A must-read for the modern, viral-content age.

TRENDING

HOW AND WHY STUFF GETS POPULAR

An overview of trends, how they are born—or made—and their dangers.

After contextualizing trends and fads with an introduction focusing on how a silly 17th-century fashion trend—the beaver-felt hat—had drastic and far-reaching consequences that included genocide, the book’s four chapters focus on what fads are, how fads spread, how they can be manufactured, and how much damage they can cause. Complex material is broken down into accessible language and explained with lively example stories, allowing for a surprisingly sophisticated overview. Each chapter is primarily organized into two-page spreads covering separate ideas: Pokémon Go illustrates the temporally linked rise and fall of a fad; stock market crashes and the rise of popular restaurants are both exemplars of an “information cascade”; Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino allows exploration of systematic strategies in corporate-driven trends; slime-making YouTubers demonstrate the power of the social media influencer; and the anti-vaccine movement exposes the persistence of logical fallacies. The design—punctuated with peppy cartoon drawings and comic-book pages that introduce each chapter—helps the book bounce along. Despite the book’s cautionary elements—how companies secretly use people’s internet browsing histories to manipulate their purchases and the ways that propaganda spreads hate—the text also offers empowerment, showing kids how not to be manipulated, and concludes with a call to action to harness the power of trends for positive ends.

A must-read for the modern, viral-content age. (index, sources) (Nonfiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: March 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77147-325-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

GUTS

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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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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