Children's and YA
Short Story & Poetry Collections

American DragonsAMERICAN DRAGONS: TWENTY-FIVE ASIAN-AMERICAN VOICES edited by Laurence Yep (HarperCollins, 1993). Targeted at young adult readers, these stories will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to find their place. Ages 12-up.

AMERICAN EYES: NEW ASIAN-AMERICAN SHORT STORIES FOR YOUNG ADULTS edited by Lori M. Carlson with an introduction by Cynthia Kadohata (Henry Holt, 1994). For a frank, refreshing discussion on literature by Asian Americans, read the introduction to this collection. Ages 12-up.

BEING DEAD by Vivian Vande Velde (Harcourt, 2001). Sometimes touching, sometimes really scary, sometimes just on the creepy side stories of the dead by Vivian Van Velde. "Drop by Drop" is guaranteed to keep you up at night (and checking under your car). "October Chill" is affecting, emotionally haunting—the kind of story that leaves its readers imagining what does or doesn't happen next. This enormously talented author is the creator of several books for children and young adults, including: MAGIC CAN BE MURDER; THERE'S A DEAD PERSON FOLLOWING MY SISTER AROUND; NEVER TRUST A DEAD MAN; THE RUMPLESTILTSKIN PROBLEM; and TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM AND THE SISTERS WEIRD. Ages 10-up. Read The Story Behind The Story from Vivian Vande Velde.

Boy Meets Girl coverBOY MEETS GIRL edited by Kelly Milner Halls (Chronicle, 2012). An anthology collection of paired short stories from alternating gender viewpoints. Ages 12-up. Featuring "Mooning Over Broken Stars" by Cynthia Leitich Smith, a companion to "Falling Down to See the Moon" by Joseph Bruchac; other contributing authors: James Howe, Ellen Wittlinger; Chris Crutcher; Kelly Milner Halls, Terry Davis; Rebecca Fjelland Davis; Rita Williams-Garcia; Terry Trueman; Sara Ryan; Randy Powell. Ages 12-up.

CLOUDWALKER: CONTEMPORARY NATIVE AMERICAN STORIES is a collection of short stories by Joel Monture (Mohawk), illustrated by Carsen Waterman (Seneca) (Fulcrum, 1996). This collection features characters from a variety of Native nations. Ages 9-up.

The Color of Absence: 12 Stories About Loss and HopeTHE COLOR OF ABSENCE: 12 STORIES ABOUT LOSS AND HOPE edited by James Howe (Atheneum, 2001). Our pick: "Summer of Love" by Annette Curtis Klause, especially wonderful for those of you who enjoyed THE SILVER KISS. Other contributors: Avi; C.B. Christiansen; James Howe; Angela Johnson; Norma Fox Mazer; Walter Dean Myers; Naomi Shihab Nye; Michael J. Rosen; Roderick Townley; Virginia Euwer Wolff; and Jacqueline Woodson with Chris Lynch (as co-authors). Ages 12-up.

IMMORTAL: LOVE STORIES WITH BITE edited by P. C. Cast (BenBella, 2008)(exclusive to Borders/Waldenbooks).
An anthology collection of short, romantic stories that include the vampire mythology. Features "Haunted Love" by Cynthia Leitich Smith; other contributing authors: Kristin Cast; Rachel Caine; Claudia Gray; Nancy Holder; Tanith Lee; Richelle Mead; and Rachel Vincent. Ages 12-up.

In My Grandmother's House coverIN MY GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE: AWARD WINNING AUTHORS TELL STORIES ABOUT THEIR GRANDMOTHERS edited and illustrated by Bonnie Christensen (HarperCollins, 2003). An anthology collection of short stories by authors about their grandmothers. Contributing authors: Joan Abelove; Alma Flor Ada, Bonnie Christensen; Beverly Cleary; Pat Cummings; Jean Craighead George; Minfong Ho; Ji-li Jang; Gail Carson Levine; Beverly Naidoo; Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Diane Stanley. Ages 8-up.

