Edited by Marieke Nijkamp
Genre and Themes Young Adult / Anthology / Disability / Illness / Mental Illness
Published September 18th 2018
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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There were so many moments in this book that made me feel seen. There were small but important moments like the relatability of Fox Benwell’s character being offered Advil by well-meaning people who just didn’t understand the nature of chronic pain. There were big and painful moments like when Kody Keplinger’s character struggled with feeling like a burden to those who wanted to help her. There were moments that were complicated and real like when Katherine Locke’s character grappled with whether or not she wanted her family to still expect things of her when she was having a hard time. Even when these characters had different disabilities from me, there was a sense of universal experience that connected me to each of their stories in such a meaningful way.
The intersectionality of this anthology also cannot be overstated. The diversity of the authors is reflected into each of these stories, not only in their disabilities, but also in their races, backgrounds, religions, sexualities, and genders. There are characters with mental disabilities, characters with physical disabilities, and characters with both. This entire book very clearly benefitted from having ownvoices authors telling the stories because every aspect was real and authentic to the diverse experiences of disabled readers.
This anthology also isn’t afraid to explore both genre and theme in every direction. There are historical, fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and contemporary stories side by side. Reading these stories, it felt like the authors were making up for years of disabled readers being pushed out of their own stories. From start to finish, Unbroken shouted that every genre can have a disabled hero. No single book can represent every disability and illness, but Unbroken told so many stories that have been underrepresented in young adult literature for years. I hope every young adult reader picks up this anthology and gives it a chance because I guarantee you will find a story that is for you.