THE WOMEN WHO BUILT HOLLYWOOD

12 TRAILBLAZERS IN FRONT OF AND BEHIND THE CAMERA

An accessible, well-researched book highlighting pioneering women creatives.

A look at trailblazing women of early Hollywood.

This title covers the early days of Hollywood, from 1900 to 1940, presenting women who not only left their marks, but opened doors for those who would follow. The subjects include Mary Pickford, beloved as America’s Sweetheart; Frances Marion, one of the highest paid screenwriters of the time; Dorothy Emma Arzner, a successful director who was in a same-sex life partnership with choreographer Marion Morgan; Margaret Booth, the first person to receive the title of “film editor”; and Helen Holmes, action star and stuntwoman. In addition to these White women, the book includes women of color such as Fredi Washington, a light-skinned Black actor who pushed back against racism in the mainstream film industry; Hattie McDaniel, the first Black person to win an Academy Award; and Anna May Wong, the first world-famous Chinese American film star. With a clearly written narrative bolstered by delightful, behind-the-scenes photography, the book not only delves into the histories of 12 women who played various professional roles in the industry, but examines how historical events like world wars, the Great Depression, the 1918 influenza pandemic, and Jim Crow impacted their careers. The racism some of these women faced is described with thoughtfulness and accuracy. An afterword reflects on progress still to be made.

An accessible, well-researched book highlighting pioneering women creatives. (note on terms and subjects, note on Anna May Wong, author’s note, where to see films, bibliography, source notes, index, picture credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 16, 2023

ISBN: 9781662680106

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Astra Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Small but mighty necessary reading.

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 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

TAKING ON THE PLASTICS CRISIS

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change.

Teen environmental activist and founder of the nonprofit Hannah4Change, Testa shares her story and the science around plastic pollution in her fight to save our planet.

Testa’s connection to and respect for nature compelled her to begin championing animal causes at the age of 10, and this desire to have an impact later propelled her to dedicate her life to fighting plastic pollution. Starting with the history of plastic and how it’s produced, Testa acknowledges the benefits of plastics for humanity but also the many ways it harms our planet. Instead of relying on recycling—which is both insufficient and ineffective—she urges readers to follow two additional R’s: “refuse” and “raise awareness.” Readers are encouraged to do their part, starting with small things like refusing to use plastic straws and water bottles and eventually working up to using their voices to influence business and policy change. In the process, she highlights other youth advocates working toward the same cause. Short chapters include personal examples, such as observations of plastic pollution in Mauritius, her maternal grandparents’ birthplace. Testa makes her case not only against plastic pollution, but also for the work she’s done, resulting in something of a college-admissions–essay tone. Nevertheless, the first-person accounts paired with science will have an impact on readers. Unfortunately, no sources are cited and the lack of backmatter is a missed opportunity.

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22333-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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