KILLING THE WITTIGO

INDIGENOUS CULTURE-BASED APPROACHES TO WAKING UP, TAKING ACTION, AND DOING THE WORK OF HEALING

A valuable introduction to Indigenous culture-based approaches to trauma.

This is an uncomfortable book to read—but it is meant to be.

This concise but broad-ranging work examines the lasting emotional and psychological impacts of colonization on Indigenous people in the U.S. and Canada. Experienced educator Methot (Nehiyaw) discusses many difficult subjects in chapters such as “Terror Anger Grief Loss,” “Isolation, Disconnection, Reconnection,” “Families and Relationships,” “Dis-ease and Self-Care,” “Systems and Institutions,” and “Culture and Spirit.” The chapter on lateral violence, intracommunity dysfunction that is usually not openly addressed, is particularly valuable. Throughout, activities help readers learn about themselves and process what they have read. An important author’s note emphasizes that this book is not a substitute for getting help from a trusted adult. Although there are disclaimers before content about topics like abuse, neglect, and suicide, there are instances of traumatic stories that are not prefaced with a warning; in her introduction, Methot emphasizes pacing your reading to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Along with a variety of fonts, line art, and interesting graphics and charts, quotes and social media posts from young Indigenous people discussing their experiences add to the mixed-media appeal. These voices also give readers the feeling that they are not alone. The book does not delve into differences between various nations’ histories or U.S. and Canadian governments’ policies. Throughout, there’s an emphasis on healing and connecting; readers are reminded to “be a good ancestor” and “do more than survive, thrive.”

A valuable introduction to Indigenous culture-based approaches to trauma. (resources, citations, and permissions) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 6, 2023

ISBN: 9781770417243

Page Count: 280

Publisher: ECW Press

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 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

DISCOVERING WES MOORE

Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story.

This story, an adaptation for young people of the adult memoir The Other Wes Moore (2008), explores the lives of two young African-American men who share the same name and grew up impoverished on the same inner-city streets but wound up taking completely different paths.

Author Moore grew up with a devoted mother and extended family. After receiving poor grades and falling in with a bad crowd, his family pooled their limited finances to send him to Valley Forge Military Academy, where he found positive role models and became a Corps commander and star athlete. After earning an undergraduate degree, Wes attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. When the author read about the conviction of another Wes Moore for armed robbery and killing a police officer, he wanted to find out how two youths growing up at the same time in the same place could take such divergent paths. The author learns that the other Wes never had the extensive family support, the influential mentors or the lucky breaks he enjoyed. Unfortunately, the other Wes Moore is not introduced until over two-thirds of the way through the narrative. The story of the other Wes is heavily truncated and rushed, as is the author's conclusion, in which he argues earnestly and convincingly that young people can overcome the obstacles in their lives when they make the right choices and accept the support of caring adults.

Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story. (Memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-74167-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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