressing issues of equity and race. The full-color illustrations are varied in layout, effectively conveying intense emotion and heart-stopping action on the court. Yang is Chinese American, Richie is black, and there is significant diversity among the team members.

A winner. (notes, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62672-079-4

Page Count: 448

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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