Grade 6-9-Remember being 13? Ann Martin, Bruce Coville, Todd Strasser, Rachel Vail, Stephen Roos, Ron Koertge, and several other popular authors join Howe in writing about that awkward year. The stories are a mixture of humor, pathos, and poignancy, and most are based on personal experiences. Meg Cabot's "Kate the Great" deals with changing friendships and a first baby-sitting job that goes awry while Alex Sanchez's "If You Kiss a Boy" focuses on the awakening of sexuality. Ellen Wittlinger's "Noodle Soup for Nincompoops" is especially fun as Maggie becomes the advice columnist for her school paper and discovers what happens when people actually follow her suggestions. Lori Aurelia Williams deals realistically with the gang experience in "Black Holes and Basketball Sneakers." Howe has chosen excellent authors for this volume and they have written oh-so-true stories about that wonderful, terrible first year of being a teenager.
Janet Hilbun, formerly at Sam Houston Middle School, Garland, TX
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gr. 6-9. In this wide-ranging collection, familiar authors for young adults contribute short fiction about 13-year-old characters who are experiencing bewildering feelings, making discoveries, or undergoing the embarrassments typical of the age. Editor Howe's contribution tells about an idealistic boy whose wish that his bar mitzvah will "mean something" leads to chaos. Alex Sanchez's young narrator is attracted to his best friend and wonders, "Why is it so pervie to kiss another guy?" And in Ellen Wittlinger's contribution, a shy, young writer's talents send her into her school's spotlight. As with most anthologies, this has some weak selections, but taken as a whole, the stories avoid the made-to-order feel of many themed collections. The mostly well-developed characters represent a wide variety of backgrounds, and although there are allusions to specific family dramas--poverty, a parent in prison--the authors expertly narrow their focus to the pressures, anxieties, crushes, and euphoria that adolescents everywhere will recognize. Teens will also appreciate the background notes and photos of each author as an adolescent that close each selection. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The jury's out on this one. It was a Christmas present for a 13-year old who is already showing the teenage attitude. I'll let you know when he gets around to reading it.Published 8 months ago by Jane
My middle school students enjoy these stories. Great for parents and teachers to read too. Insightful.Published 9 months ago by Nic
Spot on. Using in 8th grade Language Arts class. Perfect balance of complexity, accessible content, humor, seriousness, the new, and the familiar. Guaranteed good read!Published 10 months ago by Gretchen
Many good pieces yet not all stories were appropriate for my middle schoolers.Published 11 months ago by Dana Connolly
I read this with my son when he turned 13. It was a great book to open up conversations about a wide range of subjects. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Reader Mom