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Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

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A YA Anthology of short stories featuring disabled teens, written by #OwnVoices disabled authors. The stories reflect a range of genres and disabilities; contributors include bestselling authors Kody Keplinger and Francisco X. Stork, as well as newcomers Fox Benwell, Keah Brown, and more.


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A YA Anthology of short stories featuring disabled teens, written by #OwnVoices disabled authors. The stories reflect a range of genres and disabilities; contributors include bestselling authors Kody Keplinger and Francisco X. Stork, as well as newcomers Fox Benwell, Keah Brown, and more.

30 review for Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

  1. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    I've got a story in this one! In the ARC it's called "One, Two, Three" but in the final edition it'll be titled "A Curse, A Kindness." It's my first queer autistic character, and probably the fluffiest YA story/novel I've written to date. I am absurdly excited about this anthology. <3

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    Marieke Nijkamp, Dhonielle Clayton, Corinne Duyvis, Heidi Heilig, and Kody Keplinger. And it's ALL ownvoices!! ✨Arc received from the publisher via Edelweiss for an honest review. [ releases: October 2018.]

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lala BooksandLala

    need. this. now.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lilly (Lair Of Books)

    *ARC received from Publisher in exchange for an honest review* Full Review may also be viewed on LAIR OF BOOKS This Anthology holds such a special place in my heart, I found myself taking my time with each story many of which moved me or empowered me. Many left me in tears while others left me with hope. These stories are filled with strong characters who really just want to be seen and heard for the person they are rather than their disabilities be it it physical or mental or both. I am on my own *ARC received from Publisher in exchange for an honest review* Full Review may also be viewed on LAIR OF BOOKS This Anthology holds such a special place in my heart, I found myself taking my time with each story many of which moved me or empowered me. Many left me in tears while others left me with hope. These stories are filled with strong characters who really just want to be seen and heard for the person they are rather than their disabilities be it it physical or mental or both. I am on my own personal journey with mental health, this collection felt very therapeutic to read & ultimately kept me company on days I needed it most. Told by authors with disabilities, these stories are important and I for sure have found some new to me authors I look forward to read more from. *Note: I’m not sure these stories are inspired by the various authors specific disabilities as it isn’t indicated The Long Road by Heidi Heilig: 3.5 STARS About a Chinese Protagonist with mental health disability who travels with her parents to Persia in search of a “cure” (mental health disability) & along the way discovers the possibility of finding others that are doing to same for their loved one(s). I loved seeing super supportive parents & also the acknowledgment that change to a more clean/healthy lifestyle can be costly. Britt And The Bike God by Kody Keplinger: 5 STARS Loved this story so much! Keeping in step with the first story, this also features a supportive parent. The MC has Retinitis Pigmentosa, a condition that causes the gradual loss of vision. Dad share a love of bikes with Britt, his daughter. He starts a Cyclist club since Britt’s school doesn’t have any “blind friendly sports club” & makes it all inclusive. All ages welcome with the only exception being that each gets trained to ride a tandem bike when they join & volunteer to Captain for Britt. There is a romance with a POC character (F/M) & it’s super cute! I loved the inclusivity of the bike club & that Britt is able to physically take part in the sport she loves. The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley: 3.5 STARS Carnival stories always make for eerie settings, throw in a aggressive ghost/possession, some tarot cards and we have ourselves one atmospheric short story! This one stars a girl in her wheelchair and her BFF who she’s started to grow feelings for (F/F), this one could’ve definitely benefited from being a full length novel. The progression from long friendship to romance is hard to dive right into in such a short period of time. Per Aspera Ad Astra by Katherine Locke: 4.5 STARS A Sci-Fi short story starring a female coder who has panic attacks. MC lives and studies from her room not having stepped outside in months. This all changes when her world is attacked & at war, she must decide whether she can step out & offer her coding expertise to save the planet. I’m a big supporter of ALL women in STEM so this one definitely captured my interest. I also loved the supportive side character who doesn’t sweep the MC’s feelings of anxiety & fear under the rug. Found Objects by William Alexander: 3 STARS Latinx MC (gender not mentioned) who has idiopathic pain. This one threw me for a loop, I don’t think I fully grasped what was going on but I didn’t dislike it if that makes any sense? MC has a passion for performance art & there’s a conversation between the MC & their deceased grandfather where the issue of casting disabled people as villains is briefly mentioned. There’s also discussion of chronic pain & feeling like you can’t really talk to anyone about your pain because of the stigma. I’m not quick to label anything as being Magical Realism but this one did have an element of MR that gave off very vivid imagery. Plus One by Karuna Riazi : 4 STARS MC goes on her spiritual journey aka Hajj, along the way she battles against “IT” this is a presence the MC feels, sees, and tries to escape. We see her struggle with religion as well, feelings of inadequacy at not experiencing a huge transformation by the end of her Hajj. Feelings of not being devout enough all the while dealing with her plus one that only she can see. I feared for the MC at the airport where customs is known to flag people down for wearing a Hijab. I feared they wouldn’t offer up any understanding for someone struggling with mental health just because they’re wearing a Hijab. I felt this story the hardest & would love to read more from Karuna Riazi. The Day The Dragon Came by Marieke Nijkamp: 4 STARS This one tells the story of a girl with a cane who is treated poorly by the towns people who view her disability as a curse. She wishes to leave her town and travel/see the world. She then meets a Carpenter boy (may be Trans) who feels quite the opposite for the town they live in. He enjoys being a part of building the churches and other buildings. He also understands what it feels like to live somewhere that doesn’t accept you for who you are. A friendship turned romance story with a touch of dragon lore. Captain, My Captain by Francisco X. Stork: 4.5 STARS Latinx MC hears a consistent voice in his head that encourages him to liberate himself from the responsibilities that keep him by his sisters side. This voice very much tries to influence the MC’s every move. Evaluated in a school setting and said to have a “intellectual & development disability” his options for work limited. He has a sister and baby nephew he stays with along with a mother & siblings in Mexico he helps out with. His sister is in a abusive relationship & he fears what will happen if he leaves. Sibling bond is strong in this one. Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love by Dhonielle Clayton : 5 STARS MC has a love & dating advice column for other teens, a idea she got from her grandmother who she admires. MC has never actually been in love & so it adds a bit of humor to this short story. This character has episodes of irritable bowel disorder that keep her from being social & she also has anxiety. I actually would’ve loved a full length meet cute out of this short. A Play In Many Parts by Fox Benwell: 4 STARS This short story was told in different formats, parts read like a screenplay and others are being narrated. Our MC is non-binary and uses They/Them pronouns. MC walks with a cane and suffers from chronic pain. At first I was a bit intimidated by the format of this story but ended up really enjoying it. There’s a love for theater & the arts, and a teacher who has a passion for creating. The teachers husband may have dementia & the final act saw me unexpectedly teary eyed. Ballad Of Weary Daughters by Kristine Wyllys: 3.5 STARS Bi-racial MC (Native American) who has to grown up way too fast when her father up & leaves with his mistress. A hardworking mother is left to pick up the pieces of a broken home by working long hours in order to provide. MC steps up as a mother for her siblings all the while trying to cope with Bi-Polar II Disorder. There is a romance (F/F) with a Cuban girl who is super supportive and is also dealing with her own issues at home. Mother Nature’s Youngest Daughter by Keah Brown: 5 STARS I LOVED this one to pieces! which really doesn’t surprise me since Fantasy is my genre of choice. This short stars a MC with Cerebral Palsy who is being bullied in school. MC has hidden powers as do her siblings & her mother, she isn’t supposed to use them for wrong but makes an exception to get even with her harassers. I rooted for her of course! but it didn’t go unpunished by her mother. Each of the family members can control a different element of weather/nature & I am legit interested in a full length anything with this family! ❤ One, Two, Three (re-named “A Curse, a Kindness”) by Corinne Duyvis: 5 STARS This in my opinion was the best story to close off this collection. A autistic girl finds herself cursed after bearing witness to a accident. MC is a young girl when she witnesses the accident & isn’t able to respond to a call for action at the moment. Autistic, young, and in shock she is approached by a mysterious man who places a curse on her life. She must grant 3 wishes to whoever shows her a kindness for the rest of her life. A chance encounter with a girl in a parking lot has the potential to change her life. F/F romance that left me smiling. Content Warning: Death, Physical abuse, misgendering, anxiety, adultery

