Building on yesterday’s thoughts…
I absolutely adore linked short stories. Also known as story cycles or novels in story; these are collections of short stories with a common something – place, time, characters – and these stories somehow interconnect and overlap each other. Characters pop in and out of the various stories creating alternate perspectives and deeper understanding. I find these type of story collections to be a hybrid – they contain the brilliant moments of illumination and revelation best shown through short stories as well the more lasting nestling into the world of a novel.
I recently read THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA by Tom Angleberger (Who was kind enough to allow an author spotlight, thanks to my SBB). Although I haven’t heard it described as such, I see this book as a collection of linked short stories. Different students take turns sharing their experiences with Dwight and his Origami Yoda finger puppet. Each chapter is essentially a short story from a different point of view – with comments and illustrations added. The fun is seeing all the different people that Origami Yoda has influenced – and seeing how the characters see each other. It’s brilliant and thoughtful and hilarious. (And Mom, if you are reading this, Tom A. lives in Christiansburg!)
One of the best ones I’ve read for teens/upper middle grade is KISSING TENNESSEE and Other Stories from the Stardust Dance by Kathi Appelt. Each story revolves around a different character – and then each one ends up at the Stardust Dance together. So so satisfying.
Sarah Wones Tomp
WRITING ON THE SIDEWALK