Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical. Edited by Deborah Noyes.

Have you ever been to a circus "sideshow"? It's an odd collection of oddities (both human and otherwise) that will amuse, intrigue, and yes - even shock you. Just the thought of a sideshow immediately brings to my mind images of the bearded lady, the super-strong weight lifter, the contortionist, two-headed snakes, and the always popular sword swallower. They used to be quite an attraction, and a fun part of going to the circus. But the times have changed and these freak shows aren’t so popular. Yet their memories still live on . . . .

Sideshow: Teen Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical, edited by Deborah Noyes, is a wonderful collection of ten original short tales of intrigue and suspense by a fun collection of writers. All the stories share a common bond: the freaks, magic, oddities, and everything else you might encounter in a “show.” For example "The Bread Box", by Cecil Castellucci, is a delightful story about a girl visiting her great-aunt Eden for the first time while her parents are out of town. Pressed into making bread with her aunt, the girl discovers the family secret: the starter for the bread (the part with the yeast) is really alive, and has been with the family since 1846 in Oregon! In "Those Psychics on TV", by Vivian Vande Velde, a boy talks his mother into visiting a psychic to prove that their all phonies. But are they really fakes????

I liked this eclectic collection of stories; I hope you do to!

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