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I only read the dedication and i'm already crying. It says "To every disabled reader, dreamer, storyteller- We can be heroes. This one's for us." I have been disabled my entire life, born with vacterl association (and then some) I'm a medical nightmare. vacterl is rare so i'm not expecting to see it in a book but even with that difference, many disabled people end up facing the same stigmas, ableism and feelings from it all. I am so glad something like this finally exists <3 Now...can I make it t I only read the dedication and i'm already crying. It says "To every disabled reader, dreamer, storyteller- We can be heroes. This one's for us." I have been disabled my entire life, born with vacterl association (and then some) I'm a medical nightmare. vacterl is rare so i'm not expecting to see it in a book but even with that difference, many disabled people end up facing the same stigmas, ableism and feelings from it all. I am so glad something like this finally exists <3 Now...can I make it through this book without getting tear stains on the pages? Probably not if i'm already crying, but they are happy tears that this is a thing that exists now <3

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aila

    Beautiful cover, and beautiful stories! While all the authors are disabled, I’m not 100% sure their characters follow the exact disability. Either way, I love the intersections of the characters and the vast range of writing styles. A more comprehensive review with opening lines will follow. While I’m giving each individual story a rating for my own notes, this whole book was a solid four from me and I highly recommend the anthology! Quick representation notes: (many of the disabilities are not Beautiful cover, and beautiful stories! While all the authors are disabled, I’m not 100% sure their characters follow the exact disability. Either way, I love the intersections of the characters and the vast range of writing styles. A more comprehensive review with opening lines will follow. While I’m giving each individual story a rating for my own notes, this whole book was a solid four from me and I highly recommend the anthology! Quick representation notes: (many of the disabilities are not labeled, so I will include descriptions!) 1. The Long Road - historical fiction featuring a Chinese heroine with a mental disability. Lovely family dynamics. Wish it were longer, but loved the message! 3 stars 2. Britt and the Bike God - super cute, contemporary story following a blind biker and her attraction to this fast POC biker. M/f ship. 4 stars 3. The Leap and the Fall - haunting and eerie contemporary following a girl in a wheelchair and her friend who leads her to an abandoned carnival. F/f ship. 5 stars 4. Per Aspera Ad Astra - exciting sci-fi where a girl with anxiety has to deal with an intergalactic war, when in fact maybe her coding can turn the tides. 5 stars. I loved this one! 5. Found Objects - the more I think about this one, the more I really like it. A latinx narrator (their gender is never specified) leads a second person POV of their passion for theater and the magic they create from their idiopathic pain. They use a cane as well. 4.5 stars - it was so unique and gripping. 6. Plus One - this one follows the spiritual journey of a Muslim girl undergoing her hajj, or pilgrimage. Along the trip comes “It,” a presence that causes her emotional, mental, and physical symptoms. How will It affect her journey? 3 stars 7. The Day the Dragon Came - reads like a fantasy, where a crippled girl who uses a cane dreams of escaping the city she lives in, while a carpenter boy (I believe he is trans) helps the city he loves build a pillar for a dragon to come. I also loved this one - it’s so sweet and has great plot elements despite being a short story. M/f ship. 5 stars 8. Captain, My Captain - follows a Latino boy who moved from Mexico for a better life but starts hearing a voice - Captain America - in his head that starts dictating his actions. Super interesting, and I wish we got to see more! 4 stars 9. Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love - contemporary story about a black girl with irritable bowel disorder who writes a love column, despite never being in a romantic relationship. Honestly I related to Nora James so much. It has super cute vibes from start to finish. 4 stars 10. A Play in Many Parts - refreshing writing told through narration and screenplay. Could be a bit confusing at times, which is why I think readers will be conflicted. But I for one really enjoyed this theater outlook on the play Doctor Faustus and how to emanate his character. Follows a non binary mc who has chronic pain. 4 stars 11. Ballad of Weary Daughters - sweet and quiet contemporary following a girl who has way too much responsibility on her shoulders taking care of her siblings and finding solace with a beautiful and supportive Cuban girl. F/f ship. Mc is biracial (half Native American) and has bipolar II disorder. 3.5 stars 12. Mother Nature - really cool contemporary where a girl with cerebral palsy gets back at her high school bullies by using her mysterious powers of nature. Definitely a story I want more of. Really awesome sibling dynamics are featured. 4 stars 13. One, Two, Three (will be renamed in final version) - magical contemporary where an autistic girl gets cursed to grant three wishes of people who are kind to her. This next girl though, is ready to find a way to free her from this curse. Super cute f/f ship and satisfying ending. 4 stars Some Trigger Warnings to note: self harm, manipulation, abusive relationship, anxiety, mention of panic attack, misgendering

