15 Authors Challenge Assumptions About Small-Town America
Now available wherever books are sold! Nasugraq has a short story entitled 'The Cabin' in this wonderful collection of rural authors. The story is about a young Inupiaq woman who encounters a mysterious being in the middle of the arctic wild.
Rural Voices: 15 Authors Challenge Assumptions About Small-Town America
Edited by Nora Shalaway Carpenter. 2020. 336pp. $18.99. HC. Candlewick Press. 9781536212105. Grades 6-12
“[I]gnorance doesn’t have a zip code,” explains Shae Carys in the contributor write-ups at the back of this story collection, a sentiment that perfectly captures the frustration felt by the fictional characters. Every story in this collection tackles life in small-town America and asks the reader to consider the multiplicity of factors that comprise the identities of the characters, whether they are bisexual and Catholic in a in a poverty-stricken region of Texas, a dreamer who aims to become the first Puerto Rican Rodeo Queen in Utah, or a young Black man lacking class privilege and unsure of how to make his dreams a reality. These stories peel off the layers of the characters through short prose pieces, poetry, and graphic novel panels. The stories span a range of tones, from funny, to heart-breaking, to one that readers will not want to experience alone at night. Fifteen award-winning authors contributed to this collection, including David Bowles, David Macinnis Gill, and Ashley Hope Peréz. The writers bring authentic voices to their work in addition to their biographies, shared at the back of the book. This collection will be a high-interest read for middle and high school students. The stories could also be used in the classroom to inspire a journaling assignment so that students can introspect on the layers of their own identity, or as jumping-off points to examine the power and privilege reflected in some works of classic literature. This book is a must-purchase for libraries serving middle and high school readers. Elizabeth Andersen, Librarian, Westbrook High School, Westbrook, Maine
**Reviews from School Library Connection July 2020**
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