Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

320p. Farrar. Sept. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374306502.
Gr 8 Up—The founding member of We Need Diverse Books and author of This Is Where It Ends, has compiled and edited a much-needed collection of short stories about disabled teens by authors who identify as disabled. The disabilities of the authors and the characters in the stories include physical differences and myriad types of neurodivergence. In every story, the protagonists face challenges, both internal and external; the struggle with the disability is the main challenge in some entries while the presence of a disability or difference is more subtle in others. Issues of intersectionality are addressed—other identities, such as race, socioeconomic status, and concerns faced by those in the LGBTQ+ community are threaded throughout. The settings are varied; in one vignette the main character goes on a pilgrimage to Mecca while in another a character uses her coding skills to save her futuristic world from attacking invaders—but both struggle with debilitating anxiety. A particularly moving story by Francisco X. Stork features Alberto, a young Mexican immigrant who has been told he has an intellectual and developmental disability. His constant companion is Captain America, a voice who speaks to him in his head and doesn't necessarily have his best interests in mind. The collection of stories is eclectic—not every selection will appeal to every reader—but there is something for everyone in this volume.
VERDICT A great choice for all YA collections.

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