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Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  325 ratings  ·  135 reviews
It’s time to bare it all about bodies!

We all experience the world in a body, but we don’t usually take the time to explore what it really means to have and live within one. Just as every person has a unique personality, every person has a unique body, and every body tells its own story.

In Body Talk, thirty-seven writers, models, actors, musicians, and artists share essay
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Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published August 18th 2020 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  325 ratings  ·  135 reviews


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Emily May
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had my body really betrayed me? Or, by accepting the standards expected of me and by pushing my body so hard to surpass them, had I betrayed my body?

I really do love these books. Here We Are, Don't Call Me Crazy, and now Body Talk... I've loved each one of them with a fiery passion. I love the diverse array of voices represented; the way they are somehow light and funny, but also serious; the way they make me feel better, but also make me cry. I don't know it it's partly to do with the time
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jenny✨
Something that not a a lot of people know about me—that I don’t talk a lot about—is my lymphedema.

I have primary lymphedema in my right leg, which means that it’s perpetually swollen from built-up lymph fluid in my tissues. “Primary” refers to the fact that I inherited this condition (though neither of my parents nor any of my traceable family have lymphedema) and was born with unusually constricted lymphatic vessels atop my right leg. Primary lymphedema affects about 1 in 100,000 Americans, whi
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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Let me start by saying that this collection is absolutely incredible, important, and needed, and I hope to see it receive the attention it deserves because so many readers of all ages are going to see themselves in these essays when they may never feel like they've seen themselves reflected in any other book they've read. The collection tackles so many body-related topics, ranging from eating disorders to cancer to invisible disabilities to being overweight to body hair, and a ton more. I was ab ...more
Amy Imogene Reads
5 stars

A compelling must-read for kids, young adults, and adults! Body Talk is the kind of no-holds-barred, thoughtful compilation that I wish I had access to in school. It's time to demystify our bodies and break down the barriers of ignorance and taboo surrounding our bodies and our physical differences.

Concept: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★
Teachings/Knowledge: ★★★★★
Enjoyment: ★★★★

Why do we give our bodies such a hard time? Why do signs of physical difference or ability mark some of us as "Other?" At
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Caidyn (he/him/his)
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!

Like many people, I have a contentious relationship with my body. While I'm appreciative of it and all that it does to keep me going from day to day, I still don't quite love it. I've been raised in a binary world and I broke those binaries or what people think it should work. I'm trans (albeit binary trans) and I went away from what I was born as. As a teenager, I had bad dysphoria. I really struggled with my body image. As I
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Merricat
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The portion covering disability in this book makes it a crucial stand out addition to YA literature. This is really very well done. I'll be handing this to anyone who makes eye contact with me from now on. ...more
Melissa
When I heard about this book on a Book Riot podcast, I wanted to read it right away. It sounded so interesting!! It was. And it was eye-opening too.

One phrase that stayed with me is "You don't look sick". Like you absolutely need to have a cast, a wheelchair or something to be sick. My mom has fibromyalgia, and each time she wants to go to a store, we have to stop at the door so she can climb out of the car and go get what she needs. She needs to walk as little as possible to limit her pain.

The
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Kaethe Douglas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nursebookie
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely enjoyed this anthology and I am so happy to get on this blog tour and had the opportunity to read and enjoy this book as an early reviewer.

As a nurse and a mother, I really thought that this book had it all and more. The collection was so thoughtfully put together and I really admire the stories included by the thirty seven models, actors, musicians and artists as they share their most intimate experiences about their body.

The broad perspectives represented really covered the topi
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Natalie
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

This is a fantastic book for children giving a voice to 37 different people to tell their story about their body and experiences they have experienced and come up against.
From physical differences to unseen differences, this book helps the reader understand that every person and body is unique and beautiful and being different isn't bad. This book helps teach children about d
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Anniek
This non-fiction anthology is a definite must read. It will make you feel seen, it will make you become more understanding and empathetic, it will teach you many things you won't be taught anywhere else.

