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Once upon a time that was not so very long ago, a family was described as a man, a woman, and their offspring. That was what families were. These ten stories talk about families the way they really are.
Siblings coping with their younger brother's overdose. A girl terrified of her older sister's dual personality. A boy trying to adjust to his life with two mothers. A father visiting his son on death row. These are stories of today's families -- fractured, blended, at risk, non-traditional, and some that are even still nuclear.
Noted anthologist Michael Cart asked celebrated young adult authors the question "What does 'family' mean today?" The ten stories in this anthology provide some illuminating -- and sometimes surprising -- answers. Here family is defined by the connections between all kinds of people -- and the necessary noise they make.
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Michael Cart is a writer, a lecturer, a consultant, and a nationally recognized expert in YA literature. He is the former director of the Beverly Hills (California) Public Library and a past president of the Young Adult Library Services Association, and his column "Carte Blanche" appears monthly in Booklist magazine.
He is the author or editor of twenty books, including the gay coming-of-age novel My Father's Scar, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; From Romance to Realism: 50 Years of Growth and Change in Young Adult Literature; and—with Christine A. Jenkins—The Heart Has Its Reasons, a critical history of young adult literature with gay/lesbian/queer content. His many anthologies include Love and Sex: Ten Stories of Truth, Necessary Noise: Stories About Our Families as They Really Are, and How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity.
In 2008, he became the first recipient of the YALSA/Greenwood Publishing Group Service to Young Adults Achievement Award, and in 2000, he received the Grolier Foundation Award for his contribution to the stimulation and guidance of reading by young people. Mr. Cart lives in Columbus, Indiana.From Booklist:
Gr. 9-12. Some of YA fiction's best voices are collected in this anthology of 11 stories about what it means, these days, to be in a family. The definition of that experience is complicated: in Walter Dean Myers' "Visitor," it encompasses a death-row meeting between father and son. In compiler Cart's "Sailing Away," it means two boys' friendship and romantic love for one another. Teens will relate to these varying visions and see themselves in the protagonists, even though in two of the best stories the central characters aren't even high-school students. Lois Lowry's hilarious and charming "Snowbound" stars a college freshman who has brought home her ne'er-do-well "minimalist" boyfriend (who, as part of his minimalism, does not wear underwear). Norma Howe's story features two college-age siblings (one of them married). But teens won't care, because Howe gets to the very heart of sibling rivalry and the difficulties of expressing (and, for that matter, feeling) familial love. Cart's informative introduction about the evolving family sets the tone for this first-rate collection, on the leading edge of YA fiction. John Green
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