Tag Archives: short stories

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

look-both-ways-9781481438285_hrby Jason Reynolds
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Ten 6th-graders walk home from the same middle school and share the stories of their journeys. There’s a girl whose parents are over-protective and have finally let her walk home by herself. Another girl who keeps her mouth shut most of the day, but when it’s over she talks and talks and talks. The crossing-guard’s son, who is worried about his mom ever since she got hurt saving a child from harm. There are neighbors and strangers, classmates both friendly and not. We see kids through other kids’ eyes, and then through their own, especially the bullies, who everyone knows. Through it all there is a running reference to a school bus falling from the sky. All are well-developed characters and a joy to read.

Necklace of Raindrops

by Joan Aiken
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars

Category: Folk Tale

Personal Evaluation: Joan Aiken’s name caught my eye since I really enjoyed her Wolves series when I was younger, so I had to give this a shot. Also a librarian I really respect recommended it, but overall I thought it was just okay.

What might interest children: The stories are entertaining and good for kids who have long memorized the classic fairy tales as these ones are definitely original (even a little too off-the-wall for my taste) but you can still identify the elements of a classic fairy tale in them.

The Library Card

by Jerry Spinelli

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

I’ve been meaning to read something by Jerry Spinelli and this one slid across my check-in desk at work the other day.  The title grabbed my attention so I tucked it away for lunchtime.  Somehow I missed the fact that it was short stories and so I was waiting for all the characters to be brought together.  For a while I thought they all lived near each other and then it became clear that was impossible.  Then I thought maybe the card itself was magical; also false.  As individual stories, they are charming and real, if slightly exaggerated in some areas.  But I think most kids could probably find themselves in one of the four protagonists and be happy.  Just as a word of warning though, they are definitely all separate stories, so don’t expect them to come to any grand conclusion!  My friend H gave me a new assignment for Spinelli, that I’m to read Maniac Magee as she considers it his best, so stay tuned for that review!