35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself
By Luke Reynolds
Middle grade and young adult authors speak candidly on the unspoken "rules" of adolescence in this collection of moving, inspiring, and often funny essays. This unique volume encourages readers to break with conformity and defy age-old, and typically inaccurate, orthodoxy--including such conventions as Boys can't be gentle, kind, or caring; One must wear Abercrombie & Fitch in order to fit in; Girls should act like girls; and One must go to college after finishing high school. With contributions from acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning young adult authors--including Gary D. Schmidt, author of The Wednesday Wars; Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook; Sara Zarr, author of Story of a Girl; and Wendy Mass, author of A Mango-Shaped Space--this collection encourages individuality by breaking traditionally held norms, making it an ideal resource for tweens and teens.
"Young people growing up awash in electronic media and the images and lifestyles they sell are often easy victims, never realizing the extent to which they are being brainwashed...In this collection, 35 writers encourage readers to stop obeying the voices telling them how to think, dress, act and believe." - Kirkus
"Much of the advice - from rejecting conventional standards of beauty to not worrying about fitting in - may be familiar to many readers, though that doesn't make it any less sound. In the strongest entries, the writers use examples of their own past struggles to subtly drive home their messages." - Publisher's Weekly
"As readers head back to the classrooms this fall, these essays can serve as discussion starters and give readers a jumping-off point for thinking about the bigger picture and life after high school." - School Library Journal
"This book actually breaks the rules just by existing. This much sheer coolness should not be allowed in one volume!" - Jordan Sonnenblick, bestselling author, Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie
"These wonderful essays not only lay out good reasons for breaking rules, but they also provide lots of room for thought. If I could make one rule, it would be for every teen, parent, and teacher to read this collection. We'd all be better for it." - Kathi Appelt, author of the Newberry Honorwinning The Underneath
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