Sunday, February 15, 2004
Cart, Michael. 2003. NECESSARY NOISE. New York: HarperCollins.
ISBN 0060275006 [Suggested Grade Levels 5-12]
SUMMARY and ANALYSIS
This collection of short stories, edited by Michael Cart, tells the stories of modern day families. They represent the reality of how families have changed, and how they are still the same. It shows that traditional families can be dysfunctional and so-called dysfunctional families can work just fine. Told by some of today’s well know Young Adult authors, the wide range of styles and formats mirror this eclectic grouping of tales.
Sonya Sones tells the story of a young girl living with an abusive older sister and family that can’t or won’t, see the situation for what it is, in: “Dr Jekyl and Sister Hyde.” Told in verse form, it ends in a cynically optimistic tone: “So I’m finally going to do something/that I should have done/as soon as I was old enough to walk: /I’m signing up for karate.” In “A Woman’s Touch” by Rita Williams-Garcia, a boy on the brink of manhood deals with his mother’s lesbian relationship and the growing role this other woman has in his life. The story, “ A Family Illness,” by Joyce Carol Thomas shows us the way a family member’s mental illness changes both the son that suffers from schizophrenia, as well as his mother who seeks to understand and help him through this illness. No matter what shape or make-up your family may come in, NECESSARY NOISE contains truths that are universal.
Short stories can be a great way to introduce readers to new authors. All of the authors includes in this book have other works. I would display the author’s independent pieces so that the students could discover a new author.
This collection would be a great way to discuss what makes a family.
Other short story collections edited by Michael Cart for young adults:
911:THE BOOK OF HELP. ISBN 0812626591
LOVE AND SEX. ISBN 0689856687
Other short story collections made just for young adults:
Gallo, Donald. NO EASY ANSWERS. ISBN 0440413052
Howe, James. THE COLOR OF ABSENCE: 12 STORIES OF LOSS AND HOPE. ISBN 0689856679
Howe, James. THIRTEEN STORIES THAT CAPTURE THE AGONY AND ECSTACY OF BEING THIRTEEN. ISBN 0689828632
Soto, Gary. LOCAL NEWS. ISBN 015204695X
By Marianne Follis