Rookie Magazine fans will find inspiration throughout; others can pass.



Teen actress and outspoken activist Blanchard attempts a multimedia experiment: an emotional, complex project intended to connect with teens.

Chronicled in a nonlinear fashion, Blanchard’s book is a compilation of journal entries, poems, sketches, pressed flowers, taped photographs, and notes. It includes a list of accomplished contributors, including poets Rupi Kaur and Tova Benjamin, writer Jenny Zhang, filmmaker Gia Coppola, genderqueer artist India Salvör Menuez, and others. Individual pages do not feature credits, so readers will need to refer to the index to determine which material comes from which creator. The loose narrative allows readers to easily digest the at times bleak, anxiety-ridden, introspective, and heartfelt content. Candid pictures interspersed with existential musings include references to getting drunk and smoking. Other topics of reflection are queerness and racial prejudice. The structure is a successful device for engaging curious readers. In an opening note, Blanchard writes, “…these are our stories, our pledges, sometimes our cries out. This is truth. I hope this finds you when you need it….” At its core, the text is intended to empower and inspire; she leaves blank pages for readers to fill with their own personal ruminations. A debut multimedia package that reads like an avant-garde, voyeuristic scrapbook.

Rookie Magazine fans will find inspiration throughout; others can pass. (index, contributors) (Memoir. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-448-49466-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

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Small but mighty necessary reading.


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...



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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