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kelsea

    Overall: 3🌟 I love the idea behind this anthology: own voices short stories about disabled teens! I want to give it all the stars. Unfortunately, it was a bit scattered, some of the stories felt pointless, and the genre hopping from story to story was disconcerting. There were a few gems in the anthology, though! Here are my individual story ratings and thoughts. . The Long Road by Heidi Heilig: 2🌟 There’s a hint of something interesting in this story? But even for a short story it felt really abrup Overall: 3🌟 I love the idea behind this anthology: own voices short stories about disabled teens! I want to give it all the stars. Unfortunately, it was a bit scattered, some of the stories felt pointless, and the genre hopping from story to story was disconcerting. There were a few gems in the anthology, though! Here are my individual story ratings and thoughts. . The Long Road by Heidi Heilig: 2🌟 There’s a hint of something interesting in this story? But even for a short story it felt really abrupt and ultimately I had a tough time understanding the point. Britt and the Bike God by Kody Keplinger: 4🌟 Cute story! The MC’s disability was explained clearly and succinctly. Love that the scenario was specific to her - finding a way to continue doing something she loved. The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley: 2🌟 A little too confusing and bizarre for my tastes. Per Aspera Ad Astra by Katherine Locke: 3🌟 This story started out really promising - I was interested in the MC’s experiences and descriptions of severe anxiety. But the storyline itself completely lost me. Found Objects by William Alexander: 2.5🌟 Again, there were elements to the story that seemed promising... but ultimately it was really confusing and I didn’t know what to make of it. Plus One by Karuna Riazi: 3🌟 I wanted to love this one. Intersectionality and the descriptions of how It affected the MC’s life? I was hopeful. But after a while I still couldn’t figure out what It was meant to represent... and I still don’t know. That broke the story immersion for me. I wanted to enjoy the story rather than waste the entire time trying to figure out a mystery that shouldn’t have been a mystery at all. The Day the Dragon Came by Marieke Nijkamp: 2🌟 Huh? I didn’t understand this story at all. Captain, My Captain by Francisco X. Stork: 3🌟 Interesting setup but the story kinda went nowhere. Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love by Dhonielle Clayton: 4.5🌟 There was a lot packed into this story! Loved it. A Play in Many Parts by Fox Benwell: 2🌟 I was really confused by this one. Ballad of Weary Daughters by Kristine Wyllys: 2.5🌟 Also confused by this one but the writing is decent. Mother Nature’s Youngest Daughter by Keah Brown: 2🌟 Weird story. I didn’t see the point. A Curse, A Kindness by Corinne Duyvis: 4.5🌟 Cute and really great!

  8. 4 out of 5

    I.

    A beautiful and meticulously crafted anthology that is yet another example of the fantastic work We Need Diverse Books keeps putting out. Full Review Here: https://bookpeopleteens.wordpress.com...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anniek

