A salve when days are bleak.

READ REVIEW

HOPE NATION

YA AUTHORS SHARE PERSONAL MOMENTS OF INSPIRATION

Hope Nation brings together 24 top young adult authors who share personal essays about hope.

Their audience is teenagers, but this collection is a treasure trove of wisdom for older readers too. It achieves this with stories from a wide array of perspectives and diverse identities: the struggles of being Muslim in a post–9/11 world as described by Aisha Saeed, the complex constrictions of life in the closet made plain by Alex London, and the terrifying anxieties of being black in contemporary America by Nic Stone, among others. Even if these authors’ stories do not exactly mirror each of their readers’, together they open the door to an investigation of what hope means. Although it can mean different things and present itself in innumerable ways, the underlying message of this anthology is that it is important to cling to hope: Use hope as a flashlight, a mantra, a walking stick, a tool for every circumstance life throws at human beings. This work comes at a crucial time, as many people struggle to find hope in a confusing and disappointing world.

A salve when days are bleak. (Nonfiction anthology. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4167-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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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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