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PAST, PERFECT, PRESENT TENSE by Richard Peck

PAST, PERFECT, PRESENT TENSE

New and Collected Stories

By Richard Peck

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8037-2998-7
Publisher: Dial

Divided into sections—stories set in the past, stories with a supernatural element, and stories set in the present—this collection of new and old tales from Newbery Award–winner Peck also includes his first short story, Priscilla and the Wimps, as well as commentary and advice about writing. Peck’s particular genius is his ability to create larger-than-life characters living at the edge of social acceptability, the best examples here being the funny and poignant The Special Powers of Blossom Culp and I Go Along, about an underachiever’s flash of insight. The value of this volume lies not so much in the stories themselves, which are up and down, but in what Peck, a tough taskmaster, has to say about his sources of inspiration and approach to the writing process. That element is both fascinating and instructive, particularly since the reader can so clearly see his various theories demonstrated in the material. Useful for the educational setting and of interest to youngsters, teachers, and fledgling short-story writers. (Short stories. 10+)