Guest Author - Siobhain M Cullen
Short stories for students need to be well-crafted enough to warrant close study and analysis (in terms of structure,characterization and plot) whilst managing to be eye-catching and entertaining as well. A tall order for literature stories tutors and young adult writers alike!Here's a new collection of short stories for teens and students from Geektastic. Featuring funny geeky stories from some of the freshest, brightest and best new authors, the friendship tales and humorous stories deal with issues that matter to teens such as alcohol, relationships,popularity,success and failure.
Book reviews and personal responses to the new short stories for students might include the elements of amusement, surprise and appreciation of the observational powers of the writers.One of the short stories features a golden-haired Barbie-like varsity cheerleader with the unlikely name of Montgomery. Her issue is that hot boyfriend (the college sports hero) is unable to connect with her on any subject that doesn't concern either running after or catching a ball or the celebrity world of entertainment. Author Tracy Lynn skilfully builds curiosity and tension during Montgomery's dialog with some ogling 'media types' as 'Barbie' produces a stack of notes in front of stunned but salacious media room staff. In a vivid snap-shot the author describes how one of the employees has a very unattractive mouth habit! Her heroine asks the media 'herd' to teach her about publicity...
The short story co-written by editors Holly Black and Cecil Castelluci features a drunken awakening following a Star Wars convention party. There are nose-ridges and giant lashes stuck to the sheets and a bald-cap to peel off before make-up is removed with cold-cream in front of an unfamiliar bathroom cabinet mirror - to reveal a real face which is now.....tame!
In some of the other humorous tales and friendship stories nerds and anoraks take the form of Jedi knights, theater bores, vampire-slaying types and so-called sad, lame characters who are only popular on the internet. Cautionary tales are there too, as one story alludes to the dubious practice of meeting up online and offline.
Holly Black (Spiderwick) and Cecil Castelluci (Queen Of Cool)have highlighted some bright new young adult authors in this collection of new short stories for students and older teens, as well as some who have already staked their claim in the popularity stakes. Scott Westerfield, Garth Nix and David Levithan are all included, as of course are the co-editors themselves.
Ideal for getting English students to really look at story structure, plot, characterization and technique in addition to investigating the issues important in their own lives, Geektastic short stories for students will entertain as well. Across the curriculum teens will find many characters to identify with - citizenship and self-esteem can be discussed in terms of the everyday anxieties, insecurities and under-confidence as well as the superficial brash confidence of teenage life in the 'nerd-herd.'
(Available August 2009)