By Luke Reynolds
Middle grades and younger grownup authors converse candidly at the unstated "rules" of early life during this selection of relocating, inspiring, and sometimes humorous essays. This certain quantity encourages readers to damage with conformity and defy age-old, and usually misguided, orthodoxy—including such conventions as Boys cannot be light, sort, or caring; One needs to put on Abercrombie & Fitch with a purpose to healthy in; Girls may still act like girls; and One needs to visit collage after completing excessive school. With contributions from acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning younger grownup authors—including Gary D. Schmidt, writer of The Wednesday Wars; Matthew quickly, writer of The Silver Linings Playbook; Sara Zarr, writer of Story of a Girl; and Wendy Mass, writer of A Mango-Shaped Space—this assortment encourages individuality via breaking commonly held norms, making it a terrific source for tweens and youths.
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Additional info for Break These Rules. 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself
No matter what world you aim to change, you can’t do it without your voice. And the rest of us loudmouths need you. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. —Helen Keller IT’S BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY MATTHEW QUICK I. Adults always told us to lock up our bikes whenever we went to the pizza shop or the 7-Eleven. ” they’d say. And when we went to a friend’s house, his parents would often ask where we left our bikes. ” they’d yell. I lived in a small suburban South Jersey town called Oaklyn and knew most of my neighbors well.
Don’t take risks. Herd up. Stay in your town, with the people you know, the people who are very much like you. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t trust people who are different. Don’t risk injury. Don’t live enough to become who you were meant to be, because it’s better to be a seed stored safely away for the future than to be alive and in bloom. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I used to think like this when I was a kid growing up in Oaklyn, New Jersey. But I have since learned that life is often messy, and that if you want to live an interesting and fulfilling existence, taking calculated risks—not rash, ridiculous chances, because there is a difference—is requirement number one.
Alone in my room I dreamt of a life of sacrifice and heroism. It was not until I was a teenager and we had moved to the United States that I became more and more aware of the stigma of being alone. To be alone was a deficiency, it indicated that something was lacking, it pointed toward something that needed to be remedied. For the first time I began to feel lonely. Even worse, being alone was the same as being rejected. I was alone not because I wanted to be alone but because no one wanted to be with me.
Break These Rules. 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself by Luke Reynolds