Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself

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Luke Reynolds
Chicago Review Press, 2013 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 208 pages
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If you're a girl, you should strive to look like the model on the cover of a magazine. If you're a boy, you should play sports and be good at them. If you're smart, you should immediately go to college after high school, and get a job that makes you rich. Above all, be normal.


Wrong, say 35 leading middle grade and young adult authors. Growing up is challenging enough; it doesn't have to be complicated by convoluted, outdated, or even cruel rules, both spoken and unspoken. Parents, peers, teachers, the media, and the rest of society sometimes have impossible expectations of teenagers. These restrictions can limit creativity, break spirits, and demand that teens sacrifice personality for popularity.

In these personal, funny, moving, and poignant essays, Kathryn Erskine (Mockingbird), Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook), Gary D. Schmidt (The Wednesday Wars), Sara Zarr (Story of a Girl), and many others share anecdotes and lessons learned from their own lives in order to show you that some rules just beg to be broken.

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BREAK THESE RULES: 35 YA Authors On Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Thirty-five essays encourage young readers to break the rules."Be tougher, be thinner, be smarter, be sexier, be funnier, be quieter, be louder, be better dressed, be more aware of what's cool, be ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Luke Reynolds has taught middle school and high school English in Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as composition at Northern Arizona University. He is the coeditor of Burned In and Dedicated to the People of Darfur and the author of A Call to Creativity, Keep Calm and Query On, and A New Man. His writing has appeared in the Arizona Daily Sun, the Hartford Courant, Mutuality magazine, the Sonora Review, Tucson Weekly, and the Writer. He lives in Boston.