A love song from children’s literature’s brightest stars to America’s Indigenous children and children of color, encouraging...

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WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES

An anthology of poetry, essays, short stories and art designed to lift children up, especially children from traditionally marginalized communities, during difficult times.

This collection encourages America’s children to remember their history, learn from it, and choose to be kind in the face of hatred, racism, and oppression. “Throughout history, kids like you / were right there. / With picket signs and petitions….They changed this world for the better. / And you will too,” Kelly Starling Lyons tells readers in her poem “Drumbeat for Change.” Featuring contributions from such writers as Jacqueline Woodson, Ellen Oh, and Hena Khan, and an equally august lineup of illustrators, including Rafael López, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, and Javaka Steptoe, every work packs an emotional punch. In his poem “A Thousand Winters,” Kwame Alexander wonders “if words, sentences, and books aren’t enough, anymore” as he reflects on the state of the world and hard conversations with his daughter. A stunning collage by Ekua Holmes accompanies Alexander’s poem; in it, a vivid, violet sky surrounds a sleepy black girl sitting atop her father’s shoulders. Every work in this beautiful collection feels personal and is meant to inspire and comfort.

A love song from children’s literature’s brightest stars to America’s Indigenous children and children of color, encouraging them to be brave and kind. (contributor biographies, index) (Anthology. 8-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-58042-3

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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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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