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

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Annotation: Think you know what rural America is like? Discover a plurality of perspectives in this enlightening anthology of stories that turns preconceptions on their head.
Catalog Number: #239195
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 300 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-536-21210-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8682-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-536-21210-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8682-9
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
A diverse selection of stories reflecting the different ways of life led by rural teens in the U.S.Despite stereotypes, the lives of teens in rural communities are varied. Editor and contributor Carpenter states her intention to present an alternative to the idea of rural America as a monolith, one that is frequently regarded with mockery and contempt. Featuring stories set in 12 states, the tales’ formats include verse, graphic novel, memoir, as well as prose. Locales range from the southern and western sections of the country to Alaska and upstate New York. The teen protagonists, like the contributors, come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and issues of class emerge in surprising ways. Some characters grapple with ideas about who they are in relation to their environments while others are clear about what they gain from their rural identities. The strength of the collection is how well it demonstrates the universality of themes such as belonging, family struggles, grief, the desire for individual growth, the meaning of home, and challenging injustice. At the same time, cultural specificity is highlighted and celebrated. The compilation successfully meets the challenge of serving as a cohesive whole while providing readers with enough variety of tone, pace, and voice to keep the reading experience interesting.A fresh and highly accessible contribution. (map, contributor biographies) (Anthology. 12-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-In this collection, 15 authors give a voice to rural America, which is often misunderstood. From upstate New York to the middle of Alaska, these stories span geographic as well as emotional landscapes. Although the obstacles and challenges faced in each tale vary, each voice feels authentic. From Sunny's deeply physical bond to achingly beautiful Taos, NM, to Jesse's struggle to accept himself in the face of his father's disappointment, readers will feel connected with each entry. The variety of formats, such as poetry and graphic stories, along with a variety of voices, helps keep the pages turning and interest high. From laughing out loud to holding back tears, readers who enjoy emotionally resonant books will not be disappointed. Those from similar geographic areas will be nodding their heads while every reader, regardless of location, will connect to the universal triumphs and tribulations of teen life. Fans of Rainbow Rowell will dive headfirst into this collection. VERDICT A great addition that explores an often misrepresented portion of readers. Carrie Finberg, South Park H.S., PA
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Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Lexile: 860L

Think you know what rural America is like? Discover a plurality of perspectives in this enlightening anthology of stories that turns preconceptions on their head.

Gracie sees a chance of fitting in at her South Carolina private school, until a “white trash”–themed Halloween party has her steering clear of the rich kids. Samuel’s Tejano family has both stood up to oppression and been a source of it, but now he’s ready to own his true sexual identity. A Puerto Rican teen in Utah discovers that being a rodeo queen means embracing her heritage, not shedding it. . . .

For most of America’s history, rural people and culture have been casually mocked, stereotyped, and, in general, deeply misunderstood. Now an array of short stories, poetry, graphic short stories, and personal essays, along with anecdotes from the authors’ real lives, dives deep into the complexity and diversity of rural America and the people who call it home. Fifteen extraordinary authors—diverse in ethnic background, sexual orientation, geographic location, and socioeconomic status—explore the challenges, beauty, and nuances of growing up in rural America. From a mountain town in New Mexico to the gorges of New York to the arctic tundra of Alaska, you’ll find yourself visiting parts of this country you might not know existed—and meet characters whose lives might be surprisingly similar to your own.

Featuring contributors:
David Bowles
Joseph Bruchac
Veeda Bybee
Nora Shalaway Carpenter
Shae Carys
S. A. Cosby
Rob Costello
Randy DuBurke
David Macinnis Gill
Nasugraq Rainey Hopson
Estelle Laure
Yamile Saied Méndez
Ashley Hope Pérez
Tirzah Price
Monica Roe

The (unhealthy) breakfast club / Monica Roe
The hole of Dark Kill Hollow / Rob Costello
A border kid comes of age / David Bowles
Fish and fences / Veeda Bybee
Close enough / Nora Shalaway Carpenter
Whiskey and champagne / S. A. Cosby
What home is / Ashley Hope Perez
Island Rodeo Queen / Yamile Saied Mendez
Grandpa / Randy DuBurke
/ Tirzah Price
Praise the Lord and pass the Little Debbies / David Macinnis Gill
The cabin / Nasugraq Raine Hopson
Black nail polish / Shae Carys
Secret menu / Veeda Bybee
Pull up a seat around the stove / Joseph Bruchac
Home waits / Estelle Laure.

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