The Sixth Sense and Other Stories

Jessie Haas, Author Greenwillow Books $12.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-688-08129-4
This collection of short stories is arch and populated with over-analytical, talky teenagers. James, with his love of horses, and Kris, who fights with her father constantly over the value of animals as pets, are the main characters in most of the stories. The collection opens when Kris finds her Aunt Mil grief-stricken over the death of a longtime feline companion. The relationship between the girl and her elderly aunt is exquisitely drawn, but unlike the poetic beauty of Cynthia Rylant's Every Living Thing (a book that, like this one, thematically draws on the link between people and animals), these stories try to spell everything out. Much of Kris's dialogue sounds like she's repeating a textbook (which would be all right, since she is studying animal behavior) but it is too stiff for real conversation. In general, the book will please readers who are animal-lovers and who are also trying to articulate their concerns for four-legged friends. Others may be put off by the constant philosophizing and too-ready answers of all the players. Ages 12-up. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
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