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WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? by Donald R. Gallo


Stories About Phobias

edited by Donald R. Gallo

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7636-2654-6
Publisher: Candlewick

Sufferers of phobophobia (fear of phobias) may want to avoid this solid collection of humorous, eerie, sad short stories. Well-known YA authors contribute absorbing tales of teens suffering from a panoply of phobias. Some are as well-known as claustrophobia, others more unusual, like linonophobia, the fear of string. Some phobias are caused by specific incidents and others suddenly appear without explanation. “Bang Bang You’re Dead,” by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple, tells the haunting tale of how the loss of a loved one causes a teen to conquer his intense fear of public speaking. Ron Koertge’s “Calle de Muerte” makes the connection between a wheelchair-bound teen and an agyrophobic (one who fears asphalt). Both would give anything just to set foot on the road upon which they live. The final story by Neal Shusterman is a fascinatingly dark account of a private school for phobic students. In “Fear-For-All” a bully with a penchant for tormenting phobics learns he has a nobler if personally painful purpose in life. A list of common and unusual phobias closes the book. Uniformly engrossing. (Anthology. 12-15)