A solid reference work that shows aspiring female game developers the legacy they’d be joining.



A collective biography of women pioneers and stars of the gaming industry.

Repeated questions from girls about whether it was worth it to enter this field in the light of things like Gamergate, the racist and misogynistic mid-2010s harassment campaign that still affects online gaming communities, prompted Kenney, a game developer with an impressive resume, to highlight the triumphs of women in the industry and demonstrate that women have been influential players in the industry for many decades. The brief biographies are tightly focused on the women’s careers and what brought them to gaming, with interests in storytelling, puzzles, and, naturally, computers frequently recurring. They open with a framing of the individuals’ best-known accomplishments and number of years in the industry. Kenney infuses humor where she can as a counterbalance to industry jargon and the unavoidable repetition in the women’s stories. While most of the women appear to be White in the stylized illustrated portraits and lack racial descriptors in their chapters (Kenney cites 2019 data that, of the fewer than 25% of game designers who identify as female, 81% are White), Asian and Black women are also represented as well as trans women. Sidebar paragraphs spotlight even more women in the industry. Perera’s arresting full-page portraits rendered in shades of purple and orange with black and white accents open each entry; spot art adds further visual interest.

A solid reference work that shows aspiring female game developers the legacy they’d be joining. (glossary, bibliography, notes) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-7624-7456-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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Small but mighty necessary reading.


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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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. 5, 2019

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