This is the fourth book in the Guys Read series, which I am very glad I shelve under "F GUY". Just makes it easier for everyone to find! (And yes, The Thirty-Nine Clues series is under "F THI".)
Scieszka, Jon, ed. Other Worlds.
17 September 2013, Walden Pond Press
Short story collections are usually hard to get students to check out, but this series sells itself with the prominent "Guys Read" logo. The first three volumes are always checked out, but I do find these hard to review. I wish that the introduction to this had included the term "speculative fiction", since that's what we are using instead of "science fiction and fantasy" for the Cybils this year! Both types are represented here-- we have science fiction stories from D.J. MacHale, Eric Nylund, Rebecca Stead and Tom Angleberger, a medieval fantasy from Shannon Hale, and mythology in the form of a Percy Jackson story from Rick Riordan. Tom Angleberger contributes a funny sci fi piece, and Kenneth Oppel has quite a good ghost story. I wasn't quite sure what to make of Shaun Tan's illustrated offering. The inclusion of Bradbury's Frost and Fire was nice, but not the best fit with the other pieces. This was about the best story, but my feeling is that it might have been better placed in an anthology for older readers. The absolute stand out story, however, was Neal Shusterman's The Dirt on Our Shoes which sucked me right in and spun me around with its devastating twist. Wondered whether this had enough meat to be expanded into a novel length book but concluded it did not-- as a short story, it had enough merit to be included as a speculative fiction offering in text books. Very well done.