Paradise Cafe and Other Stories

Martha Brooks, Author Joy Street Books $14.95 (124p) ISBN 978-0-316-10978-9
As poignantly wrought as Cynthia Rylant's most recent anthology, A Couple of Kooks and Other Stories About Love , this first short story collection offers a candid glimpse of teenage relationships, as young adult narrators recount a broad range of intimate experiences. While several of the 14 selections have a romantic bent, others explore alternative forms of affection: ``The Way Things Are'' subtly relays a farm girl's compassion for her father's slow-witted hired hand; ``The Best Side of Heaven'' examines a tender bond formed between a runaway and his older traveling companion. Through conversational narrative, the tales express small yet significant revelations that characters make about themselves and the people they encounter. With enormous empathy, Brooks perceptively evokes the fragile quality of adolescent emotions while deftly unveiling truths about human nature. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Genre: Children's
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