UNBROKEN by Marieke Nijkamp
Kirkus Star

UNBROKEN

13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens
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Age Range: 13 - 17
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thirteen realistic, fantasy, and science-fiction stories starring disabled teenagers.

These tales feature teens with different mental illnesses and physical, sensory, and intellectual disabilities, but all share common threads: no overcoming disability, magical healing, or disability-as-metaphor; just kids shaped by their bodies and minds, their experiences, and the worlds they inhabit. The #ownvoices tales (all by disabled authors) feature a few standouts. Schneider Award winner Francisco X. Stork’s (Disappeared, 2017, etc.) protagonist is a cognitively disabled Mexican immigrant who hears voices and who makes a friend. Dhonielle Clayton’s (The Belles, 2018, etc.) heroine, a black girl with gastrointestinal disease, pens an advice column. William Alexander (A Festival of Ghosts, 2018, etc.) offers a cane-using Latinx boy with chronic pain who accidentally animates the spirit of Richard III. Disability drives the plots at different levels: Corinne Duyvis’ (On the Edge of Gone, 2016, etc.) cursed wish-granter, a 17-year-old girl who likes girls, may not even be noticeably autistic to some neurotypical readers, while the anxiety of Katherine Locke’s (The Spy with the Red Balloon, 2018, etc.) programming heroine might prevent her from saving her city during an extraplanetary attack. Heidi Heilig’s (For a Muse of Fire, 2018, etc.) heroine has mania and depression in ancient China, where her condition is seen as bad fate.

For intersectional representations of disabled kids leading complex lives—sometimes painful, sometimes funny, never sentimentally inspirational—a vital collection. (Anthology. 13-17)

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-374-30650-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2018




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