Armstrong, Jennifer, ed. Shattered: Stories of Children and War. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. This edited collection features short stories by acclaimed Young Adult authors M.E. Kerr, Gloria Miklowitz, Graham Salisbury, and Suzanne
Fisher Staples, to name a few. Each story, dealing with various wars in the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, provides insight into how difficult it is to be a child during war time, how painful it is so suffer the loss of loved ones, how bewildering it is for children who do not see the gray areas of war. The majority of the stories do not have satisfying conclusions, which is at once both frustrating for the reader and necessary to evoke the sense of the wastefulness and frustration of war. A solid read. Middle/high school.
Angel, Ann. Such a Pretty Face: Short Stories about Beauty. NY: Amulet Books, 2007.
Bauer, Marion Dane, ed. Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence. HarperCollins, 1994. Excellent stories of teens coming out and coming to terms with being gay. High school.
Brooks, Bruce. All That Remains: 3 Stories. NY: Atheneum, 2001. Three novellas of adolescents dealing with death. High School.
Cart, Michael, ed. How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity. NY: HarperTeen, 2009. The majority of the stories focus on gay/lesbian/transgender individuals coming to terms with life, love, and self. High school.
Cart, Michael, ed. Necessary Noise: Stories about our families as they really are. NY: HarperTempest, 2004. Middle/high school.
Chen, Jeffrey Paul, Frank Chin, Lawson Furas Inade and Shawn Wong. The Big AIIIEEEEE! An Anthology of Chinese American and Japanese American Literature. NY: Penguin, 1991. Middle, high school.
Cofer, Judith Ortiz. An Island Like You. NY: Penguin, 1995. A series of short stories about Latina/os of Puerto Rican descent. Excellent. High School.
Cormier, Robert. Eight Plus One: Stories by Robert Cormier. NY: Bantam Doubleday, 1991. Middle, high school.
Coville, Bruce, ed. A Glory of Unicorns. NY: Scholastic, 1998. Twelve fantasy stories about unicorns. Middle.
Crutcher, Chris. Athletic Shorts. NY: Greenwillow Books, 1989. The amazing short story collection by one of our greatest adolescent authors. Mostly high school.
Emra, Bruce. Coming of Age; Short Stories about Youth and Adolescence. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company, 1995. Middle, high school.
Gallo, Donald, ed. Join In: Multiethnic Short Stories by Outstanding Writers. NY: Bantam Doubleday, 1990. Middle, high school.
Gallo, Donald, ed. Sixteen Short Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults. NY: Delacorte Press, 1984. Middle, high school.
Gallo, Donald, ed. Ultimate Sports. NY: Delacorte Press, 1995. Middle, high school.
Gallo, Donald, ed. Visions: Nineteen Short Stories by Outstanding Writers. NY: Delacorte Press, 1984. Middle, high school.
Gallo, Donald, ed. Time Capsule; Short Stories about Teenagers throughout the 20th Century. NY: Delacorte Press,
1995. Stories by some of our favorite authors. Middle, high school.
Gallo, Don, ed. On the Fringe. (2001). NY: PenguinPutnam. Fabulous collection of short stories about kids on the “fringe”, kids who don’t make the popular groups, kids ostracized because of poverty, sexual identity, etc. Of special import are the short stories by Ron Koertge (popular girl who finds that she isn’t so different than those kids on the edges), Jack Gantos (student who talks about being on Prozac), and Chris Crutcher (the original storyline from Whale Talk about a student who brings a gun to school and kills three classmates before being brought done by the narrator of the story and his brother TJ and then how everyone deals with the murders). A strong collection. High school.
Giovanni, Nikki, ed. Grandmothers: Poems, Reminiscences, and Short Stories about the Keepers of Our Traditions. NY: Henry Holt, 1994. Middle, high school.
Howe, James. The Color of Absence: 12 stories about loss and hope. (2002). Excellent collection on death, loss, divorce, hope, etc. Strong middle, high school collection.
