cover image Stay True: Short Stories for Strong Girls

Stay True: Short Stories for Strong Girls

Marilyn Singer. Scholastic, $16.95 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-590-36031-9

In her first short story anthology, Singer (All We Need to Say) brings together works by 11 distinguished authors, including M.E. Kerr, Rita Williams-Garcia, Norma Fox Mazer and Singer herself. Thematically related by their emphasis on learning to navigate life's tailspins through self-reliance and self-discovery, the stories are nevertheless widely diverse in style and subject. From the more predictable twist on the Cinderella story found in Anne Mazer's ""The Transformations of Cindy R.,"" to C. Drew Lamm's eye-opening take on adolescent soul-searching in ""Stay True,"" readers will find characters and situations, both comfortable and disturbing, that reflect their lives and concerns. More importantly, the stories depict thoughtful young women ably meeting their challenges with courage and wit. Amid a recent outpouring of volumes--fiction, nonfiction and biography--aiming to encourage and inspire teen and preteen girls, Singer's collection stands out as proof of fiction's ability to create distance and to subtly alter readers' perceptions of the world. Thus, these stories will likely function for readers the way trees do for Lamm's protagonist: ""I can feel them hard-stroking my brains, untangling and freeing my mind. And when I leave, I'm in place."" Ages 12-up. (May)