Within Reach: Ten Stories

ISBN 13: 9780060214401

Within Reach: Ten Stories

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A collection of ten stories in which characters face choices, risks, and challenges in their lives, by such authors as Constance C. Greene, Judie Angell, and Robert Lipsyte

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The editor of Short Circuits (1992) and other anthologies for YAs offers ten stories for a slightly younger audience. In Constance Greene's ``Saturdays Is Peppermint,'' two children flying alone to meet divorced parents find comfort in a discussion of thumbsucking; in Ardath Mayhar's poignant ``Secret Among the Stones,'' a hiker finds a small skeleton and a primitive doll; two students' ``Foolproof Plan'' (Steven Otfinoski) to share answers for a history test goes hilariously awry. Time machines create more problems than they solve in Lensey Namioka's ``LAFFF'' and Robert Lipsyte's ``Future File'' (a glimpse into a newsroom of the next century); in the collection's only ghost story, Judie Angell's ``I Saw What I Saw,'' a dead grocer helps his young stock clerk foil a robbery. Rather than creating exotic literary or atmospheric effects, the authors--all experienced writers for young people--test their characters in familiar surroundings; these are ``stories about kids who take risks, try new things, reach out to others,'' writes Gallo, but seldom in life-or-death situations. Each tale ends with an explanatory paragraph and a thumbnail biography. A pleasingly diverse collection, with only hints of the supernatural. (Short Stories. 10-12) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Though not the most provocative volume of short YA fiction recently published, this collection of stories focusing on "kids who take risks" displays a fair sampling of genres (historical fiction, contemporary realism, science fiction) and includes background information on contributors and their works. Some selections are predictable and tend to be moralistic (in Carol Snyder's "The Best Bedroom in Brooklyn," for example, a girl momentarily dazzled by a visitor learns to value her mother for "her own special self"); others prove relevant in voicing concerns of contemporary teens. Of particular interest are "Saturdays Is Peppermint" (Constance C. Greene), which illuminates the brief friendship that springs up between an amateur and a veteran air-traveler, both children of divorced parents; and "Taking a Chance" (Jan Greenberg), which traces the relationship between a mediocre ballplayer and an abused older boy. As indicated in the editor's introduction (Gallo promises that "enjoyment is within reach"), the main purpose of this book is to entertain, and reluctant readers are especially likely to appreciate the accessibility of the stories' themes, conflicts and down-to-earth language. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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