No Easy Answers: Short Stories About Teenagers Making Tough Choices

No Easy Answers: Short Stories About Teenagers Making Tough Choices

by Donald R. Gallo
     
 

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This anthology features stories about individuals who find themselves in situations that test their strength of character. They are called upon to make moral choices, face the consequences of their actions, and consider what it means to "do the right thing. " From computer blackmail, peer pressure, and gang violence to drug use, unwanted pregnancy, guilt

Overview

This anthology features stories about individuals who find themselves in situations that test their strength of character. They are called upon to make moral choices, face the consequences of their actions, and consider what it means to "do the right thing. " From computer blackmail, peer pressure, and gang violence to drug use, unwanted pregnancy, guilt and atonement, these characters face decisions that may affect the rest of their lives. There are many tough choices; there are no easy answers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This collection of 16 original stories by distinguished YA writers "seems designed for the classroom," said PW. "With its clear presentations of ambiguous issues, it should particularly interest teachers trying to stimulate discussions." Ages 12-up. (Feb.)
VOYA - Roxy Ekstrom
The teenagers in this collection find the strength of their character tested when they are "called upon... to face the consequences of their actions," which involve sex, pregnancy, computer blackmail, war, peer pressure-the whole teenage gamut. Some decisions have far-reaching effects, some only touch the main character, but all give the reader something to ponder. These teens easily could be found in any community, school, or library. In Will Weaver's The Photograph, talented photographer Anthony is devastated when a lark of an idea-snapping a picture of the popular, perky gym teacher skinny dipping-turns into a disaster. In Confession, Gloria Miklowitz introduces the reader to JJ, who discovers that good intentions can prove fatal when guns and gangs are involved. Martha, an animal rights activist, learns to her dismay that good looks and a suave manner can lead to public embarrassment in Monica Hughes's story Simon Says. Walter Dean Myers's Stranger shows that not all teens make good choices, as Cassie changes from a promising B student to a hollow-eyed drug addict. The Un-numbing of Cory Wilhouse by Virginia Euwer Wolff dramatically illustrates that a thoughtless act of shoplifting as a nine-year-old can come back to haunt your conscience in surprising ways at fifteen. Gallo knows well his YA audience. From Sixteen (Delacorte, 1984) to Short Circuits (Delacorte, 1992), with stops between and beyond, he has shown his mastery at soliciting attention-grabbing short stories from the cream of the crop among YA authors. Other contributors to this volume include M. E. Kerr, Ron Koertge, Lensey Namioka, and Jack Gantos. Brief author notes follow each story. Teachers and youth group leaders will find these stories to be a great springboard for discussion. Young adults will find them great reads. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up--This collection of stories is intended to illustrate some of the moral choices facing teenagers today. Issues include computer blackmail, peer pressure, and self-censorship. The characters must decide for themselves the right thing to do. M.E. Kerr, Ron Koertge, Walter Dean Myers, Jack Gantos, and Rita Williams-Garcia are among the contributors. While these authors write well in the novel format, their talent is not always evident in this short story format. In Louise Plummer's "Bliss at the Burger Bar," the 18-year-old manager of a fast-food restaurant tries to comfort a teenage employee who is pregnant and has just been beaten by her boyfriend, but readers never find out what happens to her. In T. Ernesto Bethancourt's "Moon over Missouri," a teen who developed a best-selling CD-ROM adventure game is being sued because of its content, but the story ends before the case goes to trial. Other selections are equally open-ended, and most YAs will be left with a feeling of discontent, wanting to know what happens next. While the lack of conclusions might lead to some interesting discussions within a moderated group, it will be less satisfying for independent readers.--Tracy Taylor, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of stories grouped under headings like "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time" and "What Do I Do Now?" with situations teens will certainly recognize. They will also recognize some of the fine names in this collection, M.E. Kerr, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Graham Salisbury among them. In Will Weaver's powerful opening tale, "The Photograph," a budding photographer learns how much images can hurt. Virginia Euwer Wolff's "Un-Numbing of Cory Willhouse" is a dark and sensitive look at guilt and quasi-redemption, David Klass's "Cradle Hold" examines a difficult father-son relationship, and Ron Koertge's "Duet" is a wry and charming tale of the First Time that isn't. The unifying theme is somewhat unwieldy—few stories or novels for this audience are not about teenagers making "touch choices," and the lessons sometimes loom so large that they get in the way of the stories. This is still an honest, sturdy collection; it poses complicated questions and allows readers to search for the answers in some very good company.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440413059
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
01/28/1999
Edition description:
Reprinted Edition
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
618,235
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.88(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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