A heartfelt and visually appealing window into Regine's last year.

REGINE'S BOOK

A TEEN GIRL'S LAST WORDS

“My ultimate dream for this blog is that it will be published as a book after my death,” wrote Norwegian teenager Stokke, who blogged about her experience living with leukemia.

Regine's blog, which became popular in Norway, was first published as a book by a Norwegian press in 2009 and is here translated into English. In direct, emotionally open prose, Regine describes the details of cancer treatment, her optimism and frustrations, her excitement about rock music, and her relationships with friends and family. Regine's photographs, from self-portraits to nature shots to pictures of rock stars, are printed in full color, sometimes overlaid with song lyrics or original poetry. Her blog posts begin in fall 2008 and end with “The Last Autumn” of 2009, with concluding remarks from friends and loved ones in the final “After Regine” section. Regine's voice is matter-of-fact and honest, with a tone that is occasionally raw (“I wish someone other than me had gotten this cancer instead”). Selections from the blog's many comments, which appear after some of the posts, sometimes become repetitious, but the posts themselves are brief and varied enough to stay engaging. Short, accessible footnotes provide context for readers unfamiliar with cancer treatment or Norwegian culture.

A heartfelt and visually appealing window into Regine's last year. (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-936976-20-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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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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Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.

CONTINUUM

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Deaf, trans artist Man meditates on his journey and identity in this brief memoir.

Growing up in conservative central Pennsylvania was tough for the 21-year-old Deaf, genderqueer, pansexual, and biracial (Chinese/White Jewish) author. He describes his gender and sexual identity, his experiences of racism and ableism, and his desire to use his visibility as a YouTube personality, model, and actor to help other young people like him. He is open and vulnerable throughout, even choosing to reveal his birth name. Man shares his experiences of becoming deaf as a small child and at times feeling ostracized from the Deaf community but not how he arrived at his current Deaf identity. His description of his gender-identity development occasionally slips into a well-worn pink-and-blue binary. The text is accompanied and transcended by the author’s own intriguing, expressionistic line drawings. However, Man ultimately falls short of truly insightful reflection or analysis, offering a mostly surface-level account of his life that will likely not be compelling to readers who are not already fans. While his visibility and success as someone whose life represents multiple marginalized identities are valuable in themselves, this heartfelt personal chronicle would have benefited from deeper introspection.

Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author. (Memoir. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-22348-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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