Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Twelve Impossible Things before Breakfast

Author: Jane Yolen

First line: The pig fell down the rabbit-hole, turning snout over tail and squealing as it went.

Why you should read this book: Forget its designation as a children's book; this is a simply perfect collection of speculative fiction, touching on several subgenres and hitting a perfect mark with every story. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, and everything in between comprise the territory where a haunted house can save a babysitter's life, love conquers vampires, and dried berries and a rubber band form the decisive weapon in the war between fairies and ants. Every story is a gem in its own right, and the novella, "Lost Girls," a pro-labor, feminist revisiting of Neverland in which the girls go on strike for equal rights to adventures, is of special note.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You prefer the reality-based world of Sweet Valley, which depicts real people living real lives.

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