Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA

Edited by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X.R. Pan. Algonquin, $16.95 paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-64375-079-8
Part showcase of culturally diverse new voices from online magazine Foreshadow, part beginners’ writing textbook, this best-of YA anthology’s purposes muddy each other’s effectiveness despite featuring touching and topical reads. Standout stories are rich with fresh perspective and nuance: Tanya Aydelott’s thoughtful “Flight” welds fine art, bodies’ limits, and an uprooted girl’s chance to choose differently than her changeable mother into a surprising jewel. Gina Chen’s charming, clear-eyed “Fools” introduces an unconventional demon to an island full of fairy tales’ leftover girls. Satirical “Risk” by Rachel Hylton transforms a high school sophomore into a lobster—and body image insecurities into joyous solidarity. And told in six games of Seven Minutes in Heaven, a Florida teen kindles romance alongside baking in Sophie Meridien’s playful, ebullient “Break.” Coeditor Pan offers prompts and accessible story assessments that highlight elements of craft, and author and editor q&as usefully illuminate publishing processes, but persistent mythologies on the “magic” of publication undermine a professional approach. This potentially valuable starting point for aspiring writers will frustrate pleasure readers and craft-oriented writing students with its split—and sometimes self-contradictory—purpose. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/26/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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