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Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  905 ratings  ·  283 reviews
This anthology explores disability in fictional tales told from the viewpoint of disabled characters, written by disabled creators. With stories in various genres about first loves, friendship, war, travel, and more, Unbroken will offer today's teen readers a glimpse into the lives of disabled people in the past, present, and future.

The contributing authors are awardwinner
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Amanda Lane While this book does not have a vocal disability represented, I still strongly recommend it if you haven't read it already. The cast of characters and…moreWhile this book does not have a vocal disability represented, I still strongly recommend it if you haven't read it already. The cast of characters and their disabilities are extremely diverse. If you are looking for a story with a character with a vocal disability specifically, I recommend looking at The Good Knight by Garth Nix found in the anthology Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. (less)

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May 17, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
I've got a story in this one! In the ARC it's called "One, Two, Three" but in the final edition it'll be titled "A Curse, A Kindness."

It's my first queer autistic character, and probably the fluffiest YA story/novel I've written to date.

I am absurdly excited about this anthology. <3
Elle (ellexamines)
May 15, 2017 marked it as zzzzz-did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, I think I may have stopped being a short story anthology fan immediately after requesting this as an arc? So I have to put this on hold. However, this has been good so far, as you’ll hopefully be able to tell from my first few ratings and reviews <3

I’ve marked all the stories that I know are #ownvoices for the specific disability, but what first drew me to this collection is its authorship: it is entirely by authors identifying as disabled on a physical, mental, or neurodiverse ax
Tyler J Gray
My initial "review" before reading it:

I only read the dedication and i'm already crying. It says

"To every disabled reader, dreamer, storyteller-
We can be heroes.
This one's for us."

I have been disabled my entire life, born with vacterl association (and then some) I'm a medical nightmare. vacterl is rare so i'm not expecting to see it in a book but even with that difference, many disabled people end up facing the same stigmas, ableism and feelings from it all.

I am so glad something like this fin
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
This anthology about disabled teens written by disabled authors was such a GEM.
I need all of you to read this immediately, especially with the derth of disability rep in YA fiction.

- Has 13 stories about disabled teens, ranging from physical disabilities, autism to mental illness.
- The stories are a range of genres as well - there's a really awesome futuristic science-fiction story, a story with paranormal activity, a few contemporary romances, and some historical fiction as well.
- The intersec
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-2
This is so awesome, because the library just bought like six books I had requested forever ago! I am so excited to get to read this wonderful collection! With all the great attention being brought to the importance of hearing from different voices in literature, it’s especially great to see a book featuring short stories about teens who have disabilities, and these were varied and really cool.

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
It's so difficult to rate anthologies, which is why I've rated every story separately. This was definitely worth the read, and I especially loved the insights into what it's like to deal with any kind of disability.

Heidi Heilig - The Long Road (3/5)
This first story has a lovely message, but I did feel like it could have been longer or at least a bit more substantial, because it didn't really have much of a plot. However, I did love the setting and the atmosphere.

Kody Keplinger - Britt and the B
Lilly (Lair Of Books)
*ARC received from Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Full Review may also be viewed on LAIR OF BOOKS

This Anthology holds such a special place in my heart, I found myself taking my time with each story many of which moved me or empowered me. Many left me in tears while others left me with hope. These stories are filled with strong characters who really just want to be seen and heard for the person they are rather than their disabilities be it it physical or mental or both. I am on my own
La Coccinelle
I haven't read a lot of fiction that features disabled protagonists. So, when I saw this one at the library (and recognized some of the authors' names), I thought I'd give it a try.

Here are my thoughts on the individual stories:

"The Long Road" by Heidi Heilig

The road stretches before me and behind. It is littered with camel dung and pomegranate rinds, wet tea leaves and boiled stew bones. Along it, travelers come and go, west to east and east to west, following the arc of the sun.

I found this st
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful cover, and beautiful stories!

While all the authors are disabled, I’m not 100% sure their characters follow the exact disability. Either way, I love the intersections of the characters and the vast range of writing styles.

