November 1, 2011

Transforming ourselves

edited by Marilyn Singer

Hallowe'en is all about pretending to be someone or something else. In this collection of stories, teens try to fit in at school or find a date by not being wholly themselves. This is taken to extremes in The Plan, in which Victor's mother pretends to be his sister in order to stay young. For Jamillah in Lucky Six, a high schooler who works nights as a stripper, the plan is to save enough money to support her siblings. And in the best story, Butterflies, by Margaret Peterson Haddix, a young immigrant is given an American-style makeover by well-meaning, but ignorant aid workers. Anna's thoughts as she looks in the mirror reveals a past life that the butterfly women, as she calls them, cannot possibly fathom.

These stories, despite some unevenness, will nevertheless leave an impression on teens concerned about appearances and true selves.

No comments: