Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Grace Kendall (Editor)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Twelve young adult short stories show a variety of viewpoints about what teens are experiencing and dealing with in their daily lives. The stories vary in topic, from dates, breakups, and family situations, to even pets, but each uncovers deep and important questions about teen life. One of the stories, Three Imaginary Conversations with You, is an unusual second-person story in which a teen girl rehearses breaking up with her manipulative boyfriend. Another story, Blackbird, explores a theater-tech student discovering her voice. Each of the twelve stories underscores a viewpoint that strays from typical teenage stories, and many readers will find their eyes opened to ideas and expressions different from their own.
The twelve authors create explorations of emotion and experience through the eyes of high school students (and one cat) in prose and comics. The works are well-crafted and tell many stories of kids whose experiences may feel underrepresented. The stories explore complicated feelings and emotions, including one story about the aftermath of surviving a school shooting. These themes are universal and can speak to students all over the country. Many of the stories explore questions relating to sexuality, so this is a great book for teens who are seeking an identity around their nontraditional sexuality.
*Contains moderate sexual content and moderate substance abuse.