Summer is coming to a close, and we are running out of extra reading time. If you are looking for something that you can read in short bursts or get through rather quickly, but is still touching or highly entertaining you might want to check out one (or more) of these titles. Just remember, just because these books are in our young adult section, it does not mean that readers without a ‘teen’ in their age cannot get just as much out of these titles as the age group the publishers market them towards.Zombies VS. Unicorns is a selection of short stories compiled by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier that deals with a question as old as time itself: What is better, strong, more awesome; the zombie or the unicorn? Stories in this anthology offer strong arguments for both sides of the debate. Contributing authors include Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. Are you Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd is another anthology with Holly Black on the editing team. This anthology covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. No matter what kind of geek you are, or want to be, Geektastic can help you get your geek on! Contributing authors are M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories by Chris Crutcher are stories about athletes, including some you might recognize from Crutcher’s longer works. Despite the title, while the stories are all about athletes they are not necessarily about sports. They are tales of love and death, bigotry and heroism, of real people doing their best even when that best is not all that good. This collection is suitable for younger readers as well.
M Is for Magic by Neil Gaiman and Teddy Kristiansen is a collection of eleven stories that involve strange and fantastical events. Humpty Dumpty’s sister hires a private detective to investigate her brother’s death, a teenage boy who has trouble talking to girls finds himself at a rather unusual party, and a boy you might recognize from The Graveyard Book makes a discovery, and confronts the much more troubling world of the living. This collection is also suitable for younger readers.Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson offers readers three intertwining short stories. In the tales several high school couples experience the trials and tribulations along with the joys of romance during a Christmas Eve snowstorm in a small town.
Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde offers eight different twists on the familiar tale of Little Red Riding Hood. The author uses the stories, and a highly entertaining introduction, to question the original tales and to exploring issues including why most characters seem dim-witted.
On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming offers readers ten ghost stories set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago. Each story takes place during a different time period from the 1860’s to the present, and ends with the narrator’s death. Some teens die heroically, others ironically, but all due to supernatural causes.