ISBN-10 : 1536212105
ISBN-13 : 978-1536212105
Publisher : Candlewick (October 13, 2020)
Language: : English
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. —Kirkus Reviews
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
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.
10 Things to Do on a Friday Night in a Small Town
When you grow up in a small town, sometimes you have to get creative when it comes to socializing outside of school hours. In Rural Voices, my short story, “Best in Show,” features two girls who decide to go on a date, but find their plans thwarted and are left to figure out a Plan B, then Plan C. Some of what happens to them is based on an actual first date I went on (I spared them my own experience of the farm truck I drove at the time breaking down on me and having to do a few fixes under the hood while my date sat in the cab), but some of their experiences are just incidental of small town living. Since I’ve lived my entire life in small towns, I thought I’d share some of the ways my friends and I amused ourselves when we were in high school.
Go to any school function/game
Look, to this day I still don’t know how football works, and my impression is that they spend more time stopping to rearrange themselves on the field than actually playing, but I spent a fair amount of time in the stands, just hanging out with friends and only occasionally checking the scoreboard. Similarly, I can’t say as I especially cared about any other school-sponsored event or dance, but any excuse to hang out somewhere, right?
Make friends with people who have finished basements
If you have a friend whose house is always open and whose parents don’t mind a hoard of loud teenagers invading their otherwise quiet houses on a Friday night, awesome. This is like hitting the jackpot, especially if said parents buy good snacks and it’s winter…which it is 6 months out of the year in Michigan.
Head to the 24-hour gas station
Have you ever really, truly spent time in a 24-hour gas station or similar establishment? If you have, you probably grew up in or live in a small town. Simply running to the gas station out by the highway and getting an extra large blue raspberry slushie and plundering the bulk candy bins made up for…a lot of Friday night excitement in my teen years. Plus, it had the added benefit of being fairly cheap!
Head to the movies
Luckily, I grew up in a rural community that had the only movie theater in our entire county. I feel like I cannot overstate how fortuitous this is! While everyone was complaining about the broken seats and the lack of cupholders and how there are only four screens (when all were working properly), I was like, “Yo, guys, we have a movie theater!” Of course, going to the movies was only an option if you were into any of the two-four movies playing at the time, two of which were always either an action movie or animated kids’ film, and you had to be able to afford a ticket. But at least we didn’t have to drive an hour to watch the Twilight premiere! (Oh wait, actually, we did...because our theater never played it.)
Hit up a late-night diner/fast food
People love to hate on McDonalds, but I don’t know anywhere else in my small town where a group of us could convene in a well-lit area, buy a snack or a drink for a couple of bucks, and then enjoy free Wifi while we chatted, hung out, or studied. If between the lot of us we had a little bit more cash on hand, we’d head to the only late-night diner in town and feast on fries, onion rings, pancakes, or chips and salsa. We always left a tip—it might have been in the form of our loose change, but we always arranged that change in fun patterns and designs!
Assemble in a random parking lot
Inevitably, when faced with a lack of options (or funds), we’d often sit in parking lots and try to figure out our next move. This became known as “parking lot decision time” which would usually morph into a hangout. It’s not all bad—you’re sitting in someone’s car, which is either warm in the winter or has AC in the summer, you have a car stereo system, you’re with friends. Things could be worse!
Drive to Ghost Road
I’m sure that each small community has some version of our Ghost Road—aka a supposedly haunted place that everyone must visit at some point or another. In our case, we’d drive north of town, turn off the main highway, and find a specific dirt road in the middle of two cornfields. That dirt road would eventually lead you to a tall, piney woods where you were supposed to park, turn off your lights and engine, put the keys on the hood of your car, then close your doors and windows and wait for the ghost to show up. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, it’s good for a laugh!
I was not born a prankster, but boredom certainly made me one. While I need to be careful not to incriminate myself here, I can say that much fun can be had with an industrial roll of Saran wrap, food coloring, and some extra time on your hands…
Get out into parks and nature
One perk to small town living is that we don’t lack in parks and nature to explore! Between hiking trails and scenic outlooks, there’s always something to explore. And sometimes it’s fun to hit up a playground in the late evening when all the families have left for the day and jump on the swings.
It may sound cheesy, but some of the most fun I ever had in high school was climbing onto a friend’s roof with a sleeping bag strapped to my back and settling in to watch the stars. Small town living means less light pollution, so you can be awed by the brilliance of the stars.
ABOUT TIRZAH PRICE – Photo Credit to Tab London