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Rule-breakers and rising stars

Joining Rookie Yearbook Two (“HORMONES SUCK. But being a young person doesn’t always”) are two recent teen-centric anthologies, each with a different focus but both with teen appeal.

reynolds_break these rulesBreak These Rules: 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself, edited by Luke Reynolds (Chicago Review Press, September 2013), includes short-story anecdotes from writers including A. S. King, Matthew Quick, Francisco X. Stork, Gary D. Schmidt, Sara Zarr, and Mitali Perkins. Each story’s title is a rule that was made to be broken: “Look like a Magazine Cover,” says Sayantani Dasgupta (as if!); “Be Normal,” implores Jennifer A. Nielsen (what is normal?); “Boys Don’t Cry,” sneers Chris Lynch (spoiler alert: he doesn’t really think that).

michael_starry eyedStarry Eyed: 16 Stories That Steal the Spotlight, edited by Ted Michael and Josh Pultz (RP/Teens, October 2013), is an arts-themed collection “For young performers and artists everywhere.” Sprinkled among short stories by authors including Claudia Gray, Tanya Lee Stone, Josh Berk (who’s also in Break These Rules), and Alex Flinn are “Anecdotes” by real-life Broadway, movie, and TV performers (Jesse Tyler Ferguson from Modern Family kicks things off). Clay Aiken wrote the book’s intro, and the tone is generally upbeat and encouraging: “If someone had asked me when I was a teenager if I ever dreamed of being where I am today, I would have told that person one thing: yes.”

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.

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