    It's so difficult to rate anthologies, which is why I've rated every story separately. This was definitely worth the read, and I especially loved the insights into what it's like to deal with any kind of disability. Heidi Heilig - The Long Road (3/5) This first story has a lovely message, but I did feel like it could have been longer or at least a bit more substantial, because it didn't really have much of a plot. However, I did love the setting and the atmosphere. Kody Keplinger - Britt and the B It's so difficult to rate anthologies, which is why I've rated every story separately. This was definitely worth the read, and I especially loved the insights into what it's like to deal with any kind of disability. Heidi Heilig - The Long Road (3/5) This first story has a lovely message, but I did feel like it could have been longer or at least a bit more substantial, because it didn't really have much of a plot. However, I did love the setting and the atmosphere. Kody Keplinger - Britt and the Bike God (4/5) Britt and the Bike God is an adorable contemporary story about a blind girl who loves to bike. After losing (most of) her vision, she's started riding tandem, and I loved how the story addressed her disability without making it the sole focus. It was relatable to see how she struggled with accepting her disability, feeling like a burden to the people around her a lot of the time. Kayla Whaley - The Leap and the Fall (2/5) This story started off atmospheric, but it quickly grew weaker. It definitely had potential, but the dialogue felt forced and the action sequences didn't flow naturally, which made it difficult to really follow the story or get invested in it. Katherine Locke - Per Aspera Ad Astra (5/5) Absolutely loved this sci-fi story about a girl struggling with anxiety who has to overcome some of her fears due to war. Lizzie was a pretty relatable main character, and I loved how the story shows you're always stronger than you think without diminishing Lizzie's mental illness. William Alexander - Found Objects (2/5) It seems like you can't read a short story anthology without at least one author deciding to play around with the narrative perspective, and it almost never turns out well. It didn't this time either. It's a shame, because even if I don't experience chronic pain myself, I did find the way the author wrote about disability to be relatable at times. But other than that, the story just didn't really work for me. Karuna Riazi - Plus One (3/5) Plus One is about a Muslim girl trying to reconcile her mental illness (which she refers to as 'It') with her religion when she goes on pilgrimage. The setting was interesting, but I didn't feel like there was a lot of substance to it otherwise, although I did like the message of acceptance at the end. Marieke Nijkamp - The Day the Dragon Came (2/5) While I loved the setting for this story (medieval Belgium), it didn't really draw me in and I found it difficult to make sense of it, because the plotline felt really choppy. Francisco F. Stork - Captain, My Captain (3/5) I found this story to be quite endearing, and I liked the ending a lot! It wasn't very relatable for me personally, but I felt like it was an interesting perspective nonetheless. Dhonielle Clayton - Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love (4/5) I really loved this contemporary story about a teenage girl writing a love advice column without ever having dated herself. It was heartfelt and the main character was fleshed out and relatable. Fox Benwell - A Play in Many Parts (4/5) This story had an interesting format, and I quite liked the main character. They had a few relatable insights when it comes to dealing with disability. Kristine Wyllys - Ballad of Weary Daughters (3/5) This is one of those stories where the writing seems to hold you at arm's length. It took me quite a while to get invested, but I did grow to like it more towards the ending. Keah Brown - Mother Nature's Youngest Daughter (2/5) While it had potential, this story felt rather unsubstantial, and it didn't really do anything for me. Corinne Duyvis - A Curse, A Kindness (5/5) Frankly, this is the story that made me buy this anthology! There's not a lot of own voices autism rep to go around, so I'll genuinely read anything I can get my hands on. This was such a lovely story as well! I feel like it could have easily been a full novel, the premisse was that interesting. I loved the way autism was represented in both of the main characters as well (at least I think they both had autism - it was only confirmed for one of them). It was present but not the center of the story or even the character's biggest distinctive feature.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    The average of all the short stories combined is 3,92, but I’m still debating giving it 5 stars just because we need more of these books. I laughed and cried and felt all the stories and all the tiny recognisable things that we disabled/chronically ill people have in common. There was a lot of recognition for me but that it’s simply because about everything in my body is malfunctioning. I too worry about muddy sand combined with my electric wheelchair and muscle weakness and am afraid to eat in The average of all the short stories combined is 3,92, but I’m still debating giving it 5 stars just because we need more of these books. I laughed and cried and felt all the stories and all the tiny recognisable things that we disabled/chronically ill people have in common. There was a lot of recognition for me but that it’s simply because about everything in my body is malfunctioning. I too worry about muddy sand combined with my electric wheelchair and muscle weakness and am afraid to eat in restaurants because of what it might do to my stomach. My parents are the best ever too and I don’t want to be called ‘brave’ or ‘an inspiration’ simply because society can’t handle illness. I too feel so limited physically - especially when it matters. So I just have to applaud the authors because you did a splendid job! Thank you for participating and creating these awesome characters (and let’s be honest, most of the settings and ideas were soooo epic too!). Short stories will always be one of my favorites (might have something to do with concentration issues lol) and these are the best I read in a long while. Here are my thoughts on the individual stories: The Long Road - 5 stars In case you wondered if a historical story about a Chinese girl traveling to Persia would ever be relevant in your life: yes. Well, at least if you deal with disabilities. The stigma on mental illness is very heavy in this story, she and her family are shunned. And the importance of meeting fellow sufferers. Also, her parents are awesome! They tried so hard to help her, and even wanted to travel half the world on camel back through a desert, for the possibility of a cure. My parents would totally do that too and I love them for it but I know many other stories from fellow patients (granted, ME and Lyme are different in this aspect, but it has the same stigma). Britt and the Bike God - 5 stars This story features a blind girl and her wish to bike. And also not to be a burden. I cried, that says enough. Love the story, very sweet! Also very good representation, and I loved this line. “I hated being called brave. It was almost as bad as inspiring”. It still weirds me out that people call me brave when I’m just living my life. Yeah sure, a lot of aspects suck but you can’t do anything about it, you just keep living the best way you can like anyone would. I know it’s what people say when they feel sorry for you or don’t know how to deal with the situation so I don’t mind it, but I very much dislike the idea behind it. I even wrote an essay about it once lol. The Leap and the Fall - 5 stars Oh man this one is creepy!! I shouldn’t have read this at night while a storm was raging. Don’t repeat my mistakes! Awesome story though! In this story you could really feel how it is to be physically weak and how frustrating that is when it really matters! And how helpless it makes you feel. I get embarrased when my parents help push me to cross a 3 inch door step and the commotion that gives. I actually was waiting for the protagonist to get stuck on the sandy path lol. That didn’t happen but what did happen was that it matters what’s inside you and that you are your own person and that love truly can work miracles. But still creepy. Per Aspera Ad Astra - 5 stars Sci fi story featuring a brilliant gifted girl with anxiety? I’m here for it. Again, the representation is top notch. How you are unable to do something as simple as turning to a computer screen or pressing a button. I think it is very well explained. Her story arc is very believable, and well, awesome. Love to see how random strangers sometimes can help enormously. Found Objects - 3 stars This one was a bit weird, I still don’t know exactly what happened and why. The symbolism however is excellent and I liked the idea of your pain turning into monster. Plus One - 3 stars I love the diversity and a look into the Islam but it was also the hardest part of this story: I don’t understand much of what exactly happened. The MC is amazing though. The Day The Dragon Came - 5 stars Oooh this one is placed in medieval Ghent! It feels very at home with all the Dutch words seeping through. And it’s the sweetest story and I loved it. The stigma Alix faces is horrible and she feels like she’s an outsider and a prisoner while Delfin is actually finding his freedom here and a new start. Very good representation of chronic pain. Not many authors think of describing the drain and exhaustion that comes along with it. Captain, My Captain - 4 stars Though I can’t judge this one, I think the execution of this story and mental disability is so well done! You really feel how he is straining with it, and kudo’s for the author for making a point of the repetition in a very not boring way. Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love - 5 stars Again, very good representation of IBS. Though the more gory parts were not described lol. The struggle and fear of bejng out in public was handled really well, it’s always hard to not make it look like anxiety. Thoughts do have a part but it mostly just is really tricky going out and eating food. The story itself was also very cute, how acceptance can make a lit of differences. A Play in Many Parts - 2 stars I’m a bit confused about this one, it didn’t seem to have a point to me and I skipped the play itself because I didn’t understand it. There might have been more clues in there... it seems theater stories are not my thing! Ballad of Weary Daughters - 2 stars It was a good story and I loved how they discussed drug use and how it’s really trial and error and frustrating. The story itself didn’t really click with me, there were many names and I didn’t get half of it. But I loved the soulmate friendship! Mother Nature’s Youngest Daughter - 3 stars Short stories often have such awesome ideas and concepts! It’s why I love them so much. This one has that too! It was a bit weird but in a good way. Deals a bit with self images and disability - and bullies. A Curse, A Kindness - 4 stars Oh this one was awesome! I totally fell in love with the characters and the concept was great. Though I feel like disability was not really mentioned or showed at all.. ———-/ Before reading: I didn’t know I was waiting for this, but I so was. Finally, protagonists with a disability! 13 stories, so there must be a lot of diversity... I seriously can’t wait!!!!!! ((I know it’s bad but I’m really hoping autoimmune disease and/or dysautonomia are featured, especially how the stigma affects you; that it’s all in your head, you can get no medical care at all, etc. I know that’s probably not gonna happen and that’s ok, I’ll write it myself one day)) ALSO WHO DARES TO GIVE THIS ONE STAR?????? This book is not published, there’s not even a cover and there are 13 DIFFERENT authors. The only common thing is disability, and if you don’t like that WELL I DON’T BLOODY LIKE IT EITHER BECAUSE IT IS A LIVING HELL.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    As a young person with a disability themselves, I am so glad this exists. I cannot wait to read this and I need it NOW.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Teddy Elizabeth

    Holy shit holy shit holy shit, a book of MULTIPLE STORIES about DISABLED TEENS?????? I'm literally sitting in the library rn crying of disbelief & happiness, I cannot WAIT for this!!!!!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Em The Reading Challenge Challenge

