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Rush Hour: Bad Boys

Rush Hour: Bad Boys

by Michael Cart
BOLD, INNOVATIVE, AND eclectic--that's Rush Hour, the place for thought-provoking stories, essays, art, and poems from today's most distinguished voices, both established and new. "Bad Boys" is the hard-hitting theme of Volume Two. Here are drifters, pranksters, jocks, rebels, monsters, and heroes living life on the edge. In knockout stories by Jackie


BOLD, INNOVATIVE, AND eclectic--that's Rush Hour, the place for thought-provoking stories, essays, art, and poems from today's most distinguished voices, both established and new. "Bad Boys" is the hard-hitting theme of Volume Two. Here are drifters, pranksters, jocks, rebels, monsters, and heroes living life on the edge. In knockout stories by Jackie Woodson and E. R. Frank, artwork by John O'Brien and Chris Gall, essays by Robert Lypsite and Jack Gantos, and much more, bad boys sometimes play by the rules, often misbehave, but always grab our attention.

This second issue solidifies the reputation of this unprecedented, pulsating journal, published twice a year and focused on themes today's readers care about most.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
A second installment of short stories, poems, artwork, essays and plays, Rush Hour: Bad Boys, edited by Michael Cart, offers 17 works about outsiders and the diverse roles they play. Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan contribute "Andy Warhol: Prince of Pop," excerpted from their book of the same name (reviewed Oct. 25), cleverly paired with a b&w reproduction of Warhol's own Self-Portrait (Green) 1986; while Julia Jarcho's "Nursery" muses on what causes teens to kill. Other contributions include Robert Lipsyte's essay "Surviving the Jock Culture" and an excerpt from Jacqueline Woodson's as-yet-unpublished novel Grail, NY. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This hard-edged anthology, subtitled Bad Boys, the latest installment from a planned series of anthologies, is—to borrow from the publisher's publicity blurb —"a cutting-edge literary journal of contemporary voices." Seventeen writers and artists contribute fiction, essays, and artwork to this gritty compilation. Unrestrained candor and graphic clarity—if not consistent literary quality—seem to serve as the editorial standards for these eclectic works which explore the theme of bad-boy adolescence. Commendable works include Robert Lipsyte's analysis of masculinity and gender identity; E. R. Frank's entertaining look at the pathos in a slightly chaotic family; Eugenie Doyle's perceptive study of a teenage couple's decisions regarding a pregnancy; Marie G. Lee's fascinating look at Korean-American brothers attempting to understand their simultaneous assimilation and alienation in different cultures; David Lubar's dark tale of family deceit and death; Julia Jarcho's compelling one-act play in which characters from different places and times encounter the paradoxical omnipresence of love and violence; and Edward Everett's disturbing story of schizophrenia and murder. Each story, essay, and the one-act play set out to look unflinchingly at young men at crises in their lives, young men struggling with the sometimes harrowing transition from childhood or adulthood. Readers, teachers, librarians, and parents, however, ought to understand that many of the selections in this provocative anthology contain what some people will consider rather offensive ("R-rated") language. 2004, Delacorte/Random House Children's Books, Ages 14 to 18.
—Tim Davis
Busy high school students who do not have time to read an entire novel may find an alternative in this journal. Especially designed to attract youth, Rush Hour will be published twice a year, each volume focusing on a different theme. Billing itself as "neither a magazine nor a book," the journal intends to be "cutting-edge," its contributors' contemporary voices to be "at once artful and risk-taking, innovative and—always—eclectic." This inaugural volume explores sin in all its contemporary and past definitions. Stories by well-known young adult authors Brock Cole and Joan Bauer depict a young newlywed running away from a hasty marriage and turning to kleptomania, and an advertising agency intern needing a job for college finding herself selling cigarettes in spite of her uncle's horrible death from smoking-related emphysema. An essay by Marc Aronson discusses the Salem Witch Trials, and a short story by Gary Miller explores the feelings of a young boy in a fundamental Christian sect who found his mother's body hanging from the toolshed rafters. Art and poetry are interspersed among the prose pieces. At times lighthearted, at other times, painfully gritty, the journal should appeal to thoughtful, mature YA readers. In Volume Two, some boys are bad to the bone from birth, and some boys are good boys in disguise to protect themselves from pain. Some boys turn cynical from family violence. Other boys become ruthless in the worship of competitive sports. Some boys worry that they've gotten their girlfriends pregnant and might be forced to do "the right thing." All of them are found in the second volume of Michael Cart's new journal. Jack Gantos, a popular writer of YAfiction, writes an essay on bad boys reading. Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan write about '70s bad boy, Andy Warhol. Robert Lipsyte writes a penetrating essay on the adverse effects of "jock culture." Michael Simmons writes a story about an older brother who is a psychopath from birth. Julia Jarcho has a one-act play that tries to find the common human thread that links school shootings. Another boy plots his abusive father's murder. Cart also includes a comic story by Chris Gall, and whimsical artwork and poetry that portray the bad boy as mask.This second volume of Rush Hour, like the first, does not back away from hard subjects but combines a variety of voices to explicate the bad boy phenomenon in American society. KLIATT Codes: S*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students. 2004, Random House, Delacorte, 209p., each. Ages 15 to 18.
