This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How To Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work.

Quarto/Frances Lincoln. Jan. 2020. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780711245211.
Gr 5 Up–Writer and educator Jewell successfully combines personal experience and social and historical issues in this colorful and informative guidebook. Each chapter contains exercises to help readers conceive of their own identities, recognize how society allocates power to certain people, and learn how individuals can stand up to injustice while keeping themselves safe from harm. Durand’s vivid, dynamic illustrations are as crucial to the book as the text itself. Though the formatting, which involves pull quotes, font changes, shifting columns, and other graphic elements, may be confusing to some young readers, the information is written clearly and thoughtfully. Concepts like institutional racism and internalized inferiority are relayed in concise language without talking down to the audience. Several terms are underlined and defined in the glossary. Footnotes and a bibliography also appear in the back matter. A further reading list includes a mix of adult, teen, and children’s materials. The work will particularly resonate with fans of Anastasia Higginbotham’s Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness.
VERDICT A visually exciting and well-crafted antiracist guide for all children. A work that fills a much-needed gap between the feel-good but vague messages of empathy and acceptance in some picture books, and the advanced terminology and theory in young adult nonfiction on racial justice. Recommended for any juvenile nonfiction collection.

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