Fresh Ink: An Anthology

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Fresh Ink: An Anthology

All it takes to rewrite the rules is a little fresh ink in this remarkable YA collection from thirteen of the most recognizable diverse authors writing today including Nicola Yoon, Jason Reynolds, Melissa de la Cruz, and many more, and published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books. "This awesome anthology came together with the fantastic organization We Need Diverse Books, and...combines an all-star cast of talent." --Paste Magazine Careful--you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written--whose next chapters are up to you. Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared. Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print. This collection addresses topics like gentrification, acceptance, untimely death, coming out, and poverty and ranges in genre from contemporary realistic fiction to adventure and romance. It will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink. AUTHORS INCLUDE: Schuyler Bailar, Melissa de la Cruz, Sara Farizan, Sharon G. Flake, Eric Gansworth, Malindo Lo, Walter Dean Myers, Daniel José Older, Thien Pham, Jason Reynolds, Aminah Mae Safi, Gene Luen Yang, Nicola Yoon

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A solid hit
Overall rating 
 
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Anthologies have such a special place in my heart. The art of the short story is undervalued and it’s just really cool to see a bunch of authors you like sharing space inside the pages of a book. As one of two anthologies put together thus far by We Need Diverse Books, it’s full of #ownvoices stories spanning multiple genres and it might just be my favorite anthology yet.

The unquestionable stand-out is Nicola Yoon’s short story, which is also the last one in the book. A black superhero decides he’s going to destroy the world unless someone convinces him otherwise, so his first rescue–a black girl his age–is chosen and sent in to talk him down. The superpowers don’t make the story feel any less real; the pain in its pages will hit you like a bullet. It’s about disillusionment and how black kids are supposed to have hope for a world that treats them so cruelly.

Sure, I disliked both of Yoon’s novels so far, but this story right here? This story RIGHT HERE? I want to buy a second copy of Fresh Ink, rip the pages holding Yoon’s story out of the book, and pin them to my wall. It got me that good.

That’s not to say her story is the only good one either. As you might expect from such kidlit legends, Gene Luen Yang’s and Walter Dean Myers’ contributions are strong entries as well. The former’s comic sees a few D&D-playing teens wander over to a party; Myers’ posthumous publication is a one-act play starring four ghostly boys who are literally kept alive by graffiti memorializing them. If they can’t replace their tags quickly enough or all of it is erased, they’ll disappear.

And two more excellent stories: Schuyler Bailar’s semi-autobiographical tale of a trans boy showing up transphobia in his first practice with the cis boys and Melissa de la Cruz’s small sequel to her YA novel Something in Between. Naturally, if you haven’t read that novel, her story is gonna spoil some things for you.

Some of the stories left me whelmed, but none of them were bad to any degree. So yeah, it has my worthless seal of approval! If you see this book somewhere, GET IIIIIIT. Too much money for you when it’s at full price? Keep an eye on it to see if it goes on sale for cheap, at which time you should

GET

THIS

BOOK.
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