A thought-provoking breakdown of the real cost of all our cheap stuff.

FOLLOW YOUR STUFF

WHO MAKES IT, WHERE DOES IT COME FROM, HOW DOES IT GET TO YOU?

Where does your stuff come from? That question is answered for five items in this chatty book.

The creative duo behind Follow Your Money (2013) team up again to create a book that takes common items in the Western world—a T-shirt, an asthma inhaler, a cellphone, eyeglasses, and, cleverly, this book itself—and follows each from raw material to finished product. Beginning with the seed planted in China to grow the cotton for the cloth woven in Guatemala, through the cutter and seamstress in India as well as the printer in Mexico and finally to the store at the North American mall where the T-shirt is bought, Sylvester and Hlinka demonstrate how globally and humanly intertwined it is. Aspiring authors will be particularly fascinated at what it took to make the book they are reading. Each item’s economic and physical journey is presented in a fact-based format with a lively design of dialogue bubbles, text, and illustrations (showing racially diverse kid consumers as well as workers from around the globe). Sidebars prod readers to think about the real cost of goods as they present facts about low wages and unsafe working conditions in developing nations, global environmental stresses, and other concerns, effectively challenging readers to consider what their money supports.

A thought-provoking breakdown of the real cost of all our cheap stuff. (references, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77321-254-8

Page Count: 100

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Ultimately adds little to conversations about race.

UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A BLACK BOY

A popular YouTube series on race, “Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man,” turns how-to manual and history lesson for young readers.

Acho is a former NFL player and second-generation Nigerian American who cites his upbringing in predominantly White spaces as well as his tenure on largely Black football teams as qualifications for facilitating the titular conversations about anti-Black racism. The broad range of subjects covered here includes implicit bias, cultural appropriation, and systemic racism. Each chapter features brief overviews of American history, personal anecdotes of Acho’s struggles with his own anti-Black biases, and sections titled “Let’s Get Uncomfortable.” The book’s centering of Whiteness and White readers seems to show up, to the detriment of its subject matter, both in Acho’s accounts of his upbringing and his thought processes regarding race. The overall tone unfortunately conveys a sense of expecting little from a younger generation who may have a greater awareness than he did at the same age and who, therefore, may already be uncomfortable with racial injustice itself. The attempt at an avuncular tone disappointingly reads as condescending, revealing that, despite his online success with adults, the author is ill-equipped to be writing for middle-grade readers. Chapters dedicated to explaining to White readers why they shouldn’t use the N-word and how valuable White allyship is may make readers of color (and many White readers) bristle with indignation and discomfort despite Acho’s positive intentions.

Ultimately adds little to conversations about race. (glossary, FAQ, recommended reading, references) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-80106-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A slim volume big on historical information and insight.

COME ON IN, AMERICA

THE UNITED STATES IN WORLD WAR I

A wide-ranging exploration of World War I and how it changed the United States forever.

Students who know anything about history tend to know other wars better—the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam. But it was World War I that changed America and ushered in a new role for the United States as a world political and economic leader. Two million Americans were sent to the war, and in the 19 months of involvement in Europe, 53,000 Americans were killed in battle, part of the staggering total death toll of 10 million, a war of such magnitude that it transformed the governments and economies of every major participant. Osborne’s straightforward text is a clear account of the war itself and various related topics—African-American soldiers, the Woman’s Peace Party, the use of airplanes as weapons for the first time, trench warfare, and the sinking of the Lusitania. Many archival photographs complement the text, as does a map of Europe (though some countries are lost in the gutter). A thorough bibliography includes several works for young readers. A study of World War I offers a context for discussing world events today, so this volume is a good bet for libraries and classrooms—a well-written treatment that can replace dry textbook accounts.

A slim volume big on historical information and insight. (timeline, source notes, credits) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2378-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more