Cover image for One death, nine stories
Title:
One death, nine stories
Author:
Aronson, Marc, editor.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2014.

©2014
Physical Description:
153 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
How could one teenage boy's life elicit other kids' first experiences -- even after he dies?. Kev's the first kid their age to die. And now, even though he's dead, he's not really gone. Even now his choices are touching the people he left behind. Ellen Hopkins reveals what two altar boys (and one altar girl) might get up to at the cemetery. Rita Williams-Garcia follows one aimless teen as he finds a new life in his new job -- at the mortuary. Will Weaver turns a lens on Kevin's sister as she collects his surprising effects -- and makes good use of them. Here, in nine stories, we meet people who didn't know Kevin, friends from his childhood, his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, all dealing with the fallout of his death. Being a teenager is a time for all kinds of firsts -- first jobs, first loves, first good-byes, firsts that break your heart and awaken your soul. It's an initiation of sorts, and it can be brutal. But on the other side of it is the rest of your life.
Language:
English
Contents:
Down below / Rita Williams-Garcia -- Initiation / Ellen Hopkins -- Just once / A.S. King -- The next next level / Torrey Maldonado -- Running man / Charles R. Smith Jr. -- Making up the dead / Nora Raleigh Baskin -- Two-a-days / Chris Barton -- I have a gun / Will Weaver -- Connections / Marina Budhos.
ISBN:
9780763652852
Format :
Book

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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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On Order

Summary

Summary

How could one teenage boy's life elicit other kids' first experiences -- even after he dies? Nine interconnected stories from nine top YA writers.

Kev's the first kid their age to die. And now, even though he's dead, he's not really gone. Even now his choices are touching the people he left behind. Ellen Hopkins reveals what two altar boys (and one altar girl) might get up to at the cemetery. Rita Williams-Garcia follows one aimless teen as he finds a new life in his new job -- at the mortuary. Will Weaver turns a lens on Kevin's sister as she collects his surprising effects -- and makes good use of them. Here, in nine stories, we meet people who didn't know Kevin, friends from his childhood, his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, all dealing with the fallout of his death. Being a teenager is a time for all kinds of firsts -- first jobs, first loves, first good-byes, firsts that break your heart and awaken your soul. It's an initiation of sorts, and it can be brutal. But on the other side of it is the rest of your life.

With stories by
Chris Barton
Nora Raleigh Baskin
Marina Budhos
Ellen Hopkins
A.S. King
Torrey Maldonado
Charles R. Smith Jr.
Will Weaver
Rita Williams-Garcia


Author Notes

Marc Aronson is an editor and author of many award-winning books for young people, including Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies, and Pick-Up Game, which he co-edited with Charles R. Smith Jr. He lives in New Jersey.
Charles R. Smith Jr. is the photographer of My People, winner of a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, and the author of Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali, winner of a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, as well as co-editor, contributor, and photographer for Pick-Up Game. He lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Using a concept similar to that of their Pick-Up Game (2011), editors Aronson and Smith round up YA authors to weave together nine stories around a fulcrum in this case, the suicide of charming, manipulative 19-year-old Kevin Nicholas. Who dies at nineteen? one character asks. Don't come expecting a clean answer. The effect, rather, is the opposite: denying the one-note explanations so common to media reports of tragedy to offer a grayer perspective. Fittingly, no story is told from Kevin's point of view. Rita Williams-Garcia's fantastic opener introduces Morris, a blank-minded boy working at his uncle's mortuary the day Kevin's corpse arrives. Both Ellen Hopkins and A. S. King look at sexual and romantic relationships; Torrey Maldonado examines one of the young men in Kevin's thrall; and so on. A couple stories are almost too tangential, but there are, of course, standouts, such as Will Weaver's I Have a Gun, about Kevin's little sister, who comes into ownership of the suicide weapon. As a full picture, the book feels thin, but in parts, it's fascinating.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

The second editorial collaboration between Aronson and Smith (after 2011's Pick-Up Game) collects nine short stories by Ellen Hopkins, A.S. King, Rita Williams-Garcia, Chris Barton, Nora Raleigh Baskin, and more; not unlike Adele Griffin's The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, also out this season, the book is built around the influence of a deceased teenager, remembered and considered by those around him. Kevin Nicholas, charismatic and angry, has been shaped by his father's suicide; eight years later, 19-year-old Kevin's body is zipped into a bag, and everyone from his younger sister and high school peers to the cosmetologist prettying his corpse dwell on their relationships with Kevin or use his death to evaluate their own lives. Predictably, anything good that people think they knew about Kevin proves false. The girls connect him with sex, the boys with innocence-destroying competition. The impact of many details and events depends on readers' willingness to read into what is said. There are plenty of dots to connect and introspection from adolescents on the precipice of something new and unknown, but most of these authors have done better in longer formats. Ages 14-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Kevin Nicholas, a popular high school football player, has committed suicide, though readers don't know that at first. In fact, through nine stories, each told by a different author and from a different point of view, readers come to know only a little about Kevin himself. Instead, readers observe the reactions of Kevin's sister, his best friends, people who barely knew him, even of the funeral home workers who handles his body. The death of a teenager, especially by his own hand, can be impossible to understand, but lives don't stop just because one life did. Each chapter deals with the process of initiation, acceptance, growing up, and moving on even in the face of death. The authors included are all well-known young adult writers, such as Ellen Hopkins, Rita Williams-Garcia, and A. S. King, and it is clear that they know and understand their audience. Despite the differing perspectives and characters, the writing is remarkably consistent in tone. The vignette feel of each section may appeal to reluctant readers who can manage a narrative in small chunks without losing the arc of the story itself. More enthusiastic readers will devour it whole. Keep it in mind as bibliotherapy, should the unfortunate need arise, or as a springboard for journaling or creative writing.-Katherine Koenig, The Ellis School, PA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.