Think you know what rural America is like? Discover a plurality of perspectives in this enlightening anthology of stories that turns preconceptions on their head.
Gracie sees a chance of fitting in at her South Carolina private school, until a “white trash”–themed Halloween party has her steering clear of the rich kids. Samuel’s Tejano family has both stood up to oppression and been a source of it, but now he’s ready to own his true sexual identity. A Puerto Rican teen in Utah discovers that being a rodeo queen means embracing her heritage, not shedding it. . . .
For most of America’s history, rural people and culture have been casually mocked, stereotyped, and, in general, deeply misunderstood. Now an array of short stories, poetry, graphic short stories, and personal essays, along with anecdotes from the authors’ real lives, dives deep into the complexity and diversity of rural America and the people who call it home. Fifteen extraordinary authors—diverse in ethnic background, sexual orientation, geographic location, and socioeconomic status—explore the challenges, beauty, and nuances of growing up in rural America. From a mountain town in New Mexico to the gorges of New York to the arctic tundra of Alaska, you’ll find yourself visiting parts of this country you might not know existed—and meet characters whose lives might be surprisingly similar to your own.
Nora Shalaway Carpenter
S. A. Cosby
David Macinnis Gill
Nasugraq Rainey Hopson
Yamile Saied Méndez
Ashley Hope Pérez
Nora Shalaway Carpenter is a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and is the author of the young adult novel The Edge of Anything and the picture book Yoga Frog. Previously, she worked as associate editor of Wonderful West Virginia magazine and has been a certified yoga teacher since 2012. Originally from West Virginia, Nora Shalaway Carpenter currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, three young children, and the world's most patient dog and cat.
The writers bring authentic voices to their work in addition to their biographies, shared at the back of the book. This collection will be a high-interest read for middle and high school students...This book is a must-purchase for libraries serving middle and high school readers.
—School Library Connection
The compilation successfully meets the challenge of serving as a cohesive whole while providing readers with enough variety of tone, pace, and voice to keep the reading experience interesting. A fresh and highly accessible contribution.
From laughing out loud to holding back tears, readers who enjoy emotionally resonant books will not be disappointed. Those from similar geographic areas will be nodding their heads while every reader, regardless of location, will connect to the universal triumphs and tribulations of teen life. Fans of Rainbow Rowell will dive headfirst into this collection. A great addition that explores an often misrepresented portion of readers.
—School Library Journal
With carefully curated precision spanning poetry, comic, and prose, this anthology turns the spotlight on young adults living in rural areas of the United States...Themes including self-discovery, expression, and self-acceptance thread throughout. While some entries may hold less appeal than others, the wide range of representation ensures that readers will find an authentic voice to their liking.
A generous handful of the tales offer particularly rich storytelling—S. A. Cosby’s story of a fraught encounter between a wealthy Black entrepreneur and his blue collar Black employee over a missing watch; Ashley Hope Pérez’s poem in which stealthy references to sexual abuse are tucked among verses extolling the beauty and camaraderie of rural life; and stories by Rob Costello and Nasugraq Rainey Hopson in which teens in the Catskills and in Alaska confront specters from respective local lore.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Rural Voices is a must-read for all of us who call the country home and those who don't but want a glimpse at the beautiful diversity of country life all the same.