A more comprehensive review with opening lines will follow. While I’m giving each individual story a rating for my own notes, this whole book was a solid four from me and I highly recommend the anthology! Quick representation notes: (many of the disabilities are not
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Overall: 3🌟
I love the idea behind this anthology: own voices short stories about disabled teens! I want to give it all the stars. Unfortunately, it was a bit scattered, some of the stories felt pointless, and the genre hopping from story to story was disconcerting. There were a few gems in the anthology, though! Here are my individual story ratings and thoughts.
The Long Road by Heidi Heilig: 2🌟
There’s a hint of something interesting in this story? But even for a short story it felt really abrup
could have been so much better for a lot of these stories, but I liked the second part more than the first part (3.2)
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: came-soon-18-20
Full review:

Necessary and fierce and full of something for everyone, Unbroken is essential and enjoyable. If you’re a YA fan, you’ll most likely know an author who contributed, and if not, you’ll be introduced to a slew of talented people. Rating: 5/5

Favorite quotes:
- “You’re brave,” Lorna said. “I’m not,” I assured her, trying not to bristle. I hate being called brave. It’s almost as bad as inspiring.”
- “The word pain does too much work, you know? It’s l
Greyson | Use Your Words
Trigger Warnings: A lot of stigma surrounding mental illness and disabilities.
Representation: There is so much!!! So I’ve tried to break it down into categories. Question marks means it was coded rep/what I could guess they were hinting at, not explicitly said but what I perceived as implied.
POC: Biracial, Chinese, Persian, Latinx, Mexican, Cuban, African American, Native American (Cherokee/Tsalagi), Hijabi
Religion: Muslim
Mental Illness: Bipolar?, Bipolar II, Anxiety, Schizophrenia? Dementia?
Trigger warnings: ableism, violence, mental health.

I was really excited to read this collection because, like, it's an Own Voices collection of short stories, all featuring disabilities. So...YES PLEASE. Add in intersectionality and a wide variety of disabilities and my excitement was through the roof.

And I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. Usually with short story collections, there are at least a couple of stories that I don't enjoy at all. But in this collection, I liked all the stories (I
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018, library
✰✰ 3.5 stars ✰✰

A great range of stories in here, some better than others. I loved the diverse range of disabilities in this anthology, especially ones that I believe are underrepresented in YA (e.g. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Learning Disabilities).

As someone with a disability themselves, I really resonated with some of the characters' struggles, especially in terms of cerebral palsy and anxiety as I live with these conditions myself. Please keep stories like this co
bella farren
dnf'd @ 50%

Okay, let me explain. I had been expecting to adore this book, which is an anthology full of teenagers with different disabilities/mental health issues/chronic illnesses etc. As a person who has chronic illnesses that were diagnosed in my teens, I thought this would be an instant five stars.

And if I had read this book in my teens (when I had been desperate for chronic illnesses and disability literature in YA) I probably would have. My dnf of this book was caused by two main issues—

Actual rating: 3.15 stars

This anthology was not bad, but it was not good either. I was mostly bored and I was keenly aware I am not the target audience as I am no longer a teen.
I like the intersectionality of the stories, there are many disabled characters of colors and queer disabled characters. The genres of these stories vary from contemporary to paranormal horror to historical to fantasy to sci-fi.

It might be a good fit for many readers, but unfortunately the anthology did not work for me.

THE LONG ROAD by Heidi Heilig
-So that one is almost too personal to talk about, I resonated a lot with many aspects of this. Just highly highly effective moments, when someone says “diagnosis” and you realize they are like you, when someone tells you there is no cure and you realize what the rest of your life looks like. Once I figured out what was going on this story had me by the throat. MC is bipolar.

