21 Proms

( 6 )


Prom night.
The stress. The dress.
The hype. The anticipation.

Nothing ever goes the way it's planned.

Whether it's the girl whose date turns out to be more of a frog than a prince. Or the guy who wants to get up the courage to say "I love you"...to his best friend's date. Or the girl who decides to plan a backwards prom--a morp--to protest ...

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Prom night.
The stress. The dress.
The hype. The anticipation.

Nothing ever goes the way it's planned.

Whether it's the girl whose date turns out to be more of a frog than a prince. Or the guy who wants to get up the courage to say "I love you"...to his best friend's date. Or the girl who decides to plan a backwards prom--a morp--to protest the silliness of a regular prom. Or the girl who wants a picture-perfect movielife prom...no matter what.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kimberly Paone
The twenty-one prom-related stories in this collection range from sweet—Adrienne Maria Vrettos's Mom Called, She Says You Have to Go to Prom—to downright raunchy—Holly Black's In Vodka Veritas-and pretty much everything in between. There are good, bad, nonexistent, multiple, primate, and same-sex prom dates. There is sex, drugs, drinking, dancing, magic, and love. In some stories, parents play a major role; in others, they are safely vacationing in a faraway location. In John Green's tale, The Great American Morp, there's no prom at all. There is a little bit of something for every reader. Not being a huge fan of short story collections and having spent her own prom night cleaning her room, this reviewer set off to read this collection with some trepidation before being very pleasantly surprised. It is a book that should not be relegated to the stack of fluffy reads. Although plenty of humor can be found in many of the stories, there is not a lack of substance and more serious tales are cleverly placed to balance the collection. Teens who have experienced prom can compare their stories with those found here, and teens waiting for their turn will be able to live vicariously through the many interesting characters they will meet within these pages. Certainly this book will fly off the shelves, and multiple copies may be necessary.
KLIATT - Amanda MacGregor
Don't pick up this anthology expecting to be regaled with princess-at-the-ball prom stories. Sure, you might read a little about searching for the perfect dress, or lusting after the unattainable prom date. But this collection, containing stories by some of the very best contemporary YA authors around, generally approaches proms with a cynical, outsider's eye. These are the stories of kids forced to go to the prom—forced by their parents, their friends, or by unwritten social codes—and of kids who feel that not going to the prom is making a statement. Many of the characters view prom as a cliched and generally unfulfilling rite of passage that you should want to attend to create some meaningful high school memory. A lot of them genuinely don't care about prom, while some do, and some are too cool to admit they care. The collection is well rounded, with a third of the tales written by male authors. Stories are told from the perspectives of both teen boys and girls, and one is even told by a father who is looking back at his own prom. Characters are everything from dateless and desperate, to happy to go stag, to unexpectedly escorted by three dates. Noteworthy stories include John Green's "The Great American Morp," in which Maggie and Carly decide to hold an un-prom, or "morp" (prom spelled backwards), where they can just have a fun, laid-back party with people they like. They hire a punk band, encourage their guests to wear crazy costumes, and the morp proves to be a resounding success. The stories are witty, edgy, and unpredictable. 21 Proms is a definite must for all libraries and has something for every reader.
School Library Journal

Gr 9 & Up - In a collaboration that brings together an impressive array of 21 authors, Levithan and Ehrenhaft have produced a collection worthy of exploration. Ranging from sad to funny to truly disastrous, these memorable stories mark that oh-so-important right of passage for many teenagers. Starting with dress-hating, heel-hating, bra-hating Emilie in Elizabeth Craft's "You Are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance"; moving on to Daniel Ehrenhaft's "Better Be Good to Me," in which aging Zack remembers his prom and being in love with his best friend's girlfriend; and ending with rebel chicks Maggie and Carly, who throw the ultimate anti-prom party in John Green's "The Great American Morp," readers are drawn into a wide cross section of prom nights from both male and female perspectives. A celebration of all that is good, bad, and sometimes unforgettable about these events, this fast-paced but carefully strung anthology speaks of pink dresses, tuxedos, first kisses, unrequited love, and the thrill of taking love to its ultimate climax. Clever writing featuring many unexpected twists and turns, as well as a stunning display of each writer's razor-sharp wit, makes this an enjoyable read. Older teens will flock to this book, which undoubtedly features some of the best teen fiction writers of our era.-Caryl Soriano, New York Public Library