So many different topics were discussed in this book, and they were all equally important. Disability, body image, being trans, just so many different topics. I found this book really inclusive, really educational and really validating.
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Sara (A Gingerly Review)
I don’t talk about this a lot because I carry a lot of shame with it but I have a very negative relationship with my body. I battle PTSD daily, which lead to an eating disorder, anorexia, body dysmorphia, and AFRID. I wish I had a book like this years ago as I feel it would have made a huge difference. I am grateful it is out now because I hope it helps others. I talk about my battles so much more because admitting means I don’t give it full control over me. Plus, talking about it means I put my ...more
Francis
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: came-soon-18-20
All I want in life is my favorite YA authors giving me the sex talk.
Jennifer
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an eARC in exchange for a honest review!

BODY TALK is 37 own voices short stories from all types of different human beings with all kind of different body types. This short story collection explores the body in a whole new way; with which struggles people can have with their bodies. Heartbreaking moments when it feels like your body has betrayed you, but also hopeful stories about what a body can do.

How the things we so easily label as blemishe
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Eli Claire
Aug 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This collection of essays about bodies - disabled, fat, hairy, queer, broken, tattooed, and otherwise - was a quick, interesting read from a lot of unique voices. There were essays about scoliosis (actually, three of them - I was surprised about that), dwarfism, tattoos, EDS, queerness, facial scarring, pronouns, Deafness, Black hair, cancer, and so much more. There was a bit too much “believe in yourself” advice, because seriously, that’s easier said than done, but I appreciated the variety of ...more
Casey the Reader
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, lgbtq, nonfiction, ya
Thanks to Algonquin Books for the free advance copy of this book.

BODY TALK is a collection of works from 37 authors, celebrities, illustrators and more exploring all the many ways to have and to live in a body.

At first glance, BODY TALK may appear to be another book for tweens and teens talking about how their bodies are changing. And there's some of that, but wow, it is so much more. This book is a place where everyone gets to show what it's like inside their body. Fat bodies, disabled bodies
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Sara (lyrical.reads)
Rating: 4.25 🌟

Content Warnings: (all challenged) ableism, transphobia, racism, sexism, fatphobia, aphobia, chronic pain

*Note: I received an e-ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The anthology is divided into six sections: HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES, AND TOES, ON THE SURFACE, COSMIC FORMS, BELOW THE BELT, THINGS YOU CANNOT SEE, and OUR WHOLE SELVES. I really loved the FAQs that were included, especially some of the topics like the terminology to use for disabled peopl
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Sophie
I am so incredibly lucky to have read this book, which features many stories by various authors about their own experiences about their body, and this was just, inspiring. I think this is a book everybody should read because the stories in themselves are important, but it is so much body positivity and I feel everyone needs that in their life. Heck, it made me figure things about my own body and I am grateful for that.

I’m not gonna lie, at some points I had tears in my eyes (and sometimes all ov
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Kate A
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
Isn’t it funny when you end up reading a book at the exact point that you need it? I have never really accepted myself, always wishing that I could change certain features and hoping that one day I would look more like what I was shown an attractive female should look like. It has taken me a long time to accept that such ideals have in fact been sold to me by an industry that needs my investment, I was never going to fit into that mould but I can actually be happy with that realisation.

This is w
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Laura I.
This YA nonfiction anthology, which addresses a whole range of topics related to bodies, including chronic illness, disability, puberty and self-esteem, is so fantastic and important. There are issues/conditions discussed here that I don’t think I’ve ever seen mentioned in YA (like PCOS), or that I’ve never seen an own voices portrayal of in YA (like facial differences). It’s well-written, engaging, moving, and edifying. It also doesn’t shy away from presenting conflicting points of view, like f ...more
Mehsi
I received this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

A gorgeous book that I am delighted to have the pleasure to read. It features short stories about mental health, weight, muscles, scoliosis, braces, cancer, puberty, LGBT, and many more. All are honest and beautiful. These are the kind of stories I always tend to read first when I see them in magazines. I just love stories about people's lives, about something they experienced, well you get the idea. Some stories made me cry
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Lexi (Reads and Riesling)
Thank you so much to Algonquin YR for including me on the Blog Tour for Body Talk edited by Kelly Jensen!

