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Unbroken, an Anthology edited by Marieke Nijkamp - Review

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


I got this for my birthday last year from Lucinda, I think, and around my birthday this year I remembered it, so pulled it off the shelves. I started it weeks ago, and read about half, but then I got stuck on one story and put it down to read something else. However, I then decided to just skip that story and finish the book. I didn't gel with it, and that's fine. I'm not telling you which story it was, because it doesn't really matter - just because it wasn't for me doesn't mean you won't love it. That's the beauty of short story anthologies, really - there's such a mix and there's something for everyone.

So the premise of this anthology is that it is stories starring disabled teens. I think in most of the cases, the authors are disabled too. Many of the teens featured live at the intersection of another minority too, whether they are queer, or teens of colour, or are living in poverty or in other precarious situations. Lots of the stories are really good, it was only a couple that I didn't like and ended up skipping.

The stand out stories for me were one about a girl who is blind and who rides a tandem bike, one about a bipolar kid trying to keep it all together for her family, and one about a daughter of Mother Nature who stands up to her bullies by making it snow. Most of the stories are contemporary, but there's a few that are historical and one that is fantastical in nature. I felt like there was a good scope of disabilities represented, both physical and mental. I'm giving this three and a half out of five.

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