A handbook for successful activism.



A thorough guide for the next generation of activists.

In 1963, images of policemen turning fire hoses and dogs on young black students hit the nightly news, and a nation was shamed into action. Generations later, teenagers are again mobilizing to challenge the status quo regarding everything from racism and gun violence to the environment. Armed with passion, impatience, and zeal, activists can reach hundreds of thousands of people through social media in the time it takes to fry an egg. Kallen (Trashing the Planet: Examining Our Global Garbage Glut, 2017, etc.) has tackled the multifaceted world of activism and civic engagement in a handbook filled with examples of young people who have identified causes that mattered and used dogged determination to bring about change. Movements such as Black Lives Matter and #NeverAgain have risen to national prominence, but the author gives attention to students who protested budget cuts in the Boston public school system or sewed clothing for homeless kids at the Los Angeles LBGT Center. Six chapters on a myriad of topics include advice for educating oneself and doing research about issues, the rights of protesters, and advice for dealing with setbacks and trolls. The diversity of the people highlighted in the book mirrors the makeup of a country still trying to move the noble ideals of democracy from platitudes to practice.

A handbook for successful activism. (source notes, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 14-19)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68282-541-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: ReferencePoint Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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


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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There are some funny moments, particularly in the simple black-and-white cartoons of a girl and boy that accompany the text...



Jokes about cheese logs abound in this humorous but sometimes-belabored etiquette guide ostensibly aimed at teens.

Following an introduction that defines what makes a person seem like a dick, seven chapters address situations ranging from initiating romantic relationships to behaving responsibly at after-office get-togethers. An uneasy line is straddled in terms of its intended age range. Readers are dutifully exhorted to make sure they wear proper attire to school dances: “Most schools have dress codes for dances. Read them carefully!” Yet there’s also advice on how to politely use a coffee shop as your office if you’re working from home. Further, a section on safety and manners at parties seems at times to employ the euphemistic term “sugary beverages” for alcohol and suggests “If you are buzzing on sugar or if someone spiked the punch, DO NOT DRIVE.” This cagey approach to the topic of teen drinking is confusing at best and at worst, may strike readers as condescending.

There are some funny moments, particularly in the simple black-and-white cartoons of a girl and boy that accompany the text throughout. However, as etiquette goes, there’s not much that is new here and a real question of whom this is for. (Nonfiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-936976-02-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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