    “This company is made of grit and steel. A thousand stories, told and still unfolding.” - A Play in Many Parts, Fox Benwell Unbroken is easily the best short story anthology I have come across. These thirteen stories are exquisite in not just their #ownvoices representation of disabilities but their intersectionality with race, sexuality and gender as well. With a broad range of disabilities, these characters lead us on a variety of journeys - into the woods to abandoned carnivals, on religious pi “This company is made of grit and steel. A thousand stories, told and still unfolding.” - A Play in Many Parts, Fox Benwell Unbroken is easily the best short story anthology I have come across. These thirteen stories are exquisite in not just their #ownvoices representation of disabilities but their intersectionality with race, sexuality and gender as well. With a broad range of disabilities, these characters lead us on a variety of journeys - into the woods to abandoned carnivals, on religious pilgrimages, to the movies, to historic Belgium, into outer space. Every story was an adventure and I loved every page. I did not expect so much intersectionality from this book which I'm ashamed to have thought because of course, it's diverse! Disability doesn't care about race or gender or sexuality - it intersects with every other possible identity and the authors made sure to represent that. There are queer characters, transgender characters, POC characters (including Native American!). And the range of disabilities that are represented is excellent as well - mental illnesses, autism, chronic pain, stomach disorders, cerebral palsy, visual impairments. I was a little disappointed that there were no d/Deaf/HoH characters and I would've liked a bit more specificity about what some of the characters' disabilities were but those are small complaints. I've loved reading these stories. My favourites were the stories by Marieke Nijkamp, Kayla Whaley, Fox Benwell and Corinne Duyvis. Since I accidentally bought two copies, I'm very tempted to start reading them all again. I don't know that I will right now but I do know that I'll be revisiting this anthology again and again. And I'll be chasing down some of the contributing authors' other books as well because I would love to see more of their work. Please check out this book. Read these stories. Help celebrate disabled teens and disabled authors. You won't be disappointed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lior

    13 stories starring disabled characters, all written by #OwnVoices disabled authors??? Give that to me right now.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Yiling

    As a disabled person myself I was really excited about this anthology and the representation in it that is long overdue. Sadly overall I felt very meh about the stories, but I'm so glad this anthology exists. 1. The Long Road by Heidi Heilig - 3 stars Ok overall - a lot of setup and but not much occurred 2. Britt and the Bike God by Kody Keplinger - 4 stars Cute!! - If you like Kody's other work (like The DUFF), you'll enjoy this story. 3. The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley - 3 stars ~Creepy~ 4. P As a disabled person myself I was really excited about this anthology and the representation in it that is long overdue. Sadly overall I felt very meh about the stories, but I'm so glad this anthology exists. 1. The Long Road by Heidi Heilig - 3 stars Ok overall - a lot of setup and but not much occurred 2. Britt and the Bike God by Kody Keplinger - 4 stars Cute!! - If you like Kody's other work (like The DUFF), you'll enjoy this story. 3. The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley - 3 stars ~Creepy~ 4. Per Aspera Ad Astra by Katherine Locke - 3 stars 5. Found Objects by William Alexander - 2 stars Tbh I'm not too sure what happened 6. Plus One by Karina Piazi - 2 stars 7. The Day The Dragon Came by Marieke Nijkamp - 3 stars 8. Captain, My Captain by Francisco X. Stork - 3.5 stars 9. Dear Nora James, You know Nothing About Love by Dhonielle Clayton - 4.5 stars this was cute!! 10. A Play in Many Parts by Fox Benwell - 2 stars ehh not for me 11. Ballad of Weary Daughters by Kristine Wyllys - 2 stars 12. Mother Nature's Youngest Daughter by Keah Brown - 2 stars 13. One, Two, Three by Corienne Duyvis - 4.5 stars

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dani (Dani's Bookshelf)

    This is such a great premise for a short story collection, and I really enjoyed this book! We're starting to see a lot more diverse books being published, but there's still a lot more room to publish own voices books starring disabled characters, and I hope Unbroken helps push the publishing industry further in that direction. Overall, I thought these short stories were really well done. There was a great mix of characters, settings, genres, and writing styles, and while some definitely appealed This is such a great premise for a short story collection, and I really enjoyed this book! We're starting to see a lot more diverse books being published, but there's still a lot more room to publish own voices books starring disabled characters, and I hope Unbroken helps push the publishing industry further in that direction. Overall, I thought these short stories were really well done. There was a great mix of characters, settings, genres, and writing styles, and while some definitely appealed to me more than others, I thought they were all well written. Together they made for a great collection. Some of my favorites include "Brit and the Bike God" by Kody Keplinger, "Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love" by Dhonielle Clayton, and "A Curse, a Kindness" by Corinne Duyvis. Seriously, I highly recommend this short story collection! I think there's something in it for everyone, and it's such an important book to support.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆

    This is a short story collection so it's hard to give one rating. I just merged them all in my mind. Some were better then others, per usual.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    In this entire collection, I only came across one story I just felt 'meh' about, and that is a great ratio. These are stories about characters with disabilities and the authors and characters are incredibly diverse. Hooray! The disabilities are varied and include physical, emotional, and mental. The stories encourage the reader to think outside of the little boxes we fit people in. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marilla