I remember, when I was about 12 or 13, watching Tyra Banks look into the camera and say “Kiss my fat ass” while wearing a swimsuit she had been vilified in the press for wearing while on the beach. I don’t think I had yet allowed negative body talk to seep into my brain at that point, but I knew that was a significant moment. She effectively gave the middle finger to everyone and anyone who d
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Alex (My Bookish World)
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, nonfiction
** Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an E-ARC. All opinions are my own. **
I've read Kelly Jensen's other books: Here We Are and (Don't) Call me Crazy so when I saw this one was coming out, I was really excited. This book has so much rep including fat rep, LGBTQ+ rep, disability rep, chronic illness rep, and hard of hearing rep. All of it is own voices. A lot of the subjects discussed in this book are concerned taboo in society, but this book I think will be breaking
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Kristina Lenarczyk
This novel is a wonderful collection of positive, inspiring stories from a very diverse group of people and allowed me to solidify my appreciation for myself. These stories were real and honest and gave readers a deeper understanding of these contributors and the vulnerability it took to write these stories.

Our bodies are wonderful things capable of greatness, and this collection explores all aspects of that. I am glad to have read this and proud to have been included in this tour.

Check out my
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Kajree Gautom
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is so positive and optimistic and full of great accounts from real life experiences. I learned a lot and enjoyed it throughout!! It's too good and too important!! ...more
N
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't get to finish this before it expired, but I read about half of it and loved everything I had read so far. This book is inclusive, informative, and entertaining. Publishers, we need more books with this type of representation! ...more
amelia ✨
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, netgalley
"Breaking the stigma around the "but you don't look sick" mentality starts and ends with you. So even though I "don't look sick," I am, because it's so much more than loos. Disabilities and chronic illnesses are not, nor have they ever been, a one-size-fits-all style.

I absolutely adore this anthology. It features a mix of stories, comics, art, and informational guides. I absolutely loved the art and comics. These stories cover a wide range of people, disabilities, and illnesses: from PCOS, to
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Jodie "Bookish"  Cook
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alicia
First, let's talk visuals. The visual appeal is stunning because it offers a critical first step which is pulling it off the shelf and reading it because people will want to read it. Some might hesitate because of the topic but damn, this does it so, so well. The range of experiences, storytelling prowess, focus, banter lends itself to a readability like no other. Then, Jensen interjects the quick and dirty facts about something to break up the personal narratives AND THEN on top of that are vis ...more
Bridgette
Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for giving a copy for review purposes.

I really, really, really enjoyed this. There isn't a single bad essay in the book. This is all about bodies--how we live in them, how we view them, how society views them, how to may dislike them, and how we learn to love them. This is not simply about the difference in the physicals sizes of bodies--fat, thin--but on all the ways bodies can be and how different identities how also affect we view our bodies and how the
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Kelly Jensen is a former teen librarian who worked in several public libraries before pursuing a full-time career in writing and editing. Her current position is with Book Riot, the largest independent book website in North America, where she focuses on talking about young adult literature in all of its manifestations. Before becoming a fully-fledged adult-like person, she worked in the swanky Tex ...more

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108 likes · 10 comments
“Sometimes I wish I could tell my younger self that. That it didn't matter. That the body I had then carried me up hills at Cross Country meets and through the water during the painful last lap at a swim meet, and that it should be celebrated instead of being picked away at and filled with hunger pangs.
I should have gotten both the popcorn and the box of candy at the movies that night, instead of slipping away at a Diet Coke from the concession stand.”
0 likes
“In a poem my best friend wrote in high school, she called the discolored line down my back the point where an "angel's wings threaten to burst through." I think about that a lot. How the things we so easily label as blemishes or shame inducing or worthy of hiding turn into something beautiful when looked at through the lens of the people who love us. The most important thing I've learned from this entire experience is that all those things we sometimes don't like about ourselves truly can be seen as beautiful or unique or strong or wonderful if we love ourselves enough when I look at them” 0 likes
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