The Book of Radical Answers: Real Questions from Real Kids Just Like You

Dial. Oct. 2023. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593354841; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780593354834.
Gr 5 Up–In a sea of social media overload and misinformation, tweens could use a source of honest, trustworthy information that even adults can refer to. Speaker and activist Taylor has compiled answers on 12 topics from emotions, gender, and sexuality to racism, government, and climate change. The author teaches Radical Self Love (the belief that individuals are enough, just as they are). Tough subjects are prefaced with content notes and presented without judgement or sugarcoating. Taylor emphasizes that access to information helps readers make knowledgeable choices. She encourages follow-up conversations with trusted adults and an openness to therapy, meditation, and journaling. Taylor introduces “Community Conversation Agreements,” powerful tips to start difficult discussions that address why even opening up those dialogues are challenging. Taylor always encourages adolescents to ask questions and speak their truths while being kind to themselves and others. This work supports critical thinking and should be embedded in lessons on Indigenous rights, biology, current events, media literacy, and in social studies about antiracism.
VERDICT A concise place for tweens and teens to find accessible answers to questions that everyone has pondered at some point, updated for the 21st century. Essential for SEL and social studies shelves.

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