This unique book was inspired and compiled by an artist named Scott Hunt. Scott created nine diverse, realistic, black-and-white drawings. Popular young adult authors were sent a drawing and asked to write a short story based on their interpretation. Two stories for each illustration were selected for this book. Renowned authors, such as Bruce Coville, Marilyn Singer, and Audrey Couloumbis, contributed a story to this book, each providing their own unique and fascinating version of events. This collection of varied short stories is well written and extremely entertaining. A full sized page of each picture precedes the story so that the reader can view the art that motivated the author's story. The book concludes with a note from each author that briefly explains his or her creative process when developing the story for the image. 2006, Dutton Books/Penguin Group, Ages 12 up.
Eighteen outstanding authors, reacting to nine Hunt drawings, produce fascinating paired stories that range from real to surreal. Sarah Dessen and Ellen Wittlinger send lives from the same donut shop into very different directions. Gene Brewer and Bruce Coville search tortured decisions involving an empty pool and a naked swimmer. Ron Koertge envisions a street mural inspiring haiku in Just a Couple of Girls Talking Haiku, while Adele Geras perceives a bereft kidnapper in Ruby. In What I Did Last Summer, a young boy, a man carrying two suitcases, and a car lead Jan Marino to gift a family with hope, and Marilyn Singer to reveal an over-controlling father in Word of the Day. Audrey Couloumbis believes the lady staring from a Waffle House doorway will find a second chance, and John Green thinks that same lady watches history pass her door in his The Approximate Cost of Loving Caroline. In M. T. Anderson's Angel's Food, a cake anticipates a coming-of-age fiasco, and for William Sleator, the confection is a recipe for murder. Among the other authors represented here are Nancy Werlin, Alex Flinn, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Jaime Adoff. The collection, having wide junior and senior high appeal, is a writing teacher's treasure. Notes from the many authors briefly describe the writers' creative process, list other works, and include some author Web sites. 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). 2006, Dutton, 320p., Ages 11 to 18.
Gr 9 Up-This eclectic collection contains 18 original stories inspired by the artwork of Scott Hunt. The contributors, all YA authors, were given one of nine charcoal drawings and asked to write a story inspired by it. Pieces by two different authors are paired with each one, hence the "twice told" aspect of the title. The clever concept brings about a mixed bag of results with widely varying themes and degrees of literary success. Perhaps the best-executed stories are those by Neal Shusterman and David Lubar, which were both inspired by a painting entitled Bear and present amusing twists on human nature. Fans of Stephen King will appreciate William Sleator's "Chocolate Almond Torte," a delightfully perverse tale based on a drawing of an ax lying next to a cake. A drawing entitled Backyard, whose composition is strikingly similar to Andrew Wyeth's painting Christina's World, inspired Ron Koertge's lovely story, "Just a Couple of Girls Talking Haiku," in which friendship blossoms and wounds heal through poetry. Less successful are Marilyn Singer's "Word of the Day," which is difficult to follow, and Adele Geras's "Ruby," which is more of a vignette than a fully developed story. Jaime Adoff's story poem "The God of St. James and Vine" is predictable and trite. This collection may inspire others to try writing stories based on art, and English teachers could have a great time with selected works. A "Notes from the Authors" section provides a glimpse into what the authors were thinking when they wrote their stories.-Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
The fable of the six blind men and the elephant is invoked by the premise of this collection of 18 diverse short stories based upon nine original pencil sketches by Hunt. From doughnuts to skinny dipping, from classic cars to bunny suits, authors as varied as Sarah Dessen, Audrey Couloumbis, M.T. Anderson and Marilyn Singer serve up their varied interpretations of the old mantra that a picture is worth a thousand words. Standout pieces are Margaret Peterson Haddix and Jaime Adoff's responses to the moving visual celebration of old-fashioned African-American love in the form of an elderly "Couple," and Nancy Werlin and Alex Flinn's takes on a small child dressed as a "Bunny." Of the drawings, Hunt's best offer snapshots of lost Americana, such as a father and son of yesteryear loading suitcases into the family car, and neon diner signage advertising rare greasy-spoon treats. However, the stories might have benefited from the same unifying vision that is reflected in the artwork, with fewer authors engaging more of Hall's texts, and the most captivating tales being placed more strategically. (Anthology. YA)