Jacob, Iris. My Sisters’ Voices: Teenage Girls of Color Speak Out. (2002). Henry Holt and Company. Collection of stories written by teenage girls of African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, and biracial backgrounds on topics such as family, friendships, sex, love, racism, loss and oppression. A strong collection for middle/high school girls.
Lynch, Chris. Whitechurch. HarperCollins, 1999. In a series of short stories and prose poems, we see the relationships between Pauly the incorrigible troublemaker, the enigmatic Lilly, and the usually stable narrator Oakley as they deal with each other and with their own inner problems.
Meyer, Carolyn. Rio Grande Stories. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994. Stories of a group of students in Albuquerque who research the cultural and history of their family’s ties to New Mexico.
Myers, Walter Dean. What They Found: Love on 145th St. NY: Wendy Lamb Books, 2007. Fifteen short stories follow the lives of young men and women who learn to live, love, deal with war, death, depression, poverty, parenthood, and so on. The stories are poignant and humorous in turn; my favorites are the ones that follow the Evans family, who represent the empathic core of the stories. Middle/high school.
Pettepiece, T. and A. Aleksin, eds. Face to Face: A Collection of Stories by Celebrated Soviet and American Writers. NY: Philomel, 1990. Middle, high school.
Rochman, Hazel, ed. Somehow Tenderness Survives: Stories of Southern Africa. NY: HarperCollins, 1988. Middle, high school.
Salisbury, Graham. Island Boys. NY: Wendy Lamb Books, 2002. Short stories for and about boys set on the Hawaiian Islands. Middle, high school.
Singer, Marilyn, ed. Stay True: Short Stories for Strong Girls. NY: Scholastic, 1998. Eleven authors write story about heroines struggling against conformity. Middle, high school.
Soto, Gary. Help Wanted: Inquire Within. (2005). NY: Harcourt. Great collection of short stories on teens needing help making sense of their world. Great humor as well as pathos throughout.
Stearns, Michael, ed. A Wizard’s Dozen: Stories of the Fantastic. NY: Harcourt Brace, 1993. Middle, high school.
Thomas, Rob. Doing Time: Note from the Undergrad. Simon and Schuster, 1997. Ten students, each telling his or her own story, learn something about themselves and others when they do community service projects for their senior year.
Wallace, Rich. Losing is Not an Option: Stories. NY: Random House, 2005. Nine short stories from one of the top YA authors of sports fiction.
Weiss, M.J. & H. Weiss, eds. From One Experience to Another. Fifteen well-known authors for teens offer
fictionalized accounts of something that actually happened to them. Not a bad story in the bunch!
Wynne-Jones, Tim. Lord of the Fries and other stories. NY: DK Ink, 1999. Humorous short stories based around the
short order cook at the Burger Barn! Middle, high school.
Yep, Laurence, ed. American Dragons: Twenty-Five Asian American Voices. NY: HarperCollins, 1995. Middle, high school.
Young, Cathy, ed. One Hot Second: Stories About Desire. NY: Knopf, 2002. Yes, it’s got a racy title, but the stories inside are actually a variety of first love, first kiss, first crush stories that remind us all of that first time we felt that funny feeling in our stomach.:) Definitely a high school read.
Coy, John. Box Out. NY: Scholastic, 2008. Liam is a sophomore who has been giving the opportunity to play on the varsity basketball team. At first, he’s just so thrilled to be on the team that he doesn’t think too much about some of the comments coach makes to them about religion and working as a team. But when he has time to consider the implications of prayers before games to kids who aren’t Christians, he realizes that he’s inadvertently standing up for prejudice and intolerance against others. Liam knows that he has to stand up for what he believes it, but at what cost. Middle/High school.
Crutcher, Chris. Athletic Shorts, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Running Loose, Stotan, Ironman, Deadline….All Crutcher books are excellent with well-developed and realistic characters. Middle/high school.
