Thursday, February 23, 2006


I really run hot and cold with short story collections. I recently tried to get through the acclaimed Black Juice, but it really wasn't for me. I recognized the quality of the writing, of course, but I just didn't care about the stories. Even the first that should have been tugging on my heartstrings, left me cold.

At the public library the other day, I picked up Thundershine, by David Skinner. I will admit it...I picked it up because it was a "skinny book". Ahhhh, that phrase I used to try to abolish when I worked in the public libraries! But I am furiously reading to change my summer reading lists, and I thought this was a possibility.

Turns out, it's too much for my age group, but for those of you looking for something for the 10-14 year old set, this is it!

Four magical stories about kids who don't quite fit in. The stories definately have a more scifi bent than fantasy, but I truly believe there is something for everyone in here.

My favourite story is the first one. Jenny "with a J" has been drawing maps every since she was a child. Maps of rooms, neighbourhoods, houses. But they have always been true maps. Suddenly she decides to start "dismapping" things. She starts with her home, and before you know it, Egypt is in Canada. The interesting thing is that nobody notices. People just keep living like there were always two suns and one is blue. But Jenny's best friend notices. Aside from Jenny, she is the only one. And unlike Jenny, she never sees it coming.

There is the story of the "meta humans". Nina suddenly has powers. Or power. She can only have one at a time, but she can also bestow power upon others. She decides that little brother Henry, his best friend and his best friend's girlfriend are all worthy. But Nina runs dark.

"Walk this Way" is a love story in disguise involving a type of teleportation called bopping.

"Poof Poof Ya Does Me a Favor" is the strangest and the most interesting to me. Dexter is a graffiti artist who paints with his mind. Meredith can hear his painting, and can also communicate with the planet Pluto.

They sound like far out stories, and they are. But they are compelling, just long enough and filled with lovely turns of phrase. On page 61 for example "For some reason, I liked my name in her voice."

Read this book!

1 comment:

Little Willow said...

Finally, someone else who doesn't praise Black Juice. I thought I was alone out there in the sea on this one. I'm not a short story person either, not by and large, and this one was decent in parts but not a favorite or a standout to me.