SOHO Teen Presents…Who Done It?
Can you imagine the most cantankerous book editor alive? Part Voldemort, part Cruella de Vil (if she were a dude), and worse in appearance and odor than a gluttonous farm pig? A man who makes no secret of his love of cheese or his disdain of unworthy authors? That man is Herman Mildew.
The anthology opens with an invitation to a party, care of this insufferable monster, where more than 80 of the most talented, bestselling and recognizable names in YA and children’s fiction learn that they are suspects in his murder. All must provide alibis in brief first-person entries. The problem is that all of them are liars, all of them are fabulists, and all have something to hide…
Okay, so a few things before I talk about this book. This anthology featuring stories from some of the gods and goddesses of YA literature was written to benefit 826NYC which you may or may not have heard of. I had not. So, I went to their website and was amazed. From their mission statement: 826NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around our belief that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. With this in mind we provide drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications. All of our free programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in his or her individual voice.
Super awesome. This makes me want to buy tons of this book and pass it out to everyone that I know because not only does it benefit a nonprofit which sounds AH-MAZING, but it features stories by some of my favorite authors!
When I first picked up this book, I almost put it down. I am not a short story kind of person and anthologies remind me of being an English undergrad and give me the heebie jeebies. But upon opening the book, I quickly realized that this book was not like any other anthology I’d ever seen.
What the synopsis does not mention is that this party is held in an old abandoned pickle factory (mentioned on the invitation) and immediately you realize that this is a book that is just a little different. You see, all of the 80+ YA authors have written a short story to prove their innocence. And if you are fans of these authors, the stories are perfect representations of their personalities, their writing styles, their tweets (if you’re a big Maureen Johnson fan), and each one had me rolling on the floor laughing.
Not only is this book perfect for your collections but perfect for your reluctant readers. I found myself flipping around and reading the book in little five minute segments. Short attention span readers? Done.
Definitely a perfect addition to the SOHO Teen lineup and shows the big time variety of the books that this imprint plans to publish.
And now I want to eat pickles. Maybe that’s just the pregnancy talking…
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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