School of Awake

Kidada Jones, illus. by Koa Jones. New World Library, $18.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-60868-458-8
Jones, the older sister of actor Rashida Jones (who contributes a foreword), offers a guide to living freely and mindfully, presented as a course of study at the “School of Awake.” Using science as a loose springboard (“Breaking it down to a micro level, the main ingredient everything in the known universe shares is carbon”), Jones suggests that individuals are tied to a greater cosmic universe. Exercises, projects, and recipes guide readers to engage with what Jones refers to as “HeartStars” (intuitive internal guides) through mindfulness, spending time in nature, and cultivating a healthy body and mind. The accompanying artwork, featuring anthropomorphic hearts and stars, splashed with pink and blue, feels overly juvenile, and Jones’s philosophy can come across as overreaching and underdeveloped, but readers may still take away some empowering ideas. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/24/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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