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Stories, Poetry, Art & Other Wisdom

edited by Amy Friedman

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 2024
ISBN: 9781952197024
Publisher: Out of the Woods Press

Drawing from the life experiences of teens, this collection was crafted by participants in the PATHfinder Club, which has merged with POPS the Club, the organization behind eight previous anthologies.

Created by and for “individuals who have been impacted by incarceration, detention, and deportation,” this anthology provides nourishment and support and increases awareness. The entries are grouped into sections by theme, including “It All Goes by So Fast,” “Emotions in Motion,” “To Your Health,” “We Are Family,” and “Teachers and Grades and Homework—Oh My!” Several writers reflect on the effects of absent parents. Readers also hear the voices of teens with disabilities. Some entries express their writers’ dreams for emotional contentment, love, and physical comfort. In keeping with the title, most of the content is practical counsel: Seek out those who allow you to be true to yourself, maintain good study habits, get involved with clubs, and don’t give up. There’s even advice on mastering public transit. Middle schoolers contributed to “Advice to My Future Self,” expressing their hopes and fears for the future and sharing guidance. Phrases that might seem hackneyed coming from an adult read as authentic when voiced by peers in the rhythms of spoken-word poetry or direct, heart-to-heart prose. The writing is punctuated by the teens’ original paintings, drawings, digital compositions, and photography.

Poignant and encouraging cheerleading from the trenches.

(contributor bios) (Anthology. 13-18)