    It's hard to put a star rating on an anthology. Some of the stories were really good, and some just didn't hold my attention, so take this rating with a saltshaker. I appreciated from the moment I heard about it how there was an anthology of stories solely focused on teens with disabilities, but not that their disabilities were the entire plot. (Honestly, I sort of freaked out from excitement when my email told me I won an ARC from Goodreads Giveaways) I also liked how the disability wasn't the o It's hard to put a star rating on an anthology. Some of the stories were really good, and some just didn't hold my attention, so take this rating with a saltshaker. I appreciated from the moment I heard about it how there was an anthology of stories solely focused on teens with disabilities, but not that their disabilities were the entire plot. (Honestly, I sort of freaked out from excitement when my email told me I won an ARC from Goodreads Giveaways) I also liked how the disability wasn't the only unique part about them. Kids with disabilities can be LGBT and POC and have their own interests and quirks, but so often authors just dole out one thing per character to make them "different" from the stupid white, cis-het, able-bodied default. "Oh, this one is the lesbian, this one is dyslexic, this one is Latina." Shannon Hale, in a blog post once, wrote about how "we (in the US) easily accept a certain kind of character as Neutral. Neutral is white, male, able-bodied, straight, not too young (in children's) and not too old (in adult), and not especially extraordinary in any way." And then she talked about how many "steps" she took her characters away from them and how it made people uncomfortable when Shannon was just making people real. (Here's the link to the post y'all: http://www.squeetus.com/2014/03/on-ne...) But people are more than just one thing and while it's sad this needs to be celebrated and isn't just how things ARE, I am celebrating this book for its diversity. So now onto the actual stories, which I shall go through one at a time. THE LONG ROAD by Heidi Heilig Not much happened...? BRITT AND THE BIKE GOD by Kody Keplinger Upon reading the title, I assumed they meant "bike" as in "motorcycle" but when it turned out to be actual bikes, everything improved. I liked how Britt found ways to keep biking and how everyone was helping her and that she was actually a really good biker. (I bike too, but there's no way I could handle 50 miles or even 20.) THE LEAP AND THE FALL by Kayla Whaley This one was creepy but I liked it. Eloise was very good at thinking in the heat of the moment and bore everything insanely well and managed to get through it all. I was very impressed. PER ASPERA AD ASTRA by Katherine Locke I really liked this one! Tech genius Lizzie braved her anxiety to go to the place where the computers were sourced to fix the shield as they were being attacked? I was thrown right into the middle of the action and this author did a good job of making me feel absorbed in a short amount of pages and getting all the necessary background. Ros was very sweet and helpful to Lizzie as she did her genius work. One of my favorite stories. FOUND OBJECTS by William Alexander I liked the whimsical magic. Someone could play music to make things happen, another danced, they could talk to the dead on their cell phones. The MC used their chronic pain to make things. PLUS ONE by Karuna Riazi I don't know why other reviewers don't like this one! I did. Hafsah battles her It and goes on hajj (which I found interesting in and of itself) and the ending was very satisfying. I liked the writing style here too? Apart from being a little rambly. But it was a good story? THE DAY THE DRAGON CAME by Marieke Nijkamp I didn't really see a plot and I wished there was, you know, an actual dragon, but it was okay. A little disappointed by the ending. CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN by Francisco X Stork It was eh. I like how the situation/world the main character lived in was built through little observations and connections inside the MC's head. That was well done. DEAR NORA JAMES, YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT LOVE by Dhonielle Clayton It was cute. Marcus was cute too. That's all I really have to say about it. A PLAY IN MANY PARTS by Fox Benwell I could not even wrap my head around this. I'm sorry. I don't know what happened at all. BALLAD OF WEARY DAUGHTERS by Kristine Wyllys This one was sad and touching and I liked it even though there was not a plot. It was a small heavy piece of story. MOTHER NATURE'S YOUNGEST DAUGHTER by Keah Brown Eh. It did nothing for me. ONE, TWO, THREE by Corinne Duyvis (to be called A CURSE, A KINDNESS in the final version) I was excited for this story coming in because Corinne Duyvis and it was a good story to end the anthology on (it helped that I was anticipating throughout the entire book, I guess?) But anyway it absolutely did not disappoint and was probably my favorite story in here. The ending was bittersweet but happy and I connected with Sienna's tapping and being bugged by the organization of the bookshelves and trying to be casual when really you just wanted to be friends with the other person but being nervous about it. (But mostly the tapping of fingers because I DO THAT and Sienna's fidgets are my fidgets and it hit me harder than I realized to see someone like me in a book when I hadn't realized I'd been missing it before). In Summary: LOTS of diversity and disability rep and a Very Important book. Some of the stories were really good! Would recommend to just about anyone, because anthologies have lots of different things to offer.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Excellent book of short stories for the Y.A market. Only one story i didn't care for (never set a table for 13, but i guess that was the point.) Some of these i don't think of capital D disabled, but are shown to clearly be crippling. Much of this book is designed to open eyes, and some is to challenge the reader. Fortunately are are well written, even the one i didn't like. This was a NetGalley.com advanced reader

