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NO SUCH THING AS THE REAL WORLD by An Na

NO SUCH THING AS THE REAL WORLD

Stories About Growing Up and Getting a Life

By An Na (Author) , et. al. (Author)

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-147058-5
Publisher: Laura Geringer/HarperCollins

In her succinct introduction to this up-and-down story collection, editor Jill Santopolo mentions the “dotted line” that separates childhood from adulthood, a time when the young individual must begin to negotiate the world alone. It’s a tough time, and frequently in these narratives the protagonist’s assumptions are inaccurate or his or her choices are imperfect. Perhaps that’s why the tone of these six stories, each penned by a well-regarded YA author and followed by a biographical note thereon, is largely serious, even grim. K.L. Going’s “Survival,” an account of an angsty high-school senior who struggles to come to terms with her older sister’s never-ending yet still shocking betrayal, pulls off the difficult feat of ending on a note that’s simultaneously resigned and triumphant. The most touching tale is Beth Kephart’s “The Longest Distance,” about a girl trying to cope after her best friend’s suicide. In several of the stories, most notably An Na’s “Complication,” the protagonist must sort through myriad moral complexities—in other words, the stuff and substance of adulthood. (Short stories. 14 & up)