Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ON THE EDGE by Lois Duncan


Stories at the Brink

edited by Lois Duncan

Pub Date: June 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-82251-0
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Duncan’s (Trapped!, 1998; Night Terrors, 1996; etc.) third collection of sizzling suspense tales from YA authors. Each story examines an experience of teens on the brink of some kind of peril, whether emotional or real. Ellen Wittlinger begins with an absorbing account of a rebellious girl sent to a mental institution, where she meets kids who are truly insane. Gloria Skurzynski continues with a shy computer nerd who, literally, finds a new life in virtual reality. Winifred Morris ties those two stories together with her tale of another computer nerd descending into schizophrenia. Comic relief comes from Alden R. Carter with a kid who gets revenge on a bully through unusual cooking, and from Peter Hautman’s tale of an enormous zit. Emotional suspense from Margaret Peterson Haddix with a girl undergoing tests for a possible brain tumor, and William Sleator’s departure from science fiction into a scary tale about jealousy in the world of professional ballet score strongly. So will Liza Ketchum’s quicksand, Rich Wallace’s murder, and Terry Davis’s escape stories. Authors write a short afterword, explaining how the story was inspired, or how they began as writers. This collection provides a bite of yummy suspense to suit nearly everyone’s taste. (Fiction. 12+)