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Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Artwork Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 6, 2006

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, April 6, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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 Adèle 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
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 7-10. This is a refreshing departure from most thematic short story collections; the cohesive element here is a collection of nine intriguing charcoal drawings by artist Scott Hunt. Pairs of popular YA authors were given an illustration for inspiration. Sandwiching the drawings, the stories showcase very different responses to the art, and they cover a lot of thematic territory: racism, homosexuality, pedophilia, college, and family relationships. Some authors describe the picture in detail; others work it into their contribution in various creative ways. John Green's character, for example, buys his painting at a flea market; Ron Koertge's picture is a community mural; and Sarah Dessen's picture of a pudgy man in front of a small donut shop becomes the photo for the shop owner's new Web site. It's no surprise that M. T. Anderson and William Sleator penned the most disturbing tales; their picture shows a frosted cake and an ax on a kitchen table. Appended author profiles incorporate the writers' reactions to using art as inspiration. Connect this to Chris Van Allsburg's 1984 picture book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick or to Constance Morgenstern's Waking Day, reviewed on p.96. Cindy Dobrez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (April 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525468188
  • ASIN: B001G8WC5Q
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,125,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nancy Werlin has written 9 young adult novels, including New York Times-bestselling fantasy (Impossible), Edgar-award winning suspense (The Killer's Cousin), and National Book Award-honored realistic fiction (The Rules of Survival). Her newest book is Unthinkable, a companion novel to the fantasies Impossible and Extraordinary. Nancy grew up in Peabody, Massachusetts, received her bachelor's degree in English from Yale, and now lives with her husband near Boston.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Runa VINE VOICE on June 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Twice Told is an astoundingly original concept and a great book. The stories are based on pictures, and two authors worked on each piece of art to produce two separate, very different stories. They are "twice told" through both the writing and the art, and "twice told" between the two authors. Different authors definitely had different takes on the project. Some, to my annoyance, focused very much on the image itself, taking time to actually describe what is already depicted. Others jumped right in, making for more interesting, active stories. Description in many of the stories seemed very redundant, since the picture was right there, but many of the authors felt it necessary anyways. Going a little more into specific authors and their stories, I think my least favorite was Audrey Coulombis's piece. The most shocking aspect of the book, I'd really have to say, was the John Green story without a *gasp* ROAD TRIP. What has happened to this world? Margaret Peterson Haddix's story was good, but unlike anything else I've ever read from her. I felt like many of the authors tried too hard, as often, to make their stories "quirky", and the stories then turned out anything but. As is usual with short stories, I found myself really enjoying stories by random authors, and not particularly liking the ones written by authors I was previously familiar with. The biggest shocker had to be Nancy Werlin's extremely powerful story, Rebecca. It definitely grabbed my heart and was by far my favorite of the collection.

Rating: 3.5/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Yorks on December 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a secondary literacy coach, I'm always looking for new resources to share with teachers and students. This book is full on wonderful stories that I've personally loved, but that were perfect to share with high school students. The premise is intriguing and it is so fun to see how the authors interpret the drawings. I really hope that there are more to come.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was created by showing two different authors a picture and having them create a story based on that picture. It was so interesting to see the different stories they would come up with when looking at the same picture. The artwork in the book was full of interesting and thought-provoking pictures and that helped to make for some very interesting and thought-provoking short stories. I really enjoyed many of them! I also loved reading through the author's notes at the end for how they went through this process. Their insights about writing these stories were interesting. Some of the stories are a bit intense for me to use with most of my students at the late middle school level, but I am going to find a couple of pairs that work for their level and have them try this themselves in ELA next year!
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