From ten prominent writers, short stories--tender, funny, and heartbreaking--that vividly evoke the state of childhood, with all its hopes, dreams, fears, and joys. Ehrlich (Parents in the Pigpen, Pigs in the Tub, 1993, etc.) bases this collection of original pieces on an interesting conceit: She asked the authors (Avi, Francesca Lia Block, Susan Cooper, James Howe, Reeve Lindbergh, Nicholasa Mohr, Walter Dean Myers, Mary Pope Osborne, Katherine Paterson, Laurence Yep) to tell a ""story of when you were little"" that didn't need to be ""literally true in every detail."" The responses are as varied as the authors' books. Lindbergh's ""Flying"" tells of flights with her famous father; Avi's ""Scout's Honor"" is a hilarious tale of three Boy Scouts in 1946 Brooklyn who camp out behind a tollbooth. Osborne's ""All-Ball"" offers touching glimpses of a lonely girl, as does Block's ""Blue."" Myers's period piece is even funnier than its title--""Reverend Abbott and Those Bloodshot Eyes""--while Howe's tale of a boy whose only friend is a starving kitten brings tears. The volume includes photos of the authors and their notes about the stories, as well as brief biographies. With the surprising exception of Paterson's weak contribution, this is an excellent anthology.