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    I'm putting this on hold for now but I'm planning to pick it back up in the near future.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    The Long Road by Heidi Heilig: I haven't smiled in nearly a year. I forgot how to, for a long while. And by the time I remembered, on the road, there wasn't much left to smile about. Oh my god, I loved this one. I could totally feel for Lihua and her desire to feel better, to be normal. And while she had loved ones who wanted her to feel better too, it was hard for the MC to carry that weight around with her too. But through meeting someone like her, and her parents' hope for their future in a n The Long Road by Heidi Heilig: I haven't smiled in nearly a year. I forgot how to, for a long while. And by the time I remembered, on the road, there wasn't much left to smile about. Oh my god, I loved this one. I could totally feel for Lihua and her desire to feel better, to be normal. And while she had loved ones who wanted her to feel better too, it was hard for the MC to carry that weight around with her too. But through meeting someone like her, and her parents' hope for their future in a new place, it lightens the journey. And she's left with looking toward that future instead of getting tied down in the past. (4.5-5 stars) Britt and the Bike God by Kody Keplinger: was SUPER CUTE. I'm not really a bike person, so the cycling wasn't my thing. But I loved how enthusiastic everyone was about the sport, and how Britt's dad started a club just for her. So she could still be part of what she loves even though she's losing her eyesight. Her and Andre couldn't find a rhythm at first, but when they finally communicated, they both realized just how much they thought the other was great. (3.5-4) The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley: oh, I just ADORED this one. The creepy, forgotten carnival, the f/f relationship, the tarot reading that turned into something that could have ruined the girls. The only thing I will say is that the beginning was a little confusing, at first. But then I got really into it, and it went in a direction I wasn't expecting. I would've liked to have heard the ghost's story though! I wanted to know where it came from and who it was because I'm so curious. Haha. (4 stars) Per Aspera Ad Astra by Katherine Locke: Once upon a time, a planet lost its power and its shield and found itself at the mercy of luck in a galaxy that had used up all its luck a generation ago. Also: Her whole life she'd fought a war on the inside. And now a war was coming to her from the outside. Love her writing, and omg this one was so enjoyable! It was sci-fi, so there was a lot more action to it. But I loved how that intertwined with an MC with anxiety and agoraphobia, who didn't know if she could do this One Big Thing but who was still determined to try and give it her best. (3.5-4 stars) Found Objects by William Alexander: I am not here to make you feel better about the fact that I am here. I think I'm still a *little* confused how the MC's magic works, but I really liked this! It was in 1st person, but it was told to the best friend, the one the MC wishes they could share their life with, and accept the help they're so often asked about. (I'm using they because the MC is never gendered or named, so it's easiest). I didn't love it, though. Something about it didn't quite click with me. (3 stars) Plus One by Karuna Riazi: aye, the writing was a bit of problem for me here. I had to reread several paragraphs, try to pull myself back into the story when my mind drifted. And it's not like it's because it's bad, but that while I got what it was saying, the way it was written was super dense. I did love how the main character, Hasfah, was able to shed a little bit of the weight of It and find some peace, though. That ending was really sweet. (2.5-3 stars) The Day the Dragon Came by Marieke Nijkamp: She had too many dreams to be contained by city walls. Also: He knew what it was like to dream, and he knew what it was like for others to scorn those dreams and deny them. This one was AMAZING omg I'm in love. With the way the dragon fit into the story, with friendship and eventual romance of the sharp and determined Alix and the soft and wonderful Delfin. The two of them both had separate ideas of what home meant, but they came from a place of mutual of pain, of going from not having a place to belong to possibly finding it within this city and each other. I loved everything about it!! (5 stars) Captain, My Captain by Francisco X. Stork: It took me a little bit of time to understand what was happening, but once I did, it made me a little sad. Alberto's so nice and kind and he just wants to help the people he cares about. But there's Captain America in his head, trying to get him to leave, trying to make him do something that will only hurt him, even when he says it's in Alberto's best interests. Even when Captain America makes it seem like he is the only one who understands him. But that ending was FANTASTIC. (4 stars) Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love by Dhonielle Clayton: oh, I LOVED this one!! I loved that Nora had a love column, that she was just a regular teenager who kind of maybe wanted to have a date but her physical and mental health made it near impossible for her to even try. That she didn't buy into it all just because it's the ~normal~ thing to do, and that while she scorned it, she wasn't an asshole to those who hoped for love everlasting. She wanted to help people out in the dating world, but maybe she needed to take her own advice a little bit and be braver. :D (5 stars) A Play in Many Parts by Fox Benwell: Ooh, as much as I love the original Faustus play, I didn't always understand how the script part of this fit in. It was highly confusing at times. But I understood the gist, and I loved that this company had a director who wanted them to push, to go deeper and deeper, that she wouldn't stand for anything less than total commitment and hard work. I do so love theater stories, but yeah. This seemed like a jumbled mess at times, sadly. (3-3.5 stars) Ballad of Weary Daughters by Kristine Wyllys: oh, this one was beautiful! Sad sometimes, but beautiful. I could totally feel for River and her anger and pain and worry and exhaustion. She was so tired of picking up after her dad walked out on the family, of having to parent her younger siblings because her mom had to work, of having to deal with her bipolar disorder and the lows that came with it. She was just a teen herself, someone who needed a shoulder to lean on too. But she had that through lovely Lucy, her best friend and soulmate. Their relationship was strong and true and genuine, and I loved it. (4.5-5 stars) Mother Nature's Youngest Daughter by Keah Brown: I ADORED this one! Millie is, as the title says, the youngest daughter of Mother Nature. She's only a freshman in high school, so she hasn't been training in the elements long, and she doesn't have the control like her siblings do. But she gets so ANGRY and TIRED of being picked on and bullied that she takes her revenge out on the one person who's always at the center of it. Though she doesn't go without being punished by her mom, she doesn't feel guilty. And you know what? I'm with her, and I could understand her feelings and how she just wanted to be seen. That ending was so sweet, and honestly, I'd gladly read a whole book about this family! (4.5-5 stars) A Curse, a Kindness by Corinne Duyvis: aw, I'm always a fan of storylines that involve wish-granting, because I love seeing what characters would wish for, and if they'd fall down the hole of selfishness. But Mia was not like that, and it surprised Sienna, the wish-granter who was only a child when she was given this burden. The two of them form a close friendship that turned into something more, but Sienna would always be tied to Mia until the wishes were granted. But loopholes exist FOR A REASON. :D :D I wasn't sure where the story would go, and I was pleasantly surprised and happy with it. (4.5-5 stars) Overall: This was a mixed bag for me. The stories I enjoyed were great and nice, and the stories I absolutely LOVED were amazing and so different from one another. I'm so happy an anthology like this exists, and I hope there are more to come! Disabled teens should get to see themselves in books, to be reminded that they are more than their disabilities, and that they are worthy of being the main characters. I loved that there was a selection of physical and mental issues presented here, especially because mental illness is so often disregarded as a real disability because of the stigmas attached to it. I didn't love all of these stories, no, but I think overall that it's a wonderful anthology that more people should read!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ceillie Simkiss

    You can read my full review here!

  24. 5 out of 5

    alex

    i n e e d t h i s (five- starring bc people are one-starring for no reason)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ava

    5 stars because a bunch of people gave it 1 star :( haven't actually read it yet

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    More reviews like this on: NicoleHendersonReads Since disability in young adult literature is underrepresented, it was nice to be able to read something of that context, especially considering the fact it was own voices. I enjoyed a lot of the stories featured as they were all unique and each brought something new to the table in terms of expressing ones thoughts on disability. Now with every anthology, there are some I’m going to like and not others (which was also the case for this collection). More reviews like this on: NicoleHendersonReads Since disability in young adult literature is underrepresented, it was nice to be able to read something of that context, especially considering the fact it was own voices. I enjoyed a lot of the stories featured as they were all unique and each brought something new to the table in terms of expressing ones thoughts on disability. Now with every anthology, there are some I’m going to like and not others (which was also the case for this collection). As a whole, I really enjoyed the anthology and I would recommend others with disabilities (or not) to read this. The Long Road by Heidi Heilig. There was tons of potential for this story, but it fell flat. There was lots of setting and descriptions but not enough occurred for me to truly connect with the characters. 3/5 Britt and the Bike God by Kody Kepligner. I’ve read her other YA books and I’ve enjoyed them all, so this one was no expectation. It was cute, light, and fluffy (just like her other works). 4/5 The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley. I didn’t know what was going on half the time, but I did like the creepy atmosphere. I also wished the characters were more developed and the slight romance at the end was good. 3/5 Per Aspa Ad Astra by Katharine Locke. I enjoyed this story quite a lot, despite the fact I didn’t know a ton about the overall plot (something to do with some shield being gone and the girl has to save the world). The main character was one I could connect with and the developing romance between her and the guy was really sweet. The story however, ended abruptly and I wished it had gone on longer. 4/5 Found Objects by William Alexander. This story was all over the place. And there was some sword fight with a statue in the end, like wtf??? 2/5 Plus One by Karuna Riazi. I felt this story dragged on for longer than it needed to. But I did like how “IT” was a metaphor for her sexuality, which was an interesting way of addressing the issues of coming to terms with your sexuality. 2.5/5 The Day the Dragon Came by Marieke Nijkamp. This story was kinda boring and not all that captivating. However, I did like the romance between the two main characters. I enjoyed the writing style as well, and I want to read more of her works in the future. 3/5 Captain, My Captain by Francisco X. Stork. I really enjoyed this story a whole lot, but I wanted so much more from it. I don’t have a ton to say other than that. 3.5/5 Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love by Dhonielle Clayton. This was such a cute story. I loved the idea of a love column (haha see what I did there?), and I felt like I could relate with the main character. I definitely plan on reading more of her works in the future. 4/5 A Play in Many Parts by Fox Benwell. I really wanted to like this story. I knew it was told through script and narration, but I was so confused with the constant jumping back and forth. I also didn’t understand a ton of what was even happening to begin with. 2/5 Ballad of Weary Daughters by Kristine Wyllys. I enjoyed this story a whole lot. But I did get confused towards the end, however it didn’t take away my overall enjoyment. 3.5/5 Mother Nature’s Youngest Daughter by Keah Brown. The plot of this story really intrigued me with the whole “mother nature” aspect. And I also loved the sibling dynamic that was present throughout. 4/5 One, Two, Three by Corinne Duyvis. According to the author of this story, the final copy’s title is: A Curse, A Kindness. This was such a cute contemporary and I wanted more from it. There is a romance between two girls and it was so sweet and adorable. If this were ever a full novel, I would totally read it. 4.5/5 I received this ARC from Raincoast Books so thank you to them for sending this my way.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brandi