Dueker, Carl. Night Hoops. NY: HarperTrophy, 2000. Nick has always played second fiddle to his brother, Scott, when it comes to athletics; however, when Scott chooses band and a girl over basketball, Nick finally gets his chance to impress his dad and himself with his abilities. But Nick’s dad, hoping that Nick will become a superstar, doesn’t provide enough encouragement to Nick to become a team player. And Nick finds that this is exactly what he needs to become a truly great player. But it isn’t until Nick understands how to help Trent, social outcast but athlete supreme, that Nick himself is able to become the kind of player he really wants to be. Middle/high school.
Dueker, Carl. Heart of a Champion. NY: Avon, 1993. Jimmy is a natural baseball player, and his friend Seth knows that he’ll end up in the majors some days. Seth, on the other hand, has to work hard just to stay on the team. When Jimmy’s life starts a downward cycle because of drinking, Seth is the one to whom he turns. But can Seth really save Jimmy from himself? Middle/high school.
Dueker, Carl. On the Devil’s Court . Boston: Joy Street Books, 1988. Struggling with his failures, a 17-year-old thinks he is willing to trade his soul for one perfect season of basketball. So he makes the wager, knowing full well he doesn’t believe in the devil. But when strange things began to happen and he becomes the star of the team, he’s forced to rethink the deal he may have made. Middle/high school.
Flynn, Pat. Out of His League. NY: Walker, 2008. Thanks to an international exchange program, Australian rugby player Ozzie finds himself in Texas playing football. Neither the team nor the coach are sure of what to make of him, but Ozzie dazzles with his fearlessness on the playing field. But as he renown grows, his interactions with his classmates changes and he finds himself tempted by girls and offers the likes of which he could have never contemplated. Can he be true to his girlfriend in Australia and his own sense of right and wrong, or will he simply be pulled into crazy American excess. An interesting book for high school readers.
Green, Tim. Rivals. NY: Harper, 2010. Josh and his baseball team have the opportunity to play in the National Baseball Hall of Fame Tournament, the most prestigious opportunity younger players can hope to have. Bit when Josh and his teammates notice that the umpiring of their games is questionable, they are thrown into a mystery and a challenge: is someone bribing the umpires to throw the tournament? This is a solid book that considers both the triumphs and the challenges in the sport. Middle School.
Gutman, Dan. Satch & Me; Honus & Me; Mickey & Me; Shoeless Joe & Me; Babe & Me. NY: HarperCollins, 2000-2006. The time travel series where young baseball addict Stosh goes back in time to meet his favorite historic baseball players. Great series for less-motivated readers who are interested in sports. Upper elementary and middle school.
Hughes, Pat. Open Ice. NY: Wendy Lamb Books, 2006. Nick Taglio is a hockey star at his high school, and he has the injuries and the girl friend to prove it. But when Nick suffers an illegal hit during a game and succumbs to his second concussion in six months, his parents and doctor prepare him for the real possibility that he will have to give up hockey forever or face severe brain damage if he’s injured again. As Nick struggles with the reality of the concussion and his fickle girlfriend—she only loves Nick as long as he’s a hockey star—he is forced to deal with the stark reality that leaving hockey will change his life; but can he accept that? Great middle/high school read.
Klass, David. Wrestling with Honor. NY: Scholastic, 1989. When the drug test straight A, Eagle Scout, all-around-good-kid Ron takes comes back positive, he must decide whether to submit to a second test. At stake is a scholarship, his own sense of himself as an individual, and his relationships with his mom and girl friend. Middle/high school.
De la Pena, Matt. Ball Don’t Lie. Delacorte, 2005. Sticky is a foster child who has been through his share of foster situations. But when it comes to basketball, he knows exactly who he is and where he belongs. But can he hang on to the security of basketball when faced with girlfriend issues, family problems, and personal safety concerns. An amazing text for basketball players everywhere. High school.
Lynch, Chris. Slot Machine. NY: HarperCollins, 1995. When overweight Elvin Bishop signs up for a summer “retreat” called Twenty-One Nights with the Knights, he thinks he’s signed up for three weeks of fun sports. The reality, however, has him getting bruised, beaten, and humiliated on a regular basis by both friends and foes alike. What he learns from the experience helps him as he reevaluates his life and friendships. Middle/high school.
Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Dairy Queen. NY: Graphia, 2006. D. J. has been raised on a farm surrounded by boys, so its no big surprise that she knows football. Talked into helping the quarterback from their rival team—Brian--get into shape, D. J. realizes that she, too, has the desire and ability to be a football player. But if she does go out for football, how will it impact her relationship with her parents, her brothers, and most importantly, Brian? Middle/high school.
Myers, Walter Dean. Game. New York: HarperTeen, 2008. Drew Lawson knows that his future depends upon his skill as a basketball player, so as he enters his senior year, he’s pushing himself to be a star. But his coaches are focused on teamwork, and Drew finds himself resenting them and questioning his own game as the season wears on. Can Drew find him game within the team? Solid high school read.
Myers, Walter Dean. Slam. New York: Scholastic, 1996. Greg Harris is a star on the basketball court, but his grades aren’t nearly as impressive. Added to his seeming inability to control his temper and his concerns about his moms and his grandmother, Greg, also known as Slam, starts to wonder what his post high school life will be as he comes to understand that he’s not making good decisions? Solid high school read.
Powell, Randy. Dean Duffy. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1995. Dean Duffy became a baseball star in 9th grade and became a has-been by the end of his senior year. His pitching arm is shot and his hitting has gone from stellar to the cellar. With college scholarship opportunities out the windows, Dean is at a loss as to how to proceed. The he’s offered a one-semester scholarship from the baseball coach friend of his long-time mentor, Jack Trent. Jack’s not to subtle pushing combined with the events of the weeks leading up to the day that Dean has to commit or not to the scholarship provides an interesting look at an older teen who knows that his decisions will impact his future. A thoughtful read for high school students.
Ritter, John H. Over the Wall. Puffin Books, 2000. Tyler loves baseball and wants desperately to make the All-Star team, but this may be an impossible task considering that Tyler can never seem to keep his cool during games. Seemingly bent on destruction, Tyler begins to confront some of his own personal issues through his work with Coach Trioli, a Vietnam War vet who has also had to face his own demons. A strong read for middle school boys.
Ritter, John H. The Boy Who Saved Baseball. Puffin Books, 2005. Tom Gallagher’s passionate plea to Doc to save the Dillontown baseball field results in a challenge; if the Dillontown team can beat the team from down the hill (and with a more modern baseball field), Doc will not sell the field to become a housing development; but if they lose...Tom thinks it’s a lost cause until Cruz de la Cruz shows up and then talks Tom into recruiting the reclusive former baseball star, Dante Del Gato, into being their coach. Can they pull off the impossible? Great middle school read.
Wallace, Rich. Wrestling Sturbridge. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. A high school wrestler finds he is taking second place to his friends in a number of weight classes, but decides that he must make this year his own, both in the sport and in his relationships with others. Middle/high school.
Weaver, Will. Saturday Night Dirt. NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008. Told through a variety of voices: the teen-aged stock car drivers (male and female), the unacknowledged manager of Headwaters Speedway (the daughter of the actual owner), the various people who work at the track, this is a fast-moving story of one Saturday at the race track. Each person brings something different to the story: worries that they or their cars won’t impress or hold up in actual racing, concerns about keeping the track in the black, attitudes about others at the track, and, of course, a fierce collective sense of competition that drives the whole book. The first in the MOTOR series, this is sure to be a definite winner with boys in particular but anyone interested in stock car racing. Middle/high school.
Williams, Suzanne Morgan. Bull Rider. NY: McElderry Books, 2009. Cam O’Mara has never show much interest in bull-riding; that’s his brother Ben’s thing. But when Ben comes home from Iraq with a brain injury, Cam decides that bull-riding may be the answer to helping Ben out, both emotionally and financially. But bull-riding isn’t as easy as he thinks it will be, and keeping his endeavors a secret from his family provides a challenge all its own. A solid story of war and its impact on family. Middle/high school.