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Short story collections

Healy, Nick, ed.  Love & Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life
Middle school, high school     223 pp.     Capstone/Switch

With Kristen Mohn, Nate LeBoutillier, and Lindsy O’Brien. This collection of forty-three autobiographical short stories runs the gamut of high-school topics: family, friends, class, crushes, parties, awkwardness, bullying, sex, and more. Featuring such YA authors as Carrie Mesrobian, Steve Brezenoff, Pete Hautman, and Joseph Bruchac, the stories are painful, humorous, embarrassing, nostalgic, and insightful. (As with many collections, some tales are stronger than others.) Ind.
Subjects: General Literature; Schools—High schools; Short stories; Adolescence; Autobiographies

Kendall, Grace, ed.  I See Reality: Twelve Short Stories about Real Life
Middle school, high school     291 pp.     Farrar

Twelve established and up-and-coming authors share short pieces of contemporary realistic fiction for teens in this anthology. Although each story strikes a distinct narrative tone — from humorous to confessional to quietly lyrical — most focus on the everyday challenges of maintaining familial and romantic relationships. This consistent, satisfying collection will introduce fans of the genre to promising new voices.
Subjects: General Literature; Short stories

Nash, Scott  Shrunken Treasures: Literary Classics, Short, Sweet, and Silly
Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Candlewick

A device, “the Versizer,” reduces nine classics, from The Odyssey to Remembrance of Things Past, into brief verse forms. A couple of tales are set to the tune of famous nursery rhymes. Playful liberties make some stories barely recognizable; others are whimsically clever. Only audiences familiar with the originals will fully appreciate the humor. Colorful digital cartoons complement the silliness. Paragraphs “About the Stories” are appended.
Subjects: General Literature; Humorous stories; Stories in rhyme

Scieszka, Jon, ed.  Guys Read: Terrifying Tales
Gr. 4–6, middle school     272 pp.     HarperCollins/Walden Pond

Illustrated by Gris Grimly. The sixth volume in the anthology series brings us ten new spine-tingling tales from wide-ranging popular children’s authors, including Rita Williams-Garcia, Adam Gidwitz, R. L. Stine, and Dav Pilkey. Many of the stories end with an uneasy twist that might genuinely scare younger or fright-averse readers; those looking for accessible chills will be pleased. Grimly’s illustrations add an extra layer of creepiness.
Subjects: General Literature; Supernatural—Ghosts; Supernatural—Horror stories; Short stories

Winchell, Mike, ed.  Been There, Done That: Writing Stories from Real Life
Gr. 4–6     291 pp.     Grosset

Illustrated by Eglantine Ceulemans. Each famous author (including Margarita Engle and Gary Schmidt) shares an incident from his or her life and then presents a fictional story inspired by it. Some reshape what really happened into a short story; others use themes and emotions from reality to inspire wildly altered tales. The result is a varied showcase of how writers can use their memories in fiction without being tied to the details.
Subjects: General Literature; Short stories; Memory; Writing; Authors

From the May 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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