Rural Voices: 15 Authors Challenge Assumptions About Small-Town America

Ed. by Nora Shalaway Carpenter. Candlewick, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1210-5
With carefully curated precision spanning poetry, comic, and prose, this anthology turns the spotlight on young adults living in rural areas of the United States. Providing an impactful opening is Monica M. Roe’s “The (Unhealthy) Breakfast Club,” highlighting the unlikely friendship among four scholarship students from below the poverty line at an elite school in South Carolina. In his poetry series “A Border Kid Comes of Age,” David Bowles poignantly examines what it means to be Latinx and bisexual. Veeda Bybee’s “Fish and Fences” delves into a small town in Idaho where the protagonist, a child of Laotian refugees, is often mistaken for a member of the only other Asian family in town. And Tirzah Price’s “Best in Show” is a standout, offering a resonant look at a Michigan teenager who feels she must defend her passion for pig showing while struggling to act upon her queerness. Themes including self-discovery, expression, and self-acceptance thread throughout. While some entries may hold less appeal than others, the wide range of representation ensures that readers will find an authentic voice to their liking. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 10/15/2020
Release date: 10/13/2020
Genre: Children's
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