GOTHIC! TEN ORIGINAL DARK TALES edited by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick, 2004). Features stories by Joan Aiken, M.T. Anderson, Neil Gaiman, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Celia Rees, Janni Lee Simner, Vivian Vande Velde, and Barry Yourgrau. Worth the price of the book for the introduction, though the collection itself is wickedly outstanding. Ages 14-up. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

GROWING UP ASIAN AMERICAN: STORIES OF CHILDHOOD, ADOLESCENCE, AND COMING OF AGE IN AMERICA FROM THE 1800S TO THE 1990S BY THIRTY-TWO ASIAN AMERICAN WRITERS (Avon, 1993) edited and with an introduction by Maria Hong, including an after word by Stephen H. Sumida. Features stories by such well-respected voices as Amy Tan, Toshio Mori, Gus Lee, and Maxine Hong Kingston. Ages 12-up.

GROWING UP NATIVE AMERICAN: STORIES OF OPPRESSION AND SURVIVAL, OF HERITAGE DENIED AND RECLAIMED ' 22 AMERICAN WRITERS RECALL CHILDHOOD IN THEIR NATIVE LAND edited and with an introduction by Patricia Riley (Cherokee), foreword by Ines Hernandez (Nimipu/Mexican Indian) (Avon Books, 1993). An amazing array of stories by some of the most talented voices in Native literature, including Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewas) and Linda Hogan (Chickasaw). Ages 12-up.

Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich SmithINDIAN SHOES by Cynthia Leitich Smith (HarperCollins, 2002). Ray and Grampa Halfmoon face the challenges of daily life with love and humor in this collection of short stories set in Chicago and rural Oklahoma. Together, they encounter homesickness, bad hair cuts, mystery, artistic competition, and a wedding without proper pants for the ring bearer. Ages 7-up.

JUAN BOBO: FOUR FOLKTALES FROM PUERTO RICO (An I Can Read Book) by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by Ernesto Ramos Nieves (HarperCollins, 1994). Bright, festive illustrations accent charming, funny text. Rendered with great enthusiasm and authenticity. Ages 7-up.

KISSING TENNESSEE AND OTHER STORIES FROM THE STARDUST DANCE by Kathi Appelt (Harcourt, 2000). It's a night to remember as Dogwood Junior High is transformed. In nine short stories, Appelt takes readers to stories of tragedy and charm, romance and intrigue. To say too much is to spoil the unravelings, but rest assured that this YA collection is a gem! Appelt is a noted children's picture book author, and this is her first, exciting foray into fiction for older readers. Ages 12-up.

Moccasin Thunder coverMOCCASIN THUNDER: AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES FOR TODAY edited by Lori Marie Carlson (HarperCollins, 2005). An anthology collection of short stories about contemporary Native American teenagers. Contributing authors: Joy Harjo; Sherman Alexie; Cynthia Leitich Smith; Richard Van Camp; Linda Hogan; Joseph Bruchac; Louise Erdrich; Susan Power; Greg Sarris; and Lee Francis. Ages 12-up. More on this title from Cynsations. Read The Story Behind The Story from Lori Marie Carlson.

On the Fringe edited by Donald R. GalloON THE FRINGE edited by Donald R. Gallo, Lauri Hornik (Dial, 2001). Realistic, gritty, and, at times inspiring, this collection of short stories takes varied looks at the dynamics between teens deemed "in" or "out" and their tense, too often tragic, results. Contributing YA authors are: Joan Bauer; Alden R. Carter; Chris Crutcher; Jack Gantos; Angela Johnson; M. E. Kerr; Ron Koertge; Francess Lantz; Graham Salisbury; Will Weaver; Nancy Werlin. A must-read for every teen. Ages 12-up.

