Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy

Algonquin. Aug. 2020. 256p. pap. $16.95. ISBN 9781616209674.
Gr 7 Up–Jensen has collected personal narratives for a remarkable anthology that tackles various aspects of anatomy. Authors, athletes, celebrities, and other public figures share their experiences of negative self-image and how they came to terms with these feelings. Topics include visible “issues” (being overweight, having noticeable chin hairs, having scoliosis) and invisible ones (dealing with partial blindness, being Deaf, or having Crohn’s disease). These individuals are not afraid to share what they have gone through and how they achieved self-acceptance. As with her previous anthologies, Jensen expertly organizes these stories into chapters on a common theme. The experiences are relayed with equal parts honesty and knowledge. Throughout the book, readers can find “Body Talk FAQs” that fit the section in which they are located. The further reading guide contains nonfiction titles and fictional works where characters contend with those topics. Teens may not find a touchstone in every story but are likely to have experienced insecurity about one or more of the subjects.
VERDICT A must-have anthology collection on an evergreen topic.

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