Selected and annotated by Laurel Halfar
Abrahams, Peter, Libba Bray, David Levithan, et al. Up All Night: A Short Story Collection. Geringer/HarperCollins, 2008. 228 p. Gr. 7-10.
Six prominent YA authors explore the crevices of the nighttime hours in these tales about individuals forgoing sleep for a multitude of reasons. This unique collection of stories also includes one graphic -novel short by Gene Luen Yang.
Amnesty International, ed. Free?: Stories about Human Rights. Candlewick, 2010. 224 p. Gr. 6-9.
This anthology of 14 short pieces, including prose, poetry, and a script, focuses on universal human rights by illuminating articles from the United Nation’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Historical and contemporary entries from a variety of perspectives are each connected to a simplified version of one of the articles of the declaration, making this a collection that encourages discussion.
Black, Holly and Justine Larbalestier, ed. Zombies vs. Unicorns. McElderry, 2010. 432 p. Gr. 9-12.
Team zombie or team unicorn? This collection of 12 short stories from top teen writers highlights the two fantastical creatures and asks readers to decide which should wear the crown. Running commentary from coeditors Black (supporting the unicorns) and Larbalestier (representing the zombies) adds entertainment and weaves the competing tales together.
Carlson, Lori Marie, ed. Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today. HarperCollins, 2005. 156 p. Gr. 9-12.
This collection of 10 short stories all written by Native authors provides insight into the contemporary lives of American Indians. The stories, all featuring young protoganists, represent a breadth of experiences and settings.
Chambers, Aidan. The Kissing Game: Short Stories. Amulet/Abrams, 2011. 224 p. Gr. 9-12.
Chambers experiments with format including flash fiction, complete stories focusing on extreme brevity that often leave it up to the reader to construct meaning, and pieces written completely in dialogue in his collection of 16 stories. The tales range from lighthearted and funny to dark and complex; the variety of formats and topics covered make it a creative and provocative work.
Cortez, Sarah, ed. You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens. Piñata, 2011. 336 p. Gr. 7-10.
Cortez brings together 18 stories with teenage protagonists written by Latino and Latina authors. The stories, set in communities across the United States, combine everyday issues relevant to teenagers with suspenseful, sometimes supernatural, mysteries.
Datlow, Ellen and Terri Windling, ed. Teeth: Vampire Tales. Harper/HarperCollins, 2011. 480 p. Gr. 9-12.
Datlow and Windling encouraged contributors to this biting anthology to produce a bloodsucking short story that goes beyond the trendy paranormal romance. The result is a collection of stories by both well and lesser known authors to this genre that is sure to provide vampire enthusiasts a taste of what they crave.
Levithan, David. How They Met, and Other Stories. Knopf, 2008. 256 p. Gr. 7-10.
In his collection of 18 short stories Levithan explores the complex and overwhelming emotion of love. The pieces run the gamut from heartbreaking to heartwarming and examine the many forms love can take on.
Mercado, Nancy, ed. Baseball Crazy: Ten Short Stories That Cover All the Bases. Dial, 2008. 240 p. Gr. 5-8.
This collection contains short stories, a poem, and a short play centering on the beloved sport of baseball, using the sport is often a catalyst to explore universal themes affecting young people. The stories are varied in topic, take place in the past and present, and feature an array of characters.
Myers, Walter Dean. What They Found: Love on 145th Street. Lamb, 2007. 243 p. G. 9-12.
Myers brings together 15 stories about the residents of Harlem and their varied experiences with the many dimensions of love. A range of voices and points of view are represented in this exploration of one of the most complicated yet basic emotions.
Noyes, Deborah, ed. Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical. Candlewick, 2009. 240 p. Gr. 8-10.
Noyes brings together 10 odd tales that examine human curiosities and allow readers a glimpse into the lives of the strange and unusual; this collection of short stories (three in graphic format) features recognized young adult authors.
Peters, Julie Anne. grl2grl. Tingley/Little, 2007. 151 p. Gr. 9-12.
Peters reveals 10 unique stories of young women traveling the path of self-discovery and exploring their sexual identity in her debut short story collection. The stories highlight a wide spectrum of experiences but all deftly express the journey through uncharted teenage emotions.
Rich, Susan, ed. Half-Minute Horrors. Harper/HarperCollins, 2009. 141 p. Gr. 4-7.
These 72 super short stories (most ranging from one to three pages) from top children’s authors and artists, including the likes of Holly Black, Neil Gaiman, and Brian Selznick, offer fun fear-inducing fiction. The tales range from dark and creepy to silly and bizarre with several in comic form.
Scieszka, Jon, ed. Guys Read: Funny Business. Walden Pond/HarperCollins, 2010. 256 p. Gr. 3-6.
With the goal of encouraging boys to read, Scieszka brings together some of the biggest names in children’s literature in the first volume of the Guys Read Library series. This motley mix of humorous short stories may help readers explore new authors or give them another taste of an old favorite. Subsequent volumes will explore other genres and themes such as non-fiction, sports, and fantasy.
Tan, Shaun. Tales from Outer Suburbia. Levine/Scholastic, 2008. 96 p. Gr. 5-10.
Tan combines the seemingly ordinary with the otherworldly in his collection of 15 surreal and thought-provoking illustrated short stories. The extensive artwork varies in style to match each tale. The result is a puzzling yet familiar collection, full of detail and whimsy, that is sure to stretch the imagination.
Vande Velde, Vivian. Cloaked in Red. Cavendish, 2010. 127 p. Gr. 5-8.
Vande Velde offers eight distinct takes on the well-known tale Little Red Riding Hood from a variety of perspectives in this quirky and humorous collection of stories.