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NOT TOO LATE

CHANGING THE CLIMATE STORY FROM DESPAIR TO POSSIBILITY

A book that provides some brightness, passion, and intelligence in dark times.

An inspiring guidebook for climate activists.

Solnit and Lutunatabua bring together a wide range of like-minded international contributors who provide essays or engage in interviews with the editors. Beginning with a rallying cry, Solnit, who won the Kirkus Prize for her book of essays Call Them by Their True Names, writes that the climate movement has done a lot but “not enough yet.” Mary Annaïse Heglar’s impassioned “Here’s Where You Come In” addresses the need for climate commitment, with each person doing whatever they can. A conversation with oil policy analyst Antonia Jubasz looks at the fossil fuel industry, which “has been suffering death by a thousand cuts for years.” In “A Climate Scientist’s Take on Hope,” Joelle Gergis brings up some stunning statistics—e.g., only 3% of the Earth’s land ecosystems are ecologically intact. The takeaway message is direct and urgent: “What we do over this coming decade is literally a matter of life or death.” Leah Cardamore Stokes points out that by 2021, “more than 85 percent of the new power built that year can run on renewables.” Gloria Walton and Farhana Sultana discuss how our shared solution to climate change must include marginalized communities worldwide. Jade Begay examines the significant climate work being done in Indigenous communities. Renato Redantor Constantino chronicles the important, heated debate among countries at the 2015 Paris Agreement talks. Julian Aguon states a frightening fact: Micronesia “may become uninhabitable as early as 2030” due to rising sea levels. One uplifting fact from “An Extremely Incomplete List of Climate Victories”: In 2010, Germany’s renewable energy generated more than 100 billion kilowatt-hours, 17% of national supply. Jacquelyn Gill writes that the “Earth has left us a roadmap for how to survive the climate crisis,” and Nikayla Jefferson’s piece on the 2021 Hunger Strike for Climate Justice is heart-rending.

A book that provides some brightness, passion, and intelligence in dark times.

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 9781642598971

Page Count: 220

Publisher: Haymarket Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME

NOTES ON THE FIRST 150 YEARS IN AMERICA

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
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  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Winner


  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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BEYOND THE GENDER BINARY

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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