Belongs on every young adult’s bookshelf.

THE RESILIENT TEEN

10 KEY SKILLS TO BOUNCE BACK FROM SETBACKS & TURN STRESS INTO SUCCESS

From the Instant Help Solutions series

A primer on fostering adaptability in the face of stress.

As stated in the introduction, resilience is not a fixed end goal but a way of approaching life. The author divides the book into four parts, focusing on key skills for each. The first section centers building and maintaining a healthy physical routine in terms of sleep, nutrition, exercise, and technology. Raja acknowledges that many young people engage in experimentation with drugs and alcohol, offering safety guidelines and reminding readers that they are not good coping strategies. The next part deals with mental and emotional health, presenting the benefits of mindfulness practices such as those that increase emotional tolerance. The third section highlights social engagement through establishing a strong support system and taking the kinds of healthy risks that build resilience. Lastly, Raja discusses finding meaning and purpose through practices like cognitive flexibility, realistic optimism, volunteering, and activism. Each chapter includes dictionary definitions of key terms, stories about teens dealing with different types of obstacles, and specific exercises and checklists, ending with a summary of material covered. The author’s voice is practical and realistic, providing encouraging explanations and suggestions; a recurring message is to be kind to oneself. The information provided is well researched and up to date, including the acknowledgement of teens’ struggles with the Covid-19 pandemic. A welcome section addresses the impact of societal prejudice.

Belongs on every young adult’s bookshelf. (resources, references) (Nonfiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68403-578-6

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Instant Help Books

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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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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A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today.

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THEY CALLED US ENEMY

A beautifully heart-wrenching graphic-novel adaptation of actor and activist Takei’s (Lions and Tigers and Bears, 2013, etc.) childhood experience of incarceration in a World War II camp for Japanese Americans.

Takei had not yet started school when he, his parents, and his younger siblings were forced to leave their home and report to the Santa Anita Racetrack for “processing and removal” due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. The creators smoothly and cleverly embed the historical context within which Takei’s family’s story takes place, allowing readers to simultaneously experience the daily humiliations that they suffered in the camps while providing readers with a broader understanding of the federal legislation, lawsuits, and actions which led to and maintained this injustice. The heroes who fought against this and provided support to and within the Japanese American community, such as Fred Korematsu, the 442nd Regiment, Herbert Nicholson, and the ACLU’s Wayne Collins, are also highlighted, but the focus always remains on the many sacrifices that Takei’s parents made to ensure the safety and survival of their family while shielding their children from knowing the depths of the hatred they faced and danger they were in. The creators also highlight the dangerous parallels between the hate speech, stereotyping, and legislation used against Japanese Americans and the trajectory of current events. Delicate grayscale illustrations effectively convey the intense emotions and the stark living conditions.

A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today. (Graphic memoir. 14-adult)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60309-450-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Top Shelf Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2019

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