Stories for a New Millennium
Age Range: 10 - 14
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An uneven collection of stories about the new millennium from well-known YA authors. Avi’s “Oswin’s Millennium” is a powerful depiction of the life of an ill-treated slave boy who is convinced by one of the brothers that the world is about to end. Among the high points: Nancy Springer pens a surprisingly moving piece about a college disc jockey on New Year’s Eve, 1999, who starts hearing from listeners who are terrified. Natalie Babbitt’s “Tomorrow,” about a man who goes up in a balloon trying to see what the next day will be like, reads like a chapter out of Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine.” Richard Peck’s “Three Century Woman,” features one of his hilariously devilish old women; she’s not as senile as she pretends, and gets the better of some pushy reporters. At the other end of the collection, there is a bizarre muddle called “Clay” from Rita Williams-Garcia, about women who practice a form of magic that involves a clay pot containing their children’s umbilical cords; and an Austin story from Madeleine L‘Engle that recycles the pun that the millennium bug is an actual insect. There are also pieces by Janet Taylor Lisle and Michael Cadnum; the whole comprises a mixed bag, but the good outweighs the bad. (Short stories. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-399-23458-6
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1999