ONE HOT SECOND: STORIES ABOUT DESIRE edited by Cathy Young (Knopf, 2002). Desire is defined broadly in this irresistible collection that features stories by: Jennifer Armstrong, Sarah Dessen, Emma Donoghue, Nancy Garden, Angela Johnson, Victor Martinez, Norma Fox Mazer, Rachel Vail, Rich Wallace, Ellen Wittlinger, and Jacqueline Woodson. “Loving Megan” by Garden offered the favorite happy ending. Ages 12-up. Visit

Period Pieces: Stories for GirlsPERIOD PIECES edited by Erzsi Deàk and Kristin Litchman (HarperCollins, February 2003). An anthology collection of short stories about girls starting their periods for the first time. Contributing authors: Dian Curtis Regan; Linda Sue Park; Jane Kurtz; Rita Williams Garcia; Bobbi Katz; April Halprin Wayland; Johanna Hurwitz; Uma Krishnaswami; Carmen T. Bernier-Grand; Kristin Litchman; Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Erzsi Deak. Ages 8-up. Read The Story Behind The Stories.

RED HOT SALSA: BILINGUAL POEMS ON BEING YOUNG AND LATINO IN THE UNITED STATES edited by Lori M. Carlson, introduction by Oscar Hijuelos (Henry Holt, 2005). From the anthologist who brought us Cool Salsa, this new collection reaches farther and deeper, chronicling the perspective of young Latinos today. Includes helpful glossary and biographical notes. Featured poets include Gary Soto. Ages 12-up. More on this title from Cynsations; read The Story Behind the Story from Lori M. Carlson.

RUSH HOUR: A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY VOICES (Vol. 1): Sin, edited by Michael Cart (Delacorte, 2004). Not just short stories, but a literary array that should satisfy thoughtful teens (with both long and short attention spans), the first installment of Cart's journal shows what can be accomplished by young adult literature at its best. Featuring short stories like Brock Cole's "A Life of Crime" and Alex Flinn's "Intrinsic Value," the volume seems as familiar as an anthology, but then by adding such features as Martin Matje's graphic exploration in "Sinphony," poetry by Nikki Grimes, and essays by Hazel Rochman (on the Holocaust) and Marc Aronson (on the Salem Witch trials), Cart has taken his collection to a new, more diverse and exciting level. Definitely proof that YA lit has come of age. Contributers also include Joan Bauer, Emma Donoghue, David Pabian, Mark Podwal, Tom Feelings, Terry Davis, Sonya Sones, Gary Miller, R. Gregory Christie, Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, Chris Lynch, and Ron Koertge. Ages 12-up. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (though we missed hearing voices from the "Bible Belt.") Preview an excerpt from

SHATTERED: STORIES OF CHILDREN AND WAR edited by Jennifer Armstrong (Knopf, 2002). A young adult short stories collection, set in the U.S. and abroad, including in Afghanistan. Featured authors include Dian Curtis Regan. Ages 12-up.

SideshowSIDESHOW: TEN ORIGINAL TALES OF FREAKS, ILLUSIONISTS AND OTHER MATTERS ODD AND MAGICAL edited by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick, 2009). Contributing authors: David Almond, Aimee Bender, Cecil Castellucci, Shawn Cheng, Annette Curtis Klause, Margo Lanagan, Danica Norgorodoff, Matt Phelan, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Vivian Vande Velde. Ages 12-up.

THICKER THAN WATER: COMING OF AGE STORIES BY IRISH AND IRISH-AMERICAN WRITERS edited by Gordon Snell (Delacorte, 2001). A fascinating and much-needed young adult collection, highlighted by "One Day When We Were Young" by Vincent Banville and "Off Ya Go, So" by Chris Lynch. Ages 12-up.

TWELVE SHOTS edited by Harry Mazer (Delacorte, 1997). This short-story collection looks at gun use from a variety of perspectives. Not preachy but not sugar-coated either. A worthy realism read. Top contributing authors include Walter Dean Myers, Chris Lynch, Richard Peck, and Nancy Werlin. Ages 12-up.

A WOLF AT THE DOOR AND OTHER RETOLD FAIRY TALES edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (Simon & Schuster, 2000). A collection of retellings by Delia Sherman, Neil Gaiman, Michael Cadnum, Nancy Farmer, Tanith Lee, Janeen Webb, Kelly Link, Katherine Vaz, Garth Nix, Kathe Koja, Gregory Maguire, Patricia A. McKillip, and Jane Yolen. Worth the price of the book for Yolen's depiction of the birds in "Cinder Elephant," but many other great stories. Ages 10-up.