BRITT AND THE BIKE GOD by Kody Keplinger
-Well that was adorable. I am so far from being a bi

The average of all the short stories combined is 3,92, but I’m still debating giving it 5 stars just because we need more of these books. I laughed and cried and felt all the stories and all the tiny recognisable things that we disabled/chronically ill people have in common. There was a lot of recognition for me but that it’s simply because about everything in my body is malfunctioning. I too worry about muddy sand combined with my electric wheelchair and muscle weakness and am afraid to eat in
Nov 01, 2018 added it
Shelves: dnfed
I was happy to have a book where people with disabilities were represented. I have to be honest here and say I usually don't lile short stories books, even more so when they are written by different authors, because I usually love some and the rest are meh. But being a book of disabled teens... I had to read it.
Had, because I stopped after the 2nd story. I am not saying the book isn't good, just ir's not for me. The first story made no sense. They want to hide her because she has mental struggle
4 stars

On the whole, I really enjoyed this anthology! It features 13 stories that span different genres, themes, and ideas, but all follow disabled characters. These characters, likewise, span different races, genders, sexualities. I really loved the range encompassed by the stories in these books, the genres spanning from sci-fi to fantasy to contemporary to romance, each story making for a very compelling piece that also fit really well into the collection as a whole. My favorite stories were
Feb 04, 2018 marked it as to-read
Holy shit holy shit holy shit, a book of MULTIPLE STORIES about DISABLED TEENS?????? I'm literally sitting in the library rn crying of disbelief & happiness, I cannot WAIT for this!!!!!!! ...more
Katherine Locke
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-wrote-this
I mean. I wrote a story in this (Per Aspera Ad Astra). But I also really love this anthology and I'm really proud of the work each of us put into it.

(I don't remember what day I finished reading, so I'm just putting as today)
With a range of genres as well as mental and physical differences represented, this anthology has a lot of great offerings.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book. This book. THIS BOOK. FINALLY. I have never read so many short stories where I felt like someone understood.

(Real review coming soon, posted on the MCPL website)

EDIT: Link to post I wrote for MCPL: https://montgomerycountymd.libguides....
Sep 05, 2018 marked it as to-read
13 stories starring disabled characters, all written by #OwnVoices disabled authors??? Give that to me right now.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“This company is made of grit and steel. A thousand stories, told and still unfolding.”
- A Play in Many Parts, Fox Benwell

Unbroken is easily the best short story anthology I have come across. These thirteen stories are exquisite in not just their #ownvoices representation of disabilities but their intersectionality with race, sexuality and gender as well. With a broad range of disabilities, these characters lead us on a variety of journeys - into the woods to abandoned carnivals, on religious pi
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To see a full review check it out here.

YES! Just so much yes.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, anthology
As a disabled person myself I was really excited about this anthology and the representation in it that is long overdue. Sadly overall I felt very meh about the stories, but I'm so glad this anthology exists.

1. The Long Road by Heidi Heilig - 3 stars
Ok overall - a lot of setup and but not much occurred

2. Britt and the Bike God by Kody Keplinger - 4 stars
Cute!! - If you like Kody's other work (like The DUFF), you'll enjoy this story.

3. The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley - 3 stars

4. P
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is without a doubt the most disappointing read for me in 2018 and I'm upset to say that.

As a disabled person I was really looking forward to this since there's not much media I can consume that is relatabe to me in that sense so I thought this would be the answer but I was let down. I appreciate this for what it is because disabled characters are SO needed but for me this was a miss.

I wasn't a fan of most of the genres these stories were written in (paranormal? futuristic? science fiction?)
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Marieke Nijkamp a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek.


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Articles featuring this book

Caroline Tung Richmond is an award-winning YA author and the program director of We Need Diverse Books. Run by authors, librarians,...
97 likes · 15 comments
“Dad would call it my Sisyphus toll. Push a boulder up a hill, pretending it’s okay, and come nightfall it - and I - come crashing down. But he forgets the view each time I make it to the top.” 4 likes
“It’d be easy to get lost here, in the spaces where I feel like a ghost. A spirit who couldn’t touch, or be touched. It’d be easy, so easy, to drown. But I keep swimming back towards the shore.” 3 likes
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