    This collection of stories all feature teens with various disabilities. As an added bonus these stories are #ownvoices. As with any anthology this one has some great stories and some that this reader didn't connect with. Regardless, the level of representation in this collection for teens with disabilities makes it a must purchase for high school libraries. Highly recommended. Standouts: The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley was a standout story that was part love story, part horror tale complet This collection of stories all feature teens with various disabilities. As an added bonus these stories are #ownvoices. As with any anthology this one has some great stories and some that this reader didn't connect with. Regardless, the level of representation in this collection for teens with disabilities makes it a must purchase for high school libraries. Highly recommended. Standouts: The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley was a standout story that was part love story, part horror tale complete with an abandoned carnival, ghost possession, and tarot cards. I loved it. One, Two, Three by Corinne Duyvis was another beautiful story about a girl who freezes during a pivotal moment as a child and fails to take action, in her defense, she had just experienced a traumatic event and is on the autism spectrum. In return she is cursed to grant three wishes for anyone who does her a kindness, no matter how small. After years of living a solitary life and trying to avoid kindness from strangers at all costs, she meets a girl and they fall in love. As an additional plus both of these stories as well as a number of the others feature LGBTQ+ characters. Starred Ratings for Each Story: The Long Road by Heidi Heilig 3 stars Britt and the Bike God by Kody Keplinger 4 stars The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley 4.5 stars Per Aspera Ad Strata by Katherine Locke 4 stars Found Objects by William Alexander 3 stars Plus One by Karuna Riazi 2 stars The Day the Dragon Came by Marieke Nijkamp 3 stars Captain, My Captain by Francisco S. Stork 3 stars Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love 4 stars A Play in Many Parts by Fox Benwell 4 stars The Ballad of Weary Daughters by Kristine Wyllys 4 stars Mother Nature's Youngest Daughter 2.5 stars One, Two, Three by Corinne Duyvis 4.5 stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Thirteen authors share short stories and one play--a bit long for me--featuring much diversity and characters with various disabilities. The strength of the collection is how the disabilities are only a part, sometimes a very small part, of the characters, but sometimes it can be hard to even understand what the disability actually is. As is the case with collections such as these, some are stronger than others while some barely held my interest or seemed all too predictable. I didn't particular Thirteen authors share short stories and one play--a bit long for me--featuring much diversity and characters with various disabilities. The strength of the collection is how the disabilities are only a part, sometimes a very small part, of the characters, but sometimes it can be hard to even understand what the disability actually is. As is the case with collections such as these, some are stronger than others while some barely held my interest or seemed all too predictable. I didn't particularly care for "Britt and the Bike God" because of its predictability, and I wasn't charmed by "Mother Nature's Youngest Daughter" because of it mean-spiritedness, but others may enjoy those two well enough. My favorites ended up being "A Curse, A Kindness" by Corinne Duyvis and "Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing about Love" by Dhonielle Clayton because the authorial voices were fresh, vibrant, and believable. While the idea behind the collection is excellent, the execution is uneven, and I have to confess that I was disappointed. I'm not precisely sure what I was expecting, but this didn't work as powerfully as I expected it to. Perhaps if there had been a bridge between each story or some stronger connection or even authorial comments, it would have resonated more with me. Still, it covers some territory that hasn't been delved into deeply, and many teens will see their own experiences represented here.

  29. 4 out of 5

    E

    I picked this up at BEA, because I was intrigued by the premise, but mostly because there were several familiar authors taking part in the anthology. There are all kinds of stories- fantasy, historical fiction, slice of life high school... even a story in the form of a play. (Not going to lie, the one that was a play choked me up a little.) The weird part was going in, knowing that each of the stories had something to do with a protagonist who had a disability or condition they were dealing with. I picked this up at BEA, because I was intrigued by the premise, but mostly because there were several familiar authors taking part in the anthology. There are all kinds of stories- fantasy, historical fiction, slice of life high school... even a story in the form of a play. (Not going to lie, the one that was a play choked me up a little.) The weird part was going in, knowing that each of the stories had something to do with a protagonist who had a disability or condition they were dealing with... I read the first pages looking for the reveal, to see what the disability would be: blindness, a mobility challenge, anxiety. That made me feel more than a little ghoulish and voyeuristic. And also made me think about how necessary these stories are to tell, and to integrate into anthologies that celebrate different genres, starring disabled teens as a matter of course, doing their thing, right alongside other really solid examples of different genres. As these stories are, well-crafted, character driven stories of teenagers across a bunch of different genres. I'd like to believe this book is helping get more similar stories told

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher. This was diverse. It was intersectional. It was an Own Voices collection. And it was great to read stories where individuals with disabilities are portrayed positively and actively and normally. As with any short story collection, some stories will be more engaging to certain readers than others. (One of the things that makes these hard to shop during Reader’s advisory interactions.) For me, someone who lives daily with a fairly severe healing impairme ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher. This was diverse. It was intersectional. It was an Own Voices collection. And it was great to read stories where individuals with disabilities are portrayed positively and actively and normally. As with any short story collection, some stories will be more engaging to certain readers than others. (One of the things that makes these hard to shop during Reader’s advisory interactions.) For me, someone who lives daily with a fairly severe healing impairment (and never gets a great HH or deaf character in a book because they are always written by hearing authors) really missed that in this anthology. This is going to speak to a certain population of teen readers. It’s going to make a difference. And it’s a strong short story collection to add to a Teen or YA library collection.

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