Break These Rules : 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself
Booklist Reviews 2013 October #2
Thirty-five writers use the 20/20 hindsight of their adult perches to look back and give back. Weaving together this caring anthology is the message to teens to pump up the volume on their inner voice and to consider writing as a vehicle to traverse adolescence. While each contribution is deeply heartfelt, the shining stars of the collection are those that elegantly guide the reader with authentic, personal specifics on journeys that are genuinely transformative. Matthew Quick shares the experience of attending a wedding in Namibia with his wife, Alicia Besette; Luke Reynolds and his brother Chris run the London Marathon; and Lynda Mullaly Hunt's extraordinary big brother Ricky introduces someone who could shape readers' future relationships with friends and family. The contributors' biographies reveal more personal insights along with professional accomplishments, and teens might well use the biographies as references to read more from a favorite new author. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
PW Reviews 2013 July #5
From "Never Talk About Religion" (Sara Zarr) to "Boys Don't Cry" (Chris Lynch), 35 writers contribute essays titled by "rules" for teens to break or ignore. Editor Reynolds proves he's not above rule breaking, too: despite the subtitle, several contributors (Rob Buyea, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and Mike Jung, among others) are technically middle-grade authors. Much of the advice—from rejecting conventional standards of beauty to not worrying about fitting in—may be familiar to many readers, though that doesn't make it any less sound. In the strongest entries, the writers use examples of their own past struggles to subtly drive home their messages. Matthew Quick is honest about the nervousness, and rewards, that come with leaving one's comfort zone; Gary D. Schmidt describes a moment of betrayal and awakening in a church youth group; Margo Rabb hilariously imagines Georgia O'Keeffe as a guest on What Not to Wear ("Go to hell," the artist tells the hosts, before hopping on a motorcycle to New Mexico, "where she can wear whatever she likes"). Thanhha Lai perhaps puts it best: "There is no rule to follow; there is no rule to break. You follow and break rules just by the act of living." Proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the Children's Defense Fund. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC