Seeming more like a volume therapists might assign their patients to read than one teenagers would pick up on their own,...

READ REVIEW

FREAKING OUT

REAL-LIFE STORIES ABOUT ANXIETY

Thirteen young adults relate their struggles with anxiety.

The tales, each occupying a chapter, feature varied causes for the anxiety: Obsessive-compulsive disorder, bullying, grief, drug abuse, a phobia, a learning disorder, chronic illness and developing awareness of homosexuality are all given attention. An opening caveat informs readers that the stories “derive from interviews with young people” and “some elements drawn from different sources have been combined to present hybrid stories.” Perhaps due to this technique, the flavor of the stories varies little. All of the voices are remarkably similar and lack the gritty authenticity that the voices of the teens themselves could have provided. The paralyzing anxiety they experienced is unfortunately dampened by the brief, matter-of-fact style of the narrative. “The mean girls knew how to find me. It was beyond scary.” A common, positive theme is that the teens found effective ways to manage their anxiety. The stories provide descriptions of coping tools but not in enough detail to substitute for needed professional help. An afterword offers comfort and advice, as well as a lengthy list of useful resources.

Seeming more like a volume therapists might assign their patients to read than one teenagers would pick up on their own, this effort may still provide some assistance to those struggling with anxiety. (Nonfiction. 11-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55451-545-5

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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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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This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites.

THIS IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ART

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Curator, author, and activist Drew shares her journey as an artist and the lessons she has learned along the way.

Drew uses her own story to show how deeply intertwined activism and the arts can be. Her choices in college were largely overshadowed by financial need, but a paid summer internship at the Studio Museum in Harlem became a formative experience that led her to major in art history. The black artists who got her interested in the field were conspicuously absent in the college curriculum, however, as was faculty support, so she turned her frustration into action by starting her own blog to boost the work of black artists. After college, Drew’s work in several arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, only deepened her commitment to making the art world more accessible to people of color and other marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, and widening the scope of who is welcomed there. Drew narrates deeply personal experiences of frustration, triumph, progress, learning, and sometimes-uncomfortable growth in a conversational tone that draws readers in, showing how her specific lens enabled her to accomplish the work she has done but ultimately inviting readers to add their own contributions, however small, to both art and protest.

This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09518-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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