A profound declaration of love for the city of New York.

FOUR STREETS AND A SQUARE

A HISTORY OF MANHATTAN AND THE NEW YORK IDEA

From the Munsee and Lenape peoples to the Covid-19 pandemic, this book presents the history of Manhattan and the essence of New York City.

Centering the narrative around Manhattan, specifically the four iconic thoroughfares of 125th Street, Forty-Second Street, Wall Street, and West Fourth Street, historian Aronson transports readers through the vast and complex history of New York City in a vivid accounting of its cycle of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. Written in a conversational tone and broken up into manageable units and chapters with handy snapshot timelines and ample illustrations, this work has appeal for readers interested in the forces that have shaped this unparalleled global city. As relayed here, New York’s past is filled with stories of bravery, hard work, determination, and perseverance—as well as being rife with racism, classism, sexism, antisemitism, ableism, and more. Leaders, activists, politicians, and icons are not framed simplistically as heroes; instead, Aronson presents them as the real people they were—sometimes motivated by greed, hatred, fear, and desire. The narrative includes Indigenous people, colonizers, enslaved people, immigrants, queer people, and people of all genders, and it incorporates a broad range of subjects including the arts, sports, and education. This beautifully written book eloquently gives voice to the myriad people who built New York into the singular city it is today.

A profound declaration of love for the city of New York. (terminology, author's note, source notes, bibliography, image credits, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5137-4

Page Count: 440

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

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 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.

CONTINUUM

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Deaf, trans artist Man meditates on his journey and identity in this brief memoir.

Growing up in conservative central Pennsylvania was tough for the 21-year-old Deaf, genderqueer, pansexual, and biracial (Chinese/White Jewish) author. He describes his gender and sexual identity, his experiences of racism and ableism, and his desire to use his visibility as a YouTube personality, model, and actor to help other young people like him. He is open and vulnerable throughout, even choosing to reveal his birth name. Man shares his experiences of becoming deaf as a small child and at times feeling ostracized from the Deaf community but not how he arrived at his current Deaf identity. His description of his gender-identity development occasionally slips into a well-worn pink-and-blue binary. The text is accompanied and transcended by the author’s own intriguing, expressionistic line drawings. However, Man ultimately falls short of truly insightful reflection or analysis, offering a mostly surface-level account of his life that will likely not be compelling to readers who are not already fans. While his visibility and success as someone whose life represents multiple marginalized identities are valuable in themselves, this heartfelt personal chronicle would have benefited from deeper introspection.

Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author. (Memoir. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-22348-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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