Dude! Stories and Stuff for Boys: Stories and Stuff for Boys

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Growing up as a guy is tough. Here are nineteen funny, fascinating, totally original works about boys tackling the tricky years that separate a child from a man. Jane Yolen spotlights the beginning of an Olympic dream; Jaime Adoff offers the music of a young poet facing rough streets; Barbara Robinson captures the tenderness between a boy and a most unusual pet; Ron Koertge explores the weird world where guys and girls meet. From futuristic to familiar to far-out, the voices of clever, hopeful, courageous young ...

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Overview

Growing up as a guy is tough. Here are nineteen funny, fascinating, totally original works about boys tackling the tricky years that separate a child from a man. Jane Yolen spotlights the beginning of an Olympic dream; Jaime Adoff offers the music of a young poet facing rough streets; Barbara Robinson captures the tenderness between a boy and a most unusual pet; Ron Koertge explores the weird world where guys and girls meet. From futuristic to familiar to far-out, the voices of clever, hopeful, courageous young men shine in this eclectic celebration of boys on the verge.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Middle grade boys should find this collection both amusing and comforting. A conversational preface introduces us to eighteen original works, including fiction, poetry, drama, and essays. They are book ended by Sneed B. Collard III's first person story in which the hero faces life and terror on a thirty-five foot diving platform, and Barry Kornhauser's memoir piece, "The Ten-Ton Accordion." In between lies wide terrain. John Urquhart's Civil War one-act play, The Enemy, follows a twelve-year old recruit in the Confederate Army from bravado to understanding. Jane Yolen's brief poem, "Going for Gold," uncovers the emotional space of a daydream that ends with a self-deprecatingly humorous twist. Some of the protagonists roam the complex labyrinths of family relationships, as in Barbara Robinson's "A Pet for Calvin," and Bill C. Davis's moving "Family Meeting." Others teeter on the brink of knowingness, like Ron Koertge's "Lanky Boys With Cars." Particularly memorable is Jose Cruz Gonzalez's delightful "Watermelon Kisses," a dialogue riff between two brothers with powerfully mythic names. Back matter contains biographical information on the contributors, as well as a brief commentary on the origins of each piece. A textured exploration of the recursive concerns of an all too transient phase of boyhood, this title is a nice addition to the growing body of middle grade multi-author anthologies.
VOYA - Matthew Weaver
Like any short story collection, some tales are hits whereas others are off the mark in this offering for and about boys, although Asher and Harrison stress in their foreword that girls can also read these stories. A wide spectrum of mostly harmless tales about the wonders of growing up beckon within, although there is more to like than not. Sneed B. Collard III's The Tower captures one boy struggling to leap off a water tower, while Joseph Robinette's Class Trip imagines a hotel room with the perfect view of a Baltimore Orioles game. Poignant moments come in Raymond Bial's farm tale Bucking Bales, and Bill C. Davis sucker punches readers with the tragic Family Meeting, a grim story about a sibling's death that stands out against fluffier subject matter. This collection deserves special credit for the exchange between a superhero and his archnemesis in Liam Kuhn's stellar Heroes and Villains, as they compare notes on how their rivalry takes away from their time with their families, on its own making the book worthwhile. Conversely in Ron Koertge's Lanky Boys with Cars, although well-written, a young protagonist proclaims, after his friend laments his lack of love life, that one gets a girlfriend when one has a car-oddly the only time in the book that it is suggested that ladies might be on a young guy's mind. Clever? Yes, but when was the last time a twelve-year-old made that observation?
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-These selections, newly written for this collection, include stories, plays, essays, and verse, and, for the most part, they are as wholesome and innocent as Boy's Life. In one exception, Bill C. Davis's "Family Meeting," the narrator has to deal with the suicide of his older half brother and acknowledge that his father did not marry any of his three wives until they were pregnant. In Ron Koertge's realistic play Lanky Boys with Cars, two 12-year-olds discuss what they know, or think they know, about sex. But the norm here is uncontroversial. Sneed B. Collard III's narrator in "The Tower" faces his fear of jumping from a high platform into a river. In "To Speak or Not to Speak," Edwin Endlich's protagonist discovers that, when acting out memorized lines, he does not stutter. Barbara Robinson's allergic hero of "A Pet for Calvin" adopts a worm. "The Squids" and "Heroes and Villains" have science-fiction motifs, and "The Marooned Boy" is a version of a Caddo Indian story. Perhaps the most touching piece is Raymond Bial's essay, "Bucking Bales," about a summer he spent doing chores for a neighboring farmer and learning in the process that, unlike his father, a man could praise and appreciate what a boy does. The appendix contains information about the writers and short essays by them about how the pieces came to be written. Dude! will find its niche in libraries where more anthologies are needed, where librarians and teachers want ready access to read-alouds more mature than picture books, and where one-act plays are popular.-Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Now here's a sub-genre that doesn't need to grow. Saving malls from alien robots, practicing the accordion while tied to a chair with dish towels, risking life to face the Great Water Panther are three stories in this anthology of prose, poetry and plays intended for boys, mostly on the lower end of the suggested age range. Following Jon Scieszka's Guys Write for Guys Read (2005) and stemming from a concern that boys don't read as much as girls and don't have enough adult male readers as role models, anthologies such as this are being packaged to meet a supposed demand. But boys don't tend to read short stories in anthologies, and writing down to them serves readers poorly. Some of the writers here are offering their first prose stories or giving a new genre a try, and more established writers have not given their best efforts. Boys today will read what boys have always read: good, well-written novels, as Paulsen, Hobbs, Rowling, Jacques, Snicket, Gantos and others know. (contributors and their work) (Anthology. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525476849
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/3/2006
  • Pages: 272
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandy Asher is the author of twenty books for young readers and more than three dozen plays. She is also the editor or co-editor of five collections of fiction, including Dude! Stories and Stuff for Boy, On Her Way: Stories and Poems about Growing Up Girl and With All My Heart, With All My Mind: 13 Stories about Growing Up Jewish — winner of the 1999 National Jewish Book Award in children's literature. Sandy has been honored with the American Alliance for Theatre and Education's Charlotte Chorpenning Award for a distinguished body of work in theatre for young audiences, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship grant, and an Aurand Harris Playwriting Fellowship from the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America. She lives in Lancaster, PA, with husband Harvey, dog Rudy, and cats Natasha and Stanley.

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