—Myrna Marler
Bad boys are multifaceted. They change readers' perceptions of everything from art to family to love and never cease to fascinate. The second volume of Cart's literary journal questions stereotypes of masculinity, sexuality, and above all, what really goes on in those complicated bad-boy minds in a collection of essays, poems, short stories, art, and a play. The nonfiction pieces are the highlight of this anthology. Jack Gantos's irreverent, energetic foreword gets the reader in the perfect frame of mind to ponder the ideas of what makes a "bad boy." Robert Lipsyte's essay, Surviving Jock Culture, is both terrifying and enlightening, studying the "beast-master" coaches of today's male athletes and a society that worships them to the point of forgiving their heinous crimes. The works of fiction range in appeal and readability. A sixteen-year-old Korean American boy struggles with his family and ideas of tradition, a bad boy in a good boy's body, in Marie G. Lee's beautiful, heartbreaking The Demilitarized Zone. David Lubar's Apparent Motives, like the perfect bad boy, is subtle but intimidating. Some stories, however, such as Edward Averett's Joaquin Years and Nick Larocca's Stacey's Buffet, have flat main characters with whom the reader does not connect. These boys commit their bad acts but fail to make the reader want to know more about them. Ron Koertge's poem Boys From Mars might have the right idea-no matter what readers think of bad boys, they will never solve the mystery because the rumors are true: Boys really are from another planet. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004,Delacorte, 240p., PLB and Trade pb. Ages 15 to 18.
—Carlisle Kraft Webber
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Like the characters featured in this journal's second volume, the stories vary widely. There are tales about teens trying to be "bad" (E. R. Frank's "Cousins"), boys who have made poor choices (Eugenie Doyle's "T"), and young men who are truly evil, whether by choice (Jacqueline Woodson's "Poe-Raven," an excerpt from her unpublished novel Grail, NY) or by nature (Edward Averett's "Joaquin Years"). While the authors are confident, skilled writers, not all of the selections here have wide teen appeal. Some pieces (those listed above, plus others by David Lubar, Michael Simmons, and Ron Koertge) shine and will be sought by readers who have enjoyed other well-crafted, thought-provoking collections such as Donald Gallo's Destination Unexpected (Candlewick, 2003) or On the Fringe (Dial, 2001). Unfortunately, the one play (Julia Jarcho's "Nursery") may prove somewhat confusing. Of the nonfiction pieces, the introduction by Jack Gantos and the essay by Robert Lipsyte are smooth and might help readers reassess some preconceived stereotypical notions about people, but the excerpt from Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan's upcoming novel about Andy Warhol is written for a slightly younger audience. The few black-and-white illustrations are likely to be overlooked by most readers. Overall, this is an interesting concept, but it's hard to figure out the best audience. This collection is best sampled than read straight through and is likely to require hand-selling to make it move.-Karyn N. Silverman, LREI-Elizabeth Irwin High School, New York City Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
City boys, country boys, historic rebels, thieves, and murderers are all given a voice in Cart's patch-worked second Rush Hour volume. Enlisting storytelling vets like E.R. Frank, Dave Lubar, and Jacqueline Woodson, Cart pieces together a hodgepodge of stories, snippets, essays, and art, based around varying perceptions of the teenaged bad boy. Country bumpkins converge with a streetwise, abandoned NYC teen in Frank's understated story of distrustful culture clash. Michael Simmons's preview of a crime-obsessed older brother seems disappointingly clipped too short, but Woodson's unforgettably twisted finale will leave readers breathless. Despite its physical location near the end of the collection, Robert Lipsyte's educator-friendly/kid-deadly centerpiece, "Surviving Jock Culture," expounds upon the progressive nature of bad-boy competition and the multi-faceted animosity that often exists between jocks and their prey. Most haunting of all is Edward Averett's "Joaquin Years," featuring a misguidedly disturbed teenaged boy who mistakenly falls in league with a deadly role model. All in all, the illustrations and poetry seem lost in what appears to be more short-story collection than actual journal. And, like most short-story collections, the results are uneven. (Anthology. YA)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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