An exciting if uneven volume that offers much to inquisitive kids seeking LGBTQ+ information.

RAINBOW REVOLUTIONARIES

FIFTY LGBTQ+ PEOPLE WHO MADE HISTORY

This colorful compendium covers 50 boundary-breaking LGBTQ+ figures from across history and around the globe.

Starting at A with Adam Rippon, each hero receives a straightforward one-page biography that includes an account of how they changed the world, broke a barrier, or fought for LGBTQ+ rights and is accompanied by vivid, blocky illustrations. This list of potential role models includes big names like Harvey Milk as well as some that may be unfamiliar to many Americans, like Simon Nkoli. The selection showcases a diversity of races, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities, with some gaps; for example, the glossary explicitly includes intersex people, yet none are identified as such within the text of their biography, and the only East Asian included is from the second century B.C.E. Stylistically, many of the sentences are wordy and sometimes awkward, including unclear or unusual constructions and tone shifts. Add a handful of cringeworthy word choices, such as “between her legs” and an instance of “female” used as a noun, and readers may find themselves shaking their heads. Nevertheless, this does not diminish the book’s fundamental value as a resource for young people. Prager presents each figure with enthusiasm and provides lots of interesting details that allow readers a glimpse into that person’s world, be it 1970s San Francisco or 1600s Mexico.

An exciting if uneven volume that offers much to inquisitive kids seeking LGBTQ+ information. (timeline, LGBTQ+ flags and symbols, selected bibliography) (Collective biography. 8-14)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-294775-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A good if limited starting guide.

THE KIDS' FAMILY TREE BOOK

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. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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A standout among writing guides, valuable for its sage and friendly encouragement and for the sheer fun of hanging out with...

WRITING RADAR

USING YOUR JOURNAL TO SNOOP OUT AND CRAFT GREAT STORIES

Advice on writing from one of the best writers around.

“I’m a writer and I’m on your side,” Gantos says, as if he’s putting an arm around a young writer’s shoulder and guiding them through a door to a new life. With a snappy voice, his own funny ink drawings, and expertise drawn from a career full of great books, he covers just about everything: where to find ideas and characters, how to structure a story, why to keep a journal, and even what to write with. Every step of the way he includes examples from his own writing. As humorous as he is, Gantos is authoritative and serious about his craft, careful to include every building block for constructing a good story—characters, setting, problem, action, crisis, resolution, and the need for a double ending (physical and emotional). Chapter 2 (“Getting Started”) ought to be read by all teachers and parents: it’s a manifesto on how to raise a reader (and writer) by reading aloud excellent picture books to young children and placing good books in the hands of children as they get older, and he offers a handy list of just what some of those books should be. While his list of picture books is not a particularly diverse one, the middle-grade titles suggested are nicely inclusive.

A standout among writing guides, valuable for its sage and friendly encouragement and for the sheer fun of hanging out with Jack. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-30456-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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