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Suzie Davis
For many, senior prom is a rite of passage and a pleasurable experience—feeling like a princess in a beautiful dress or a prince in a fancy tuxedo, riding in a limo, your favorite music playing throughout the night, dancing with your date and friends, photos to commemorate the event…but for some it is a dreaded or disappointing societal ritual that can make one feel left out, unpopular, and sad. 21 Proms describes 21 different fictional prom experiences written by some very notable authors such as John Green, David Levithan, Jacqueline Woodson, and Melissa de la Cruz. They range from the truly romantic and typical prom to the wildly bizarre prom experiences, and everything in between. Several stories deal with adult subject matter (sex, drugs, alcohol) and contain strong language meant for older teen readers. All of the authors have donated their portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book to Advocates for Youth. This organization works in the United States and developing countries with the sole purpose of helping adolescents make safe and responsible choices about sex. Reviewer: Suzie Davis; Ages 15 up.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439890298
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2007
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Levithan
David Levithan
David Levithan has said that with Boy Meets Boy, he "set out to write the book that I dreamed of getting as an editor -- a book about gay teens that doesn't conform to the old norms about gay teens in literature." According to the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program -- and his rabid readers of all ages -- he's succeeded.

Good To Know

In our interview with Levithan, he shared some fun factoids with us:

"This book started out as a Valentine story I sent to friends; I've done that for the past 15 years, and this one happened to turn into a novel."

"Since January 1, 2001, I've taken a photograph every day, part of a New Year's resolution that shows no signs of stopping."

"My friend Kristin and I decorate each other's offices for our birthdays, and as a result I am surrounded by a year's worth of small celebrations, from mobiles to woodcuts of the Eiffel Tower to (this year's decoration) photos from my childhood.

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    1. Hometown:
      Hoboken, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., Brown University, 1994

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2007

    Lucky Number 21

    This book is an awesome collection of prom stories from an awesome mix of authors. All in all, this book is fantastic, although some stories left me with a bittersweet mix of feelings, and some just made me want to skip them completely. Three of my favorites from this collection are the stories by Adrienne Maria Vrettos, Jodi Lynn Anderson, and John Green. But there are other great stories in here. Definitely worth the read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    Good, not great.

    Out of the 21 stories in this book I found only a few that I really enjoyed. I thought that Primate the Prom and Apology #1 weren't all that good. Also the story Chicken wasn't great. But! The highlight of this book is the ending story called The Great American Morp. I wish I had enjoyed every story in this book as much as I did this one. Over all, the book is not a total loss, but, I think, there are only a few true gems in the book.

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  • Posted October 24, 2010

    the best of the best

    this book is the best of the world! i read it, in like a day. i thought it was going to be stupid and meaningless but its interesting and awesome!

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com

    21 PROMS tells the stories of, well, twenty-one proms. Twenty-one fantastic authors contributed to this collection, and each and every one of the stories is fabulous and enjoyable. A few, however, really stick out in my mind after finishing this book.<BR/><BR/>Holly Black's IN VODKA VERITAS is a creepy story about an evil Latin club. "MOM CALLED, SHE SAID YOU HAVE TO GO TO PROM" is Adrienne Maria Vrettos' contribution to the book. It's a great story that manages, in just a few pages, to create wonderfully three-dimensional characters that I'd love to read more about. BETTER BE GOOD TO ME by Daniel Ehrenhaft is a brilliantly written and romantic story. Aimee Friedman's THREE FATES is a hilarious story about what happens when Abby ends up with three dates instead of going dateless the way she thought she would. THE QUESTION is Brent Hartinger's one-act play that would be wonderful to see performed. PRIMATE THE PROM is Libba Bray's very interesting, original, and unusual story of a boy going to prom with his boyfriend -- who just happens to be a gorilla. THE BACKUP DATE, by Leslie Margolis, is a fabulously well-written story about Jasmine, a whiny but completely believable character, going to prom with her boyfriend and brother's best friend.<BR/><BR/>As you can see, there are quite a few fabulous stories in this collection. The two that I loved the most, however, were these: Melissa de la Cruz told the absolutely true and absolutely hilarious story of her prom in A SIX-PACK OF BUD, A FIFTH OF WHISKEY, AND ME. THE GREAT AMERICAN MORP is John Green's absolutely brilliant story and one of my two favorites about a couple of girls having a "morp," a party that is a backwards prom. In this funny and fantastic story, he introduces characters that I'd absolutely love to see again.<BR/><BR/>I did notice one thing that is interesting, and I want to know why this is: people seem much more likely to write about two gay guys than two lesbians. Quite a few of the stories had gay guys in them, but I can't think of any about two girls who wanted to go to prom together; I don't know why. In fact, I can only think of one book that I've read where the main character is a lesbian: KEEPING YOU A SECRET, by Julie Anne Peters.<BR/><BR/>A good short story, one that has good characters or a hold-your-breath-suspenseful plot or something, has to do it in just a few pages. These were some of the best short stories I can ever remember reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2007

    excellant writers

    i have not read this book of short stories yet but i can only guess it will be great. i say this because of the talented authors of the book, i think Libba Bray is a wonderful writer. so happy reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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