Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On the Fringe by Donald R. Gallo (ed.)

Another home-run collection for young adults edited by Donald R. Gallo. Anyone who reads YA lit will recognize the phenomenal authors featured in this collection--M.E. Kerr, Chris Crutcher, Jack Gantos, and Joan Bauer, to name a few.

What I liked best about this collection is that it went beyond the stereotypical tales of puny geeks getting bullied by muscle-bound, light-on-brains jocks. Each story deals with unique individuals who feel like outsiders for a variety of reasons. My favorite stories: "Muzak for Prozac," about a boy who stays medicated in order to deal with his guilt at outing a lesbian classmate and "Guns for Geeks," a horrifying and heartbreaking story inspired by the Columbine tragedy about a boy who is just not going to take the bullying anymore. A painful read, but something that we all need to think about.

Another collection of short stories that I also recommend, edited by Gallo as well, is No Easy Answers.

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