At once impassioned and practical poetic advice.




A middle- to high school–grades primer on finding one’s poetic voice.

Seasoned poet and anthologist Vecchione here crafts a guide for would-be poets. Pitched toward teens inclined to pursue writing, Vecchione’s book makes the argument for poetry from a romantic, personal perspective, describing how she came to be a writer as a way of coping with emotional turmoil at home and feelings of isolation at school. The empirical advice is divided into five sections, each consisting of easily digested short chapters covering both the why and how of creating verse. Excerpts from various poets demonstrate a range of poetic styles. The backmatter includes a brief bibliography and online platforms for listening to poetry and submitting work for publication. The author incorporates numerous inspirational quotations about writing from famous writers throughout, including Ursula K. LeGuin and Toni Morrison. Perhaps the work’s strongest section is the one offering 25 provocative, creative prompts, such as being inspired by Pablo Neruda’s question poems and writing unanswerable questions of one’s own or writing a love poem without using the word “love.” Vecchione also offers helpful pointers for editing one’s work and knowing when to quash one’s inner critic. While this volume contains much sound advice, it is more likely to be used by individual teen writers who wish to cultivate their poetry skills than to become a classroom staple.

At once impassioned and practical poetic advice. (resources, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-60980-985-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Seven Stories

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Enlightening and inspiring #ownvoices accounts by young activists.



Personal accounts of 16 young Latin American immigrants told as side-by-side pen-and-ink bilingual comics.

The comic strips and accompanying short bios in Spanish and English came about through an initiative by the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C. The compelling stories shared by these students, all members of the Latino Youth Leadership Council and active in the fight for social justice, signal their desire to serve as beacons or lifelines for other young immigrants. Their testimonies, as Newbery Medal winner Meg Medina (Merci Suárez Changes Gears, 2018, etc.) points out in her foreword, are ultimately about courage. The courage needed to leave behind the familiarity of their home environments—El Salvador, Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala—is evident throughout, as the stories showcase the many reasons migrants have for coming to the U.S., including seeking better opportunities, fleeing violence, and reuniting with family after years of painful separation. The young authors don’t shy away from tough subjects: There are descriptions of grief, cultural dislocation, cutting, and a suicide attempt. The format doesn’t allow for thorough explorations of the root causes for migration, but the emphasis is on the hopeful and positive paths these young adults have forged. The editorial decision to retain “authentic student voices" in the essays means that some of the writing was not revised, and reflects the code switching and language loss that come with the disruption of lives and education.

Enlightening and inspiring #ownvoices accounts by young activists. (Graphic memoir. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-945434-92-1

Page Count: 316

Publisher: Shout Mouse Press

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2019

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With its richly accessible prose and visually captivating subjects, this will inspire and challenge readers to follow in...



An engaging look at men who helped make and break fashion history.

Following her critically acclaimed study of key women in the history of fashion, Bad Girls of Fashion (2016), Croll joins forces with illustrator Pacholska to introduce “bad boys” through the ages who have had iconoclastic effects on fashion. Instead of featuring only major designers, Croll again spotlights 30 diverse rebels who used fashion to make their renegade marks in the worlds of entertainment (Marlon Brando, David Bowie), sport (Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Andre Agassi), politics (Jawaharlal Nehru, Mao Zedong, Malcolm X), and art and design (Jean-Michel Basquiat, Waris Ahluwalia, Karl Lagerfeld). Aided by arrestingly bold illustrations and copious photographs, Croll provides a tantalizingly detailed chronicle of these dashing figures, including both florid descriptions of their sartorial choices as well as the historical context behind them so readers better appreciate how these men broke boundaries. Back in 17th-century France, for example, Louis XIV simultaneously turned courtly fashions on their ear and tightened his grip on the throne by sporting long, curly wigs and restricting red high heels to members of his court (a sidebar explains that high heels were only later adopted by women in order to appear more masculine). Readers will understand fashion’s pivotal role in shattering and challenging gender, racial, and other constraints.

With its richly accessible prose and visually captivating subjects, this will inspire and challenge readers to follow in these trendsetters’ footsteps. (references, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77321-243-2

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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