A thorough, timely guide to a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

UNPRESIDENTED

A BIOGRAPHY OF DONALD TRUMP

A painstaking account of the personal and business practices that somehow failed to prevent the Trumps from becoming America’s first family.

This tale of both moral and literal bankruptcy begins with the immigration of the president’s grandfather from Bavaria and proceeds in a long tally of cheats, tweets, and deceit to an all-caps bit of saber rattling against Iran in July 2018. With hundreds of endnotes to attest to the depth of her research, Brockenbrough (Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary, 2017, etc.) sets out to build a character portrait of her subject by documenting patterns of behavior, and in that she succeeds convincingly. Printed in blue ink that does neither the text nor the photographs any favors, it’s nevertheless an invaluable resource for student research; as a cover-to-cover read, interest may flag under the weight of details of suits and settlements, hirings and firings, boasts vs. outright lies, alleged and indicted malfeasance by a large cast of slimy associates, and like intrigues. Also, though perhaps justifiably focused on the Donald, the author so rarely spares a glance at the women in his family and circle that the overall picture lacks a possibly significant dimension. Extensive backmatter includes capsule bios of the members of Trump’s campaign and legal teams, biographical and presidential timelines, and evidence (to mid-2018) of his Russian connections.

A thorough, timely guide to a wretched hive of scum and villainy. (family tree, timeline, biographies, endnotes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-30803-0

Page Count: 434

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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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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