Review: Challenge Accepted

Edited by Stephanie Barr

I’m not just an editor; I’m also an author who has an invisible disability, a dyslexia when typing that is so severe that the only way I could become a writer is if I had dictation software, because something is not wired right between my brain and my fingers. My mother had and one of my sons has very visible disabilities: my mother had an inability to walk and one of my sons has a messed up left arm. Neither of them let their unique challenges stop them.

So when I was offered the opportunity to read and comment on a short story anthology that highlighted disabled protagonists, I leapt at the chance. I think it’s exciting that our society is no longer ignoring those who have disabilities and beginning to celebrate them as the heroes they are. To me at least, anyone facing a disability with grace and courage deserves extra respect because they’re not only vanquishing the usual dragons we all have to slay; they also have to vanquish their own personal challenges before they even get to the dragons that we all must face.

Everyone is different. Certainly there are other people in the world who are more beautiful, or stronger, or cleverer than you or I am. So anyone reading this wonderful book should be able to identify with the characters… because every one of the characters in this book accepted the challenges they were handed. The one thing every disabled person I know is certain of—myself included—is that we are not our disability. We’re people. And people need to overcome whatever obstacles that are in their way.

So here’s to a fantastic collection of stories. (The chick in black on the cover is especially kickass!) Every one of these tales will inspire you, because they’re about people we can identify with and emulate. Theirs are different challenges than you face, perhaps, but they face them as the sort of people we can all hope to be. People who accept whatever challenges life throws at them… and win. RECOMMENDED

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