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SHARE BETTER AND STRESS LESS

A GUIDE TO THINKING ECOLOGICALLY ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

Offers sensible steps for foreseeing and minimizing damage to ourselves and others on social media.

Careless posting can produce unpredictably harmful repercussions—and come back to hurt us—say the authors of this adaptation of their 2021 volume for adults on digital ethics, You Are Here.

Two university professors who specialize in communication in online environments offer teens advice on navigating the digital world. Short-term thinking is presented as a central problem. Comparisons of online “information pollution” with elements from nature such as the redwoods and hurricanes and concepts like the biomass pyramid help make the authors’ points accessible. Stressing and sharing can become a vicious circle: Anxious doomscrolling ratchets up worries, and some then share bad news impulsively without checking its accuracy or considering the consequences. The authors advocate shifting one’s perspective, benefiting from what’s known as the overview effect; their explanation of real-life and online context is widely applicable. Media users should also know how their content is monetized, how information is weaponized against marginalized groups, and why the motto “don’t feed the trolls” allows bias and hatred to flourish. The writing strives for a chatty, not-too-serious tone and avoids scolding, but experts and their research are often cited, validating the information. Text boxes labeled “reflection” invite readers to make personal, experiential connections to the authors’ points, as do anecdotes, direct questions, a (somewhat confusing) overarching narrative about fictional teens and their online interactions, and interludes with authorial comments and exchanges.

Offers sensible steps for foreseeing and minimizing damage to ourselves and others on social media. (source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 14, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-5362-2874-8

Page Count: 176

Publisher: MITeen Press/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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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

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THEY CALLED US ENEMY

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

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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. 4, 2019

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