I See Reality: Twelve Short Stories About Real Life

Jay Clark, Kristin Elizabeth Clark, Heather Demetrios, et al. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-374-30258-0
Aiming to shine a light on the virtues of stories about real teens living in the real world, this collection features 12 tales from writers including Trisha Leaver, Kekla Magoon, James Preller, and Marcella Pixley. It’s a solid concept, but the sheer brevity of the entries—most are 25 pages or so—doesn’t always give them a chance to shine and can reduce the characters to their situations, in stories about unexpected pregnancy, a domineering boyfriend, school shootings, and sexual identity. Amid the prose offerings are two illustrated entries: like his novels, Stephen Emond’s “The Night of the Living Creeper” mixes sequences of text and artwork (and happens to be narrated by a cat); Faith Erin Hicks’s untitled graphic short, set at an end-of-high-school pool party, captures the thrilling promise of new experiences, romantic and otherwise. Patrick Flores-Scott’s “The Good Brother,” about twins dealing with their immigration status, creates both a crisis situation and distinctive characters. While these stories can be a mixed bag, readers may well be enticed to seek out the contributors’ longer work. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/26/2015
Release date: 01/26/2016
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-0-374-30259-7
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