Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

edited by Marieke Nijkamp
Grade 8-12


This anthology explores disability in fictional tales told from the viewpoint of disabled characters, written by disabled creators. With stories in various genres about first loves, friendship, war, travel, and more, Unbroken will offer today’s teen readers a glimpse into the lives of disabled people in the past, present, and future. The contributing authors are award winners, bestsellers, and newcomers. Each author identifies as disabled along a physical, mental, or neuro-diverse axis—and their characters reflect this diversity.

Discussion questions from SOMN

  • What was your favorite short story? Why?
  • Which character or characters did you most identify with, and why?
  • Power, privilege, and bias are just a few of the themes that are examined throughout the anthology. How do these themes show up? What were other themes you noticed?

Classroom activities from SOMN

  • Listen to this podcast from Disability Visibility featuring an interview with the editor of this anthology Marieke Nijkamp.
    • At the start of the podcast, interviewer and disability rights activist Alice Won says, “Diverse representation in literature is incredibly important for young adults in their formative years.” What do you think about this statement? There were many ways the anthology showcased diverse representation. Name ones that come to mind.
    • Nijkamp prefers to refer to herself as disabled rather than a person with a disability. What do you know about Person-First Language and Identity-First Language? As a class, research and discuss the history and current debate around each of these models.
  • Explore the author’s bios at the end of the book. Break into small groups, and have each group choose an author to further research.