Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors On Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself

, ed. 212p. Chicago Review Press. Sept. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 978-1-61374-784-1.
Gr 7 Up—Nearly three dozen young adult authors each address a "rule" that should be bent or ignored, such as "always sit in your assigned seat," "dress appropriately," "never be alone," or "don't quit." Each contributor shares personal experience and advice, which makes for good, varied reading that will surely offer something unique for many readers. The essays are inspiring and thought-provoking, and many offer truly funny moments. Reynolds provides an excellent flow between essays. This title could easily be read cover to cover or by individual selection based on theme. There is a nice mix of male and female voices. Especially good are Leslie Connor's "Don't Tell Lies," in which she confesses to actually liking rules; Lisa Burman's essay on eating disorders, titled "Don't Get Fat"; and Chris Barton's "Go to College After High School," because it allows readers to think about their options. 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.—Elaine Baran Black, Georgia Public Library Service, Atlanta

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