I’ll Keep This Short

I recently posted about how much I love the short stories of Ray Bradbury. Short stories are a great way to learn about structure because they generally only contain a single plot twist. They’re also easy to read in one sitting, which is a draw for antsy teens. Here are some short story collections I like (or would like to read):

Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar is probably the first book of short stories I ever read. These stories are wacky and fun, and they’ve got some great twists you don’t see coming–like the fact that there is no 19th floor in the 30-story building.


Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan is a brand new book I’m looking forward to reading. These stories about strange events happening in normal suburban towns are accompanied by lovely illustrations.

Black Juice by Margo Lanagan contains some of the most mystifying strange stories I’ve ever read, including one about a girl who seems to have trained to become a bride, but has a hard time making it to the ceremony.

Love is Hell by Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin, and Laurie Faria Stolarz is an upcoming collection that sounds angsty and fun. Teens will be excited to see their favorite authors included here if they’ve read Wicked Lovely or Uglies.

rosebeastThe Rose and The Beast: Fairy Tales Retold by Francesca Lia Block is lyrical and edgy, with ingenious modern-day twists on classic fairy tales. My favorite: “Ice,” (a retelling of “The Ice Queen”) in which a girl loses her angsty rockstar boyfriend to an icy beauty.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov is a great stepping stone for teens into adult fiction, especially since it’s currently being made into a movie. This novel (and its sequels) is made up of short stories about an orchestrated attempt to save mankind from a new Dark Age.

Also, for you librarians and teachers–here’s a great resource for finding short stories and novels that have been made into movies. Might be a good way to find a short story collection that a teen you know will be interested in reading.

cheryliconParker Peevyhouse would love to someday write a novel made up of short stories.

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4 responses to “I’ll Keep This Short

  1. Lesley

    Oooo .. Ray Bradbury!! I discovered him in my teens and he was my hero! I was so besotted by his writing that I went through a phase trying to write like him!


  2. Oh, I’m with you on loving the short story collections. I very much want to publish a collection of shorts, and guess the way there is by doing anthologies first… which aren’t always easy to find! But it’s a dream…

    What’s your opinion on The Foundation as film, btw? I’m…scared. Of course, I tend to fear any novels I love being crushed down and rendered like animal fat into the thin medium of film (dramatics, maybe?) but since it’s not a YA thing, they may not mangle it so badly…

    • Parker Peevyhouse

      I can’t imagine how they’re going to pull it off. There really aren’t any main characters to grab onto.

      I suppose if they cast Will Smith as Harry Seldon they ‘ll have a blockbuster regardless.

  3. What! A Foundation movie! I am so there. Like Tanita, I’m often disappointed in the movies, but they do keep the story going for a while. Hopefully it will rock the house.
    Anyway – short stories. I’ve never really tried my hand at writing any. But I do love the collections from authors I love. One that comes to mind is Legends which had some Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, I think even Stephen King. I could go check but it’s down in the garage.
    Anyone remember that?

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