All-ball / by Mary Pope Osborne -- The great rat hunt / by Laurence Yep -- Everything will be okay / by James Howe -- Why I never ran away from home / by Katherine Paterson -- Reverend Abbott and those bloodshot eyes / by Walter Dean Myers -- Muffin / bySusan Cooper -- Taking a dare / by Nicholasa Mohr -- Flying / by Reeve Lindbergh -- Scout's honor / by Avi -- Blue / by Francesca Lia Block.
Amy Ehrlich, the editor of WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE, notes that "writing begins with observation. The authors in this collection, like all children, felt things deeply. But they were also able to observe their feelings and therefore remember them well. Those memories are a writer's most durable tool." Amy Ehrlich is the author of more than 25 books for young readers.
Some of the entries in this memorable anthology are hauntingly sad and several are sharply witty; every single one is expertly crafted and engrossing. In response to Ehrlich's request for an autobiographical story, 10 accomplished children's authors have contributed original pieces that underscore both the diversity and timelessness of youth and adolescence. Sibling rapports and rivalries, feeling alone, and the fervent quest for parental approval and peer acceptance are common threads here. Mary Pope Osborne describes her uncommon attachment to a rubber ball, a gift from her father on the eve of his departure for post-war Korea. Avi humorously recounts his attempt to save face during a rain-drenched camping trip with two friends. In two of the collection's hardest-hitting tales, Susan Cooper shows how World War II invades the already beleaguered life of a British schoolgirl; and Francesca Lia Block describes a sensitive girl coping with her mother's desertion. Each contributor follows up his or her story with a brief but enlightening commentary. Fans of all ages will savor these perceptively chosen, affectingly disclosed episodes from the lives of favorite writers. Ages 9-14. (Mar.)
Gr 5 Up‘Ehrlich asked 10 children's book authors to contribute a story based on their childhoods. The result is a fascinating glimpse into a variety of times, places, plots, and people. Some of the selections are funny, some sad, some a mixture, but they all express feelings and describe situations that young people can identify with‘whether it is Laurence Yep's discovery that his father really loved him for himself or Walter Dean Myers's friends trying to get even with the adults who spoiled their fun, or Mary Pope Osborne's revelation of how she held on to a deflated rubber ball, a gift from her soldier father, until he returned safely from the war in Korea. Each story is followed by a note from the author that explains to what degree the incidents are true and why the piece was submitted. The writing is of such high caliber that all the stories sound true and readers are sure to believe that the incidences described really happened. It is a disappointment then, to learn that a particular story, or part of it, is fiction. A picture of the author as a child precedes each entry. The selections are so varied and so well written that children will find at least one they would enjoy reading. Librarians will have to encourage their students not to judge this book by its dull cover, but to open it so they can be entertained by 10 master storytellers.‘Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC