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From the A Child's Introduction to... series

A strong survey of queer culture and history.

Prager offers young readers a deep dive into LGBTQIA+ history.

The author starts by explaining gender and sexual identities, defining terms such as lesbian, gay, and asexual, before exploring LGBTQIA+ history from the ancient world to the present. Prager includes racially and culturally diverse figures from around the world, among them poet Sappho, painter Frida Kahlo, and civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, though the book is weighted a bit more toward the United States. She also addresses the impact of colonialism on LGBTQIA+ identities in a way that young people will easily understand. Prager asks readers to consider whose stories get told (we’re far more likely to know stories of LGBTQIA+ royalty than of servants and peasants, for example) and how interpretations of history affect our understanding of the past. For the most part, the author effectively walks the line between presenting information accessibly and oversimplifying, though several times she uses pronouns for historical figures that aren’t entirely supported by historical records. Though the assumptions are reasonable efforts to respect those individuals’ identities, these figures may not have identified in ways that modern readers would easily recognize. Ultimately, however, the author is thoughtful in her analysis of historical evidence, and readers will love combing through and learning about LGBTQIA+ people throughout history. O’Dwyer’s graceful illustrations enhance the text.

A strong survey of queer culture and history. (places of interest, resources, glossary, further reading) (Nonfiction. 8-13)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9780762481910

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

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A good if limited starting guide.

Author Leavitt presents all the components of doing research into family history with easy-to-follow directions for a successful project.

The volume begins with clear definitions about genealogy and why it is important to study. It moves on to give practical tips on getting started and how to map a family tree. It introduces young readers to the important documents that can assist in gathering family facts and describes the information they provide. It gives solid directions for setting up interviews with family members and how to reach out to those who are far away. This is followed up with strategies for using online resources, including warnings on how to stay safe on social media. The work of tracing ancestors from their countries of origin can be daunting, but Leavitt gives some help in this area as well and explores the role geography can play in family stories. There is good advice for collecting oral histories, and the chapter on exploring “The Way They Were” will appeal to many, as will the concluding chapters on family reunions and keeping in touch. All of this is presented in an encouraging, upbeat tone. Sidebars, charts, illustrations, and photographs add to the accessibility. The major drawback is that it assumes a known biological lineage with heterosexual parentage; there is no mention of the unique issues adopted children and nontraditional families might have in trying to put some of the instructions into practice. A short section addresses the challenges that face African-American descendants of enslaved people.

A good if limited starting guide. (resources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2320-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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A thorough and comprehensive treatment of the subject.

This guide to the various components of researching family history provides helpful hints for young genealogists.

Interest in family research continues across ages, and this volume explores all aspects in great detail. It begins by pointing out that all humankind began in the same place—eastern Africa—and shares what scholars believe about how various groups spread throughout the world. From then on, personal genealogy is approached as a mystery to be solved, a strategy designed to engage its target audience. The recognition that there are many types of families is a critical part of the text. All kinds of threads are explored, from documentary evidence to family stories, with suggestions on how to evaluate them. Each topic is fully described. For example, in addition to addressing how to use census data, the book discusses the origins of the census and the parts that are relevant to family research. The section on DNA is brief but gives scientific perspective. Very little is left to chance, including how to store, preserve, and retrieve the accumulated data. The narrative is inviting and lively in tone, but it doesn’t shy away from potential difficulties. It is richly illustrated in full color with sidebars to provide additional information, though some pages feel too full to digest. Diversity is woven throughout the text, illustrations, sidebars, and graphics.

A thorough and comprehensive treatment of the subject. (glossary, further resources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2983-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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