Sensible information well organized and presented.



For middle graders through high school students needing help with organization, this second edition of Where’s My Stuff? (originally published in 2010) is a user-friendly resource to get them started.

The guide begins by offering the reasons why kids should get organized: extra free time, minimize costly damage, less stress, more independence. The first step instructs students to assess their “stuff,” including books, homework, and handouts, to create a School Organizing System. After establishing the SOS, the book next demonstrates how students can efficiently schedule time and activities, starting with a Brain Dump of tasks to be done: It’s a “proven method for turning the muffled static in your head into clear-signal action,” say the authors. The most relevant advice to kids and teens who are constantly engaged with social media are found in snippets called “Your Digital Life,” in which the authors give advice about how best to minimize social media time in order to complete work. Free online resources are listed for file storage as well as tips for how best to use digital planners and calendars. Though much of this organizational self-help information for students is readily accessible online, this book is a breeze to reference, with helpful illustrations to boot. Cheery diagrams of well-organized lockers and study areas give kids concrete models to work from, although such privileges as sequesterable space are assumed.

Sensible information well organized and presented. (Nonfiction. 11-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7895-1

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.


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

Did you like this book?