The title says it all: Lewin—one of the best illustrators working in children's books—got his start as a wrestler. Sid Lewin, his short father, had three tall sons to whom roughhousing and body building were a way of life. When Ted's older brother Donn came back from WW II, he got into pro wrestling to make a living; when Ted (who'd been going to matches and practicing moves with younger brother Mark) needed money for art school in 1952, Donn helped him get started. Lewin doesn't explain the wrestling world—where the money came from, who was making it; and he doesn't say much about rules of the sport, though his descriptions of moves and matches are graphic. What he does do, in these vivid vignettes, is depict a close-knit world of men who were mixed and matched from makeshift rings to Madison Square Garden, where they assumed roles and played crowds that could be as dangerous as any opponent (he mentions riots and knifings). The telling glimpses of the sport, the men, and their camaraderie are fascinating; comically described family scenes and dozens of photos round out the picture. Grouped in a color insert, Lewin's powerful paintings of wrestlers are more introspective, revealing the compassion he's brought to picture books like Sami and the Time of Troubles (1992) and offering a tantalizing taste of what's not said here. (Are these recent? One would like to know.) A compelling memoir. Glossary of ``Wrestling Lingo'' and ``Holds.'' (Autobiography. 11+)

Pub Date: April 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-531-05477-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1993

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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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The trials of a high school basketball team trying to clinch the state title and the graphic novelist chronicling them.

The Dragons, Bishop O’Dowd High School’s basketball team, have a promising lineup of players united by the same goal. Backed by Coach Lou Richie, an alumnus himself, this could be the season the Oakland, California, private Catholic school breaks their record. While Yang (Team Avatar Tales, 2019, etc.), a math teacher and former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, is not particularly sporty, he is intrigued by the potential of this story and decides to focus his next graphic novel on the team’s ninth bid for the state championship. Yang seamlessly blends a portrait of the Dragons with the international history of basketball while also tying in his own career arc as a graphic novelist as he tries to balance family, teaching, and comics. Some panels directly address the creative process, such as those depicting an interaction between Yang and a Punjabi student regarding the way small visual details cue ethnicity in different ways. This creative combination of memoir and reportage elicits questions of storytelling, memory, and creative liberty as well as addressing issues of equity and race. The full-color illustrations are varied in layout, effectively conveying intense emotion and heart-stopping action on the court. Yang is Chinese American, Richie is black, and there is significant diversity among the team members.

A winner. (notes, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62672-079-4

Page Count: 448

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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