"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Grade 6-9-These 10 fantastic tales plus 1 poem are interesting in concept, but flawed in execution. Most of the stories feature clear metaphors for such serious topics as drug addiction, mental illness, abuse, and anorexia. Reader interest in these themes, plus the tales' consistently adolescent worldview and youthful protagonists, could have added up to an appealing, substantial collection for fantasy or horror fans. Unfortunately, the writing is often so awkward that the stories lose their zing long before their final pages. In "Satanium," the omniscient narrator states of the antihero, "He continued to walk down the street. Well, actually he didn't walk. It was too fast to be called walking. In fact, it was too fast to be called running. It was an almost instantaneous movement from one place to another." "Dying for Franjibelle" even concludes with the ending forbidden by every language-arts teacher since Lewis Carroll made it famous: the protagonist wakes up to find it was all a dream. For a more enjoyable read in this genre, try Bruce Coville's excellent short-story collections Oddly Enough (1994) or Odder Than Ever (1998, both Harcourt).
Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5-8. The 10 stories in this collection are described as "stories of transformation." As each character manages to escape his or her nightmare, readers may wonder whether they have encountered vivid, off-kilter, disturbing fantasies, or whether the stories are just vehicles to explore the effects of homelessness, child abuse, divorce, drugs, or anorexia. Here, sisters experience euphoria, then descend into a world of slavery after sniffing an exotic flower; a girl is literally torn in half by her feuding parents; a middle-class boy finds he has traded bodies with a homeless boy; a wealthy girl with emotionally absent parents wastes away under the spell of a mirror; a man must break a life-crippling spell that compels him to repeat nonsense phrases. The stories are flanked by the intriguing title poem, which could generate much discussion about self-perception, character, or symbolism. Suggest this book to kids who relish offbeat stories and don't require tidy plots, reasonable characters, or comfortable endings. Chris Sherman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Scholastic Paperbacks, 1949. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0439440866
Book Description Scholastic Paperbacks, 1949. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110439440866