Raw, kind, and close to the heart.

ON TOP OF GLASS

MY STORIES AS A QUEER GIRL IN FIGURE SKATING

An ice dancer shares her journey toward self-discovery and love, offering words of encouragement and reflective insight on relationships, mental health, and competitive skating culture.

From the first time Manta set foot on the ice as a small child in Arizona, she fell in love with skating, a love that awoke her ambition to excel in the sport. Beginning with a comforting spoiler—a promise of a happy ending for an untethered, Uruguayan American, bisexual girl longing to find herself—Manta glides through the narrative of her competitive career, from adolescent figure skating to ice dancing for Team USA. Along the way, she visits memories that reveal her struggles with self-worth, intrusive anxiety, and friendship. Connection and community empower her to keep seeking herself and offer sweet dreams for a better future. Often speaking directly to her readers, Manta guides the conversational flow of her prose with honesty and gentleness. When she transitions into stories about her eating disorder, she pauses to give a tender warning and express understanding. Her exploration of sexuality validates the experiences of questioning and searching that expand beyond an isolated moment of coming out. At the same time, she holds herself accountable for her treatment of others. Similarly, as she questions and challenges the exclusivity of her sport, Manta acknowledges her own participation in these dynamics. Resolute and hopeful, this memoir swells with emotion.

Raw, kind, and close to the heart. (Memoir. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30846-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Though not the most balanced, an enlightening look back for the queer future.

A QUEER HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

An adaptation for teens of the adult title A Queer History of the United States (2011).

Divided into thematic sections, the text filters LGBTQIA+ history through key figures in each era from the 1500s to the present. Alongside watershed moments like the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, the text brings to light less well-known people, places, and events: the 1625 free love colony of Merrymount, transgender Civil War hero Albert D.J. Cashier, and the 1951 founding of the Mattachine Society, to name a few. Throughout, the author and adapter take care to use accurate pronouns and avoid imposing contemporary terminology onto historical figures. In some cases, they quote primary sources to speculate about same-sex relationships while also reminding readers of past cultural differences in expressing strong affection between friends. Black-and-white illustrations or photos augment each chapter. Though it lacks the teen appeal and personable, conversational style of Sarah Prager’s Queer, There, and Everywhere (2017), this textbook-level survey contains a surprising amount of depth. However, the mention of transgender movements and activism—in particular, contemporary issues—runs on the slim side. Whereas chapters are devoted to over 30 ethnically diverse gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer figures, some trans pioneers such as Christine Jorgensen and Holly Woodlawn are reduced to short sidebars.

Though not the most balanced, an enlightening look back for the queer future. (glossary, photo credits, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8070-5612-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites.

THIS IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ART

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Curator, author, and activist Drew shares her journey as an artist and the lessons she has learned along the way.

Drew uses her own story to show how deeply intertwined activism and the arts can be. Her choices in college were largely overshadowed by financial need, but a paid summer internship at the Studio Museum in Harlem became a formative experience that led her to major in art history. The black artists who got her interested in the field were conspicuously absent in the college curriculum, however, as was faculty support, so she turned her frustration into action by starting her own blog to boost the work of black artists. After college, Drew’s work in several arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, only deepened her commitment to making the art world more accessible to people of color and other marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, and widening the scope of who is welcomed there. Drew narrates deeply personal experiences of frustration, triumph, progress, learning, and sometimes-uncomfortable growth in a conversational tone that draws readers in, showing how her specific lens enabled her to accomplish the work she has done but ultimately inviting readers to add their own contributions, however small, to both art and protest.

This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09518-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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