A timely and thought-provoking discussion of an urgent humanitarian issue despite the caveats noted.

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THE GLOBAL REFUGEE CRISIS

FLEEING CONFLICT AND VIOLENCE

This ambitious narrative strives to create awareness of the plight of refugees through personal vignettes, salient historical context, and an overview of current worldwide hot spots.

Now-iconic photographs of Pope Francis, Justin Trudeau, Malala Yousafzai, and even a Sesame Street puppet punctuate the text, which is broken down into graphically inviting segments. The immediate launch into the subtopic of climate migration slows the momentum of the opening chapter. The wording of the brief section on Palestinian refugees opens with a patent falsehood—that nearly “one million Palestinians left their homes,” implying a voluntary evacuation. In stark contrast to sections on other refugee groups which contain strongly worded information and evocative quotes from individuals about the suffering and oppression leading to their refugee status, the book is silent on corresponding events endured by Palestinians (who are also excluded from the index). The irony of the chapter title “Welcome to the United States” becomes obvious in the enumeration of the vetting process for potential refugees. Frequent in-line definitions of words disrupt the readability; expanding the glossary would have streamlined the narrative. Profiles of individual refugees, particularly success stories such as Rep. Ilhan Omar, put a human face on the subject. A map, infographic, and sidebars provide important contextual information. The book concludes with suggestions for ways readers can help refugees in their communities.

A timely and thought-provoking discussion of an urgent humanitarian issue despite the caveats noted. (source notes, glossary, bibliography, further information, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2811-6

Page Count: 132

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites.

THIS IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ART

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Curator, author, and activist Drew shares her journey as an artist and the lessons she has learned along the way.

Drew uses her own story to show how deeply intertwined activism and the arts can be. Her choices in college were largely overshadowed by financial need, but a paid summer internship at the Studio Museum in Harlem became a formative experience that led her to major in art history. The black artists who got her interested in the field were conspicuously absent in the college curriculum, however, as was faculty support, so she turned her frustration into action by starting her own blog to boost the work of black artists. After college, Drew’s work in several arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, only deepened her commitment to making the art world more accessible to people of color and other marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, and widening the scope of who is welcomed there. Drew narrates deeply personal experiences of frustration, triumph, progress, learning, and sometimes-uncomfortable growth in a conversational tone that draws readers in, showing how her specific lens enabled her to accomplish the work she has done but ultimately inviting readers to add their own contributions, however small, to both art and protest.

This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09518-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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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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