I Am Not a Label: 34 Artists, Thinkers, Athletes, and Activists With Disabilities from Past and Present

Quarto/Wide Eyed Editions. Jul. 2020. 64p. Tr $23.99. ISBN 9780711247451.
Gr 3 Up–This anthology spotlights 34 notable individuals with a range of disabilities and backgrounds. Profiles include Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete and amputee, and Aaron Philip, a Black trans girl and model with cerebral palsy. Other public figures include Lady Gaga, Frida Kahlo, Stephen Hawking, and Lil Wayne. The text is straightforward and brief. Burnell focuses on the accomplishments of her subjects rather than strictly defining them by their ability differences. Readers who want to dive deeply into the lives of the highlighted people will need to seek out additional information. However, the accessibility of the prose offers an inviting introduction to these changemakers and their stories. Back matter features a glossary, an index, and a few suggested sources for additional reading. With intricately illustrated spreads by Baldo, this title is a good addition to other biographical anthologies like Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Vashti Harrison’s “Little Legends” and “Little Dreamers” series. There is an art-deco sensibility to many of the illustrations, which include a portrait of each individual rendered in bright colors and carefully embellished page designs.
VERDICT An inclusive and upbeat collection ideal for classrooms and libraries.

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