Whether traveling across town to the race track, out of state to a relative's house or abroad with a group of classmates, the contemporary teens featured in this collection of 10 well-crafted stories have one thing in common: they are all profoundly changed by their choice to step beyond the boundaries of familiar territory. Accomplished writers, such as Kimberly Willis Holt and David Lubar, offer their personal slant to the journey theme here, evoking moods and settings as varied as their characters' backgrounds. Some heroes, like Joyce Sweeney's Darius Holmsby-a prizewinning writer reluctant to attend a gala in his honor-are unwilling to leave comfortable surroundings. Others, like outspoken Aly in Richard Peck's "The Kiss in the Carryon Bag," who has a brush with royalty during a "study tour" of Europe, embrace adventure with enthusiasm. Sometimes explorations turn out to be heartening and other times heartbreaking, but the protagonists always end up in a different place from where they began. Brief notes about each author provide a transition between stories so that readers (who may feel the sensation that they are on a road trip themselves) can get their bearings and mull over unexpected plot twists before heading in a new direction. Enlightening, relevant and expertly compiled by the editor of Time Capsule and No Easy Answer, this anthology will leave a lasting impression. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Teens are motivated to read short stories for several reasons: for leisure, for curriculum-based reading, and to strengthen and hone their own individual writing skills. This volume is particularly exemplary because the journeys are about coming-of-age, episodic moments, travelers, or taking a single step forward. It is difficult for this reviewer to select a single favorite story. The entire stable of authors, among them Ron Koertge, David Lubar, Will Weaver, and Alex Flinn, are some of the finest that current young adult literature has to offer. Original teen voices filter through each unique narrative, and natural references to American culture draw the reader into the text. When Joyce Sweeney's Darius in Something Old, Something New describes the library as looking like Frasier Crane's apartment, one knows that all television-watching teens will understand. In The Kiss in the Carry-On Bag, Richard Peck's Seb becomes a poet when he looks at the "burnished red-brown hair" of the girl who spoke like a spy. Kimberly Willis Holt's Mick of August Lights is the epitome of a big brother when he takes Franny on the golf course at night to find balls. Following each story, there is a detailed page about the author. Young adult librarians should rejoice when they see this new volume of short stories compiled and edited by noted YA expert Gallo. He is a master of topic and author selection. The destinations vary but the illustrious writing styles make this volume a must-have for all middle school and public library shelves. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; 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). 2003, Candlewick, 240p,
In this collection of short stories, Gallo combines a wide range of tales by ten well known YA authors, centered on the theme of travel.- The travel adventures are rarely far or truly adventurous; instead, they serve to highlight an array of situations and likeable characters. The travel varies from a walk from church to the local diner; to an interstate trip to camp; to a haul across town on public transit. One of the strongest stories is "August Lights" by Kimberley Willis Holt, in which a teen boy plagued by his parents' divorce and a competitive younger sister figures out how to cope with the hand he's been dealt. The first story, "Something Old, Something New" by Joyce Sweeney, subtly presents racial issues through the eyes of a teen aspiring to be a writer, discovering he has all the courage and talent he needs. Other stories are by Ron Koertge, David Lubar, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Will Weaver, Alex Flinn, Richard Peck, Graham Salisbury, and Ellen Wittlinger. The protagonists' metaphorical journeys outshine their physical ones, always in a tasteful and relatively subtle way. The stories tend to conclude optimistically, with a sense of self-discovery and satisfaction.
This collection of ten short stories for young adults is about journeys, long or short, and their often-surprising outcomes. Some of the shorter trips include a walk from church to the local diner (David Lubar's "Bread on the Water") and a step outside to see a meteor from the backyard ("August Lights" by Kimberly Willis Holt). The longer ones involve hunting in Hawaii (Graham Salisbury's "Mosquito") and a bumpy ride by car and truck to a summer college program for gifted high schoolers ("My People" by Margaret Peterson Haddix). All of them result in troubled or uncertain teens learning to know themselves or someone else in a new and unexpected way. Richard Peck has contributed the clever tale of a young prince who seems remarkably similar to Prince William ("The Kiss in the Carryon Bag"). While some of the stories are too short (and some rather remote from the experience of many students) to draw in all readers, several of them will evoke shared experiences and, perhaps, awakenings. Especially poignant are "Tourist Trapped" by Ellen Wittlinger about a family emergency on Cape Cod and Alex Flinn's "Keep Smiling" about a tragic death and coming to terms with guilt. Gallo has compiled a number of other well-received anthologies for teens, including Sixteen, Time Capsule, and No Easy Answers. Most of the award-winning authors represented here have listed Web sites that can be visited by readers who want to know more about a favorite among the writers in this collection. 2003, Candlewick, Ages 11 to 18.
Barbara L. Talcroft
Gr 8 Up-This anthology is composed of stories in which the protagonists embark on journeys that are both literal and metaphorical; their physical progressions mirror inner transformations inspired by events big and small. The authors represented include Kimberly Willis Holt and Ron Koertge, and tone and subject matter vary widely from story to story. Readers encounter pieces that are poetically insightful (Joyce Sweeney's "Something Old, Something New"), whimsically quirky (Richard Peck's "The Kiss in the Carryon Bag"), and downright creepy (Graham Salisbury's "Mosquito"). The quality throughout, however, is consistent, as each story is well crafted and true to its voice. This would be a great choice for fans of short-story collections such as Cathy Young's One Hot Second: Stories about Desire (Knopf, 2002).-Alison Ching, North Garland High School, Garland, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"The journey need not be long, nor the destination exotic. It can be as simple as a walk around the block where you see something you never noticed before." The ten stories in Gallo’s new collection are in the literary tradition of stories about journeys. In Joyce Sweeney’s "Something Old, Something New," Darius Holmsby goes on a journey across town by bus, from his all-black street in Section Eight housing to the Coral Springs library, where he finds a community that accepts him as a writer. In David Lubar’s "Bread on the Water," Tommy discovers a friend’s humanity when he invites a homeless man to the local diner. Ellen Wittlinger’s self-absorbed protagonist on a Cape Cod vacation finds more than she expected about children and family. Will Weaver, Graham Salisbury, Richard Peck, and others offer stylistically similar, first-person stories of epiphanies and glimpses at unsuspected possibilities. These offerings may well inspire readers to look at their own journeys and find something new about themselves. (Short stories. YA)