The ingredients are all here. May this magnificent collection inspire us to move from dialogue to deep action.

THE TALK

CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE, LOVE & TRUTH

This star-studded collection of #ownvoices authors calls readers in for necessary reminders in service of everyday actions that we must pursue to cultivate real change.

This collection is right on time. As many people reach for undifferentiated anti-racist reading lists to catch up to the Black-led front lines of today’s social movements, the Hudsons take an approach for young readers that emphasizes intergenerational relationships, familial intimacy, and intersectional justice. These are “real conversations,” both in that many of them draw from true personal experiences and also in the sense that they revel in depth and substance. The editors put it this way: “With advice and love, harsh realities and encouraging words, the talks offered in this anthology…embrace honest ways of thinking that help expand ourselves and others in a complex and diverse society.” Each contribution has its own unique viewpoint paired with arresting grayscale illustrations; together they take on a diversity of forms including prose, poems, and comics. Race plays a central role, yet the conversations expand beyond a Black-White binary to be inclusive of Asian, Latinx, and Native experiences as well. An all-star list of authors and illustrators appears throughout the pages—an embarrassment of literary riches. Backmatter includes explanatory notes from some of the authors, and biographical notes on all the contributors. It’s a perfect sequel to the Hudsons’ critically acclaimed collection We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices (2018).

The ingredients are all here. May this magnificent collection inspire us to move from dialogue to deep action. (backmatter) (Anthology. 10-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12161-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Essential.

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THIS BOOK IS ANTI-RACIST

20 LESSONS ON HOW TO WAKE UP, TAKE ACTION, AND DO THE WORK

A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

GUTS

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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