On the Fringe

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In every school at every grade, there's a pecking order among students-an in crowd and those outside it, who are often ridiculed mercilessly for the "crime" of being different. This powerful anthology explores the teen outsider experience in electrifying, never-before-published stories by eleven of today's most acclaimed YA authors. A tomboy finds the relief of self-expression through her music, while in another tale a relentless bully tests the faith of an intensely religious girl. A cheerleader discovers that ...
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Overview

In every school at every grade, there's a pecking order among students-an in crowd and those outside it, who are often ridiculed mercilessly for the "crime" of being different. This powerful anthology explores the teen outsider experience in electrifying, never-before-published stories by eleven of today's most acclaimed YA authors. A tomboy finds the relief of self-expression through her music, while in another tale a relentless bully tests the faith of an intensely religious girl. A cheerleader discovers that the true soul of her school can't be found within the cool clique; a football player finally stands up for a harassed fellow student; and a boy watches in horror as the school "freak" marches into his classroom with a loaded rifle.

Offering insights into popularity and peer pressure, nonconformity and persecution, acceptance and hate, these riveting, provocative tales will leave readers thinking and start them talking.

Stories by:

Joan Bauer
Alden R. Carter
Chris Crutcher
Jack GantosAngela Johnson
M. E. Kerr
Ron Koertge
Francess Lantz
Graham Salisbury
Will Weaver
Nancy Werlin
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
In his introduction, Gallo writes that authors were invited to write short stories about teenagers who do not fit in, the "weirdos, geeks, nerds, freaks, faggots, and worse" for this collection. These epithets represent teens ostracized by their peers at school and misunderstood by society in general. Gallo hopes that readers will gain "greater understanding and tolerance of others" by reading the stories, which are both engaging and thought provoking. In Nancy Werlin's Shortcut, readers learn that there is unity in strength, even for the outcasts. Jack Gantos's inspired writing offers a glimpse into a unique mind in Muzak for Prozac. Angela Johnson's Through a Window shows the heartrending consequences of a best friend's suicide. WWJD by Bill Weaver is a chilling account of what even a meek and mild pariah can do when pushed. Graham Salisbury's Mrs. Noonan and Alden R. Carter's Satyagraha provide two distinctive, incisive views of revenge. Perhaps the most affecting story is Guns for Geeks by Chris Crutcher, who tells a horrific account of a school shooting evocative of Columbine. The eleven stories in this anthology are all noteworthy, expertly written by prize-winning authors. Running the gamut from poignant to disturbing, they effectively portray the lives of disenfranchised teenagers. Any selection would serve as an excellent basis for discussion. Some strong language and violence suggest this book for students in grade seven and above. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Dial, 240p, .Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Rachelle Bilz SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24, No.1)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Kids who are geeks, unathletic, poor, emotionally fragile, loners, or unattractive by current standards form the heart of this collection of exceptional stories by well-known YA authors such as Joan Bauer, Chris Crutcher, and M. E. Kerr. Inspired by the events at Columbine High School, the authors pondered what sorts of heartbreak could cause teens to react so powerfully and violently, and how being isolated and shut out of high school groups could tear down the fragile walls of self-esteem, making vulnerable individuals snap and cause massive destruction. The result is a compilation of short stories from the point of view of those tormented, and those who view others being bullied and how their perceptions change as they examine the situations. While all the stories are excellent, Jack Gantos's "Muzak for Prozac" is an exceptional example of the fragile balance that one teen struggles to maintain through the use of mood-stabilizing chemicals. A must-buy for all libraries.-Susan Riley, Greenburgh Public Library, Elmsford, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803726567
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Donald R. Gallo, a former junior high school English teacher, lives in Solon, Ohio.
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Table of Contents


On the Fringe Acknowledgments
Introduction

Greeks Bearing Gifts
Ron Koertge

Great Expectations
M. E. Kerr

Shortcut
Nancy Werlin

Through a Window
Angela Johnson

Muzak for Prozac
Jack Gantos

Standing on the Roof Naked
Francess Lantz

Mrs. Noonan
Graham Salisbury

WWJD
Will Weaver

Satyagraha
Alden R. Carter

A Letter from the Fringe
Joan Bauer

Guns for Geeks
Chris Crutcher

Resources
About the Editor

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    A book everyone should read.

    I never thought about the differnt social groups within a school until I began to teach. Even though I have begun to see the differnt groups unfold as a year progresses, I didn't realize the impact of these groups until I read On The Fringe. This book explores through short stories the lives students experience as they are trying to grow up in the judgemental atmosphere called high school. Within the book is a young girl who realizes her social group may not be for her, a young man dealing with growing up without a father figure, a young woman dealing with sexual identiy, and a young man with a drug problem, amoung others. The book explores the problems of these teens and how each have found a way to live with the reality that they are "outsiders". I recommend this book to all young adult readers and all adults; especially parents and those going into a field where they spend much of there time amoung teens. However due to the graphic language and some of the events that happen within the stories, I do not recommend this book for children under twelve.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    Experience Different Perspectives

    On the Fringe proved to be an engaging read. There are many aspects to this book that make it appealing to young adults. The first that jumped out at me was getting to connect with many different types of characters. Each story addresses a unique personality and allows the reader to appreciate their individuality. The reader meets wallflowers, in-crowds, strong and not so strong characters. I enjoyed getting to see so many different personality types and how each is effected differently by society. I also feel this type of book would be a plus for relunctant readers. It's short story format may not be as intimidating as a long novel might be. Another strong point to this book for young adults, is allowing them to be exposed to many different authors in one resource. It would enable to reader to find new writing styles they enjoy and may allow them to find a "new" favorite author. Reading On The Fringe was an enlightening experience for me and I think any reader would find that true as well. I truly enjoyed getting to see so many different personality types and getting exposed to several different authors that were new to me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2001

    Exceptional Short Story Collection

    There isn't a clunker among these eleven stories dealing with the 'outsider' topic. Jack Gantos's story, Muzak For Prozac, was my favorite; his prose just sings. Will Weaver's WWJD was refreshingly daring and thought provoking. I would think this book would be a comfort to so many kids who feel ostrasized for one reason or another. Some of the stories, like Joan Bauer's A Letter From The Fringe, are more overtly preachy than others but who cares? Each story brings to light in its own unique fashion what its like to experience the perks and perils of being singled out as different. Adults should read this book as well, not only to keep in touch with the pressures kids will always face but maybe realize as I did some of these issues are not just unique to teenagers but all age groups. We all know some adults can be just as cruel as some teens. Congratulations to the writers and the editor, Don Gallo, for a job well done.

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