This comprehensive take on American immigration history is strong on facts and weak on analysis.

AMERICAN IMMIGRATION

OUR HISTORY, OUR STORIES

Beginning with the arrival of the continent’s first Indigenous inhabitants and ending with events following the 2016 election, this book chronicles the social, cultural, and political trends that have shaped the United States’ historically fraught relationship with immigration.

Krull contextualizes important pieces of legislation such as the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, tracing how everything from labor demands to world wars shaped American attitudes toward newcomers. The text is peppered with profiles of immigrants, ranging from the children onboard the Mayflower to cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who immigrated to the States from China via France, and Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose birth father and adoptive mother were both immigrants. Laudably, Krull categorically dismisses the classification of slaves as immigrants, and she frankly recounts the genocide of Native Americans. Too often, though, Krull approaches immigration from a deficit mentality. For example, she characterizes immigrants who are learning English as poor performers in school rather than framing them as bilingual; uncritically recounts America’s openness to “any able-bodied immigrant”; and praises the fact that ”all” newcomers to America “have assimilated,” without acknowledging the cultural loss that entails. Most problematically, she asserts without any context that “it’s human nature to be suspicious of people different than us,” seemingly excusing the very xenophobia the book clearly wishes to fight.

This comprehensive take on American immigration history is strong on facts and weak on analysis. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-238113-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl.

FRIENDS FOREVER

From the Friends series , Vol. 3

Shannon just wants to get through eighth grade in one piece—while feeling like her own worst enemy.

In this third entry in popular author for young people Hale’s graphic memoir series, the young, sensitive overachiever is crushed by expectations: to be cool but loyal to her tightknit and dramatic friend group, a top student but not a nerd, attractive to boys but true to her ideals. As events in Shannon’s life begin to overwhelm her, she works toward finding a way to love and understand herself, follow her passions for theater and writing, and ignore her cruel inner voice. Capturing the visceral embarrassments of middle school in 1987 Salt Lake City, Shannon’s emotions are vivid and often excruciating. In particular, the social norms of a church-oriented family are clearly addressed, and religion is shown as being both a comfort and a struggle for Shannon. While the text is sometimes in danger of spelling things out a little too neatly and obviously, the emotional honesty and sincerity drawn from Hale’s own life win out. Pham’s artwork is vibrant and appealing, with stylistic changes for Shannon’s imaginings and the leeching out of color and use of creative panel structures as her anxiety and depression worsen.

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl. (author's note, gallery) (Graphic memoir. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-31755-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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A powerful resource for young people itching for change.

WOLFPACK (YOUNG READERS EDITION)

HOW YOUNG PEOPLE WILL FIND THEIR VOICE, UNITE THEIR PACK, AND CHANGE THE WORLD

Soccer star and activist Wambach adapts Wolfpack (2019), her New York Times bestseller for adults, for a middle-grade audience.

YOU. ARE. THE. WOLVES.” That rallying cry, each word proudly occupying its own line on the page, neatly sums up the fierce determination Wambach demands of her audience. The original Wolfpack was an adaptation of the viral 2018 commencement speech she gave at Barnard College; in her own words, it was “a directive to unleash [the graduates’] individuality, unite the collective, and change the world.” This new adaption takes the themes of the original and recasts them in kid-friendly terms, the call to action feeling more relevant now than ever. With the exception of the introduction and closing remarks, each short chapter presents a new leadership philosophy, dishing out such timeless advice as “Be grateful and ambitious”; “Make failure your fuel”; “Champion each other”; and “Find your pack.” Chapters utilize “rules” as a framing device. The first page of each presents a generalized “old” and “new” rule pertaining to that chapter’s guiding principle, and each chapter closes with a “Call to the Wolfpack” that sums up those principles in more specific terms. Some parts of the book come across as somewhat quixotic or buzzword-heavy, but Wambach deftly mitigates much of the preachiness with a bluff, congenial tone and refreshing dashes of self-deprecating humor. Personal anecdotes help ground each of the philosophies in applicability, and myriad heavy issues are respectfully, yet simply broached.

A powerful resource for young people itching for change. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-76686-1

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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