Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Hero Next Door Short Story Collection


This is a cool collection:  short stories with diverse characters and all manner of heroes.  The range is broad and the quality very good. 

Some of my favorites: 

-One Wish, by Ronald L Smith.  Great voice and setting, with a folk-tale sort of moral.

-Home, by Hena Khan.  Very warm and relatable. 

-Ellison's CORNucopia; A Logan County Story, by Lamar Giles.  Imaginative and tech-y with some nice subversions of stereotypes.

-Rescue, by Suma Subramaniam.  Though the dilemma and solution related to the dog seem a little forced, the emotions and situations are powerful.

-The Save, by Joseph Bruchac.  Great cultural details and internal conflict.

-Reina Madrid, by R.J. Palacio.  Great characterization, great sense of time and place, great cultural meshing.    

All the others are good too.  A couple felt a bit rushed, unfinished, or too easy at the end, one was a little slow, a couple just weren't my favorite style or topic.  But despite that, I can honestly say there wasn't a single one I disliked. 

The styles, subjects, and tones vary a lot, but the collection brims with good writing, characterization, setting, plot, imagination…and diversity.  Yay! don't often find short story collections for middle graders.  Double yay!

4.5 stars!

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