Help Wanted

Anita Silvey, Author Little Brown and Company $16.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-316-79148-9
On the heels of Anne Mazer's Working Days: Short Stories About Teenagers at Work, comes a second (unrelated) volume of on-the-job mini-dramas. In this anthology, work is viewed differently by each of the dozen culturally diverse young people introduced by Ray Bradbury, Vivien Alcock, Gary Soto and nine other popular YA writers. Budge Wilson's ""Be-ers and Doers"" draws a distinction between a ""fast-moving doer"" (ambitious types like the narrator's mother) and those ""just satisfied to be,"" like Albert, the baby of the family. Clearly, the narrator's sympathy lies with her brother, who does not allow anyone to ""light a fire under his feet"" and ends up perfectly happy, writing poetry and watching ""the tides of Fundy rise and fall."" Jobs are not always linked to economic rewards in these selections. Borden Deal shows a southern boy's intrinsic satisfaction in transforming a factory rooftop into a fertile plot of land where even watermelons can grow. In Norma Fox Mazer's contribution, Zelda Sagan's motive for taking a blue-collar job has less to do with making money than proving a point to her liberal-minded boyfriend. More noteworthy than the stories' common subject matter is their uncommon themes, settings, and situations. Defining work in broad terms, this enticing collection offers a little something for everyone. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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