Be Amazing: A History of Pride

Farrar. Jul. 2020. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780374312589.
K-Gr 4–Thirteen-year-old internet sensation and “drag kid” Napoles has penned an encouraging book that is both an autobiography and a quick history of the fight for LGBTQ rights. Napoles pays homage to queer, trans, and gay activists of color like Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and RuPaul Charles, with two-page spreads for each individual that briefly examine their lives and influence on the queer community. However, the text does not address intersectionality or connections to the civil rights, feminist, Black Pride, and Black Power movements, nor does it provide an in-depth discussion of how the personal identities of these changemakers shaped their lives and work. Several other advocates and activists from 20th-century history are named and illustrated on a shared spread (along with a drawing of Napoles gazing up at them), but the text does not offer facts or comprehensive information about them. The sources section contains three websites and one adult book. The glossary excludes identities such as nonbinary and pansexual.
VERDICT While libraries need a great children’s introduction to those who have worked on behalf of the queer community, this book lacks a nuanced overview of LGBTQ history. However, Napoles’s unbridled enthusiasm and confidence are refreshing and inspiring.

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