Teens who enjoy slice-of-life vignettes that evoke a specific time and place and adults who thrill to nostalgia will find a...

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LOVE & PROFANITY

A COLLECTION OF TRUE, TORTURED, WILD, HILARIOUS, CONCISE, AND INTENSE TALES OF TEENAGE LIFE

Each of these 40-plus very short stories unveils a memory of being a teenager that is important to its respective writer.

Markedly brief offerings from authors both well-known and less familiar make for an unusual and interesting read that is enormously successful in illustrating how different the lives of teens are from one another. For example, though they seem to involve a similar event, Geoff Herbach’s ultimately haunting tale of being mistaken for a girl’s tormentor after he ditches empty beer bottles left in his car in the wrong spot couldn’t be more different from Carrie Mesrobian’s wryly funny recollection of her panic at finding a spent party ball stashed in her family’s board-game cupboard weeks after an illicit party at her house. Such issues as body image, cliques, family strife, economic status and popularity are recurring themes throughout and will resonate with teen readers. Less likely to do so are details such as listening to music on Discmans and watching MTV with VHS tapes at the ready to record a favorite video or playing pinball and drinking vodka-spiked Fresca.

Teens who enjoy slice-of-life vignettes that evoke a specific time and place and adults who thrill to nostalgia will find a lot to like about these pithy, honestly awkward and poignant minimemoirs. (Memoir. 14 & up)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-63079-012-7

Page Count: 232

Publisher: Switch/Capstone

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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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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There are some funny moments, particularly in the simple black-and-white cartoons of a girl and boy that accompany the text...

HOW NOT TO BE A DICK

AN EVERYDAY ETIQUETTE GUIDE

Jokes about cheese logs abound in this humorous but sometimes-belabored etiquette guide ostensibly aimed at teens.

Following an introduction that defines what makes a person seem like a dick, seven chapters address situations ranging from initiating romantic relationships to behaving responsibly at after-office get-togethers. An uneasy line is straddled in terms of its intended age range. Readers are dutifully exhorted to make sure they wear proper attire to school dances: “Most schools have dress codes for dances. Read them carefully!” Yet there’s also advice on how to politely use a coffee shop as your office if you’re working from home. Further, a section on safety and manners at parties seems at times to employ the euphemistic term “sugary beverages” for alcohol and suggests “If you are buzzing on sugar or if someone spiked the punch, DO NOT DRIVE.” This cagey approach to the topic of teen drinking is confusing at best and at worst, may strike readers as condescending.

There are some funny moments, particularly in the simple black-and-white cartoons of a girl and boy that accompany the text throughout. However, as etiquette goes, there’s not much that is new here and a real question of whom this is for. (Nonfiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-936976-02-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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