Monday, February 08, 2010

villains in the real world

Troll’s Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

This youth anthology of stories (and a couple of poems) takes a different view of fairy tales: that of the villains. From Rumplestiltskin to Hansel and Gretel’s witch, various well known authors tell the tales of classic fairy tale fiends.

As can be imagined, some of the stories are more engaging than others, though I felt that the edition was on the whole quite enjoyable.

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Seventeen-year-old Marcelo is not like other teens. He has something that is very similar to high functioning Asperger's syndrome. When his father, a high power attorney, decides that Marcelo must work the summer in “the real world” (i.e. his law office), Marcelo finds himself questioning how he is and the changes and decisions he must make.

Wow. This book is written in first person, so the reader is in Marcelo’s mind, experiencing his confusion and frustration. Expertly told, it is little wonder that this book won the Schneider Family award for Teen Literature. The character of Marcelo is wonderfully drawn. I did feel that a few of the secondary characters were flat – and even a bit stereotypical (such as Wendell); however, that did little to detract from the story.

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