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Reviewed by:
  • Twice-Told
  • Karen Coats
Hunt, Scott , ed. Twice-Told; ed. and illus by Scott Hunt. Dutton, 2006259p ISBN 0-525-46818-8$19.99 R Gr. 7-10

While wandering through a museum, illustrator Scott Hunt observed two people arguing vehemently over what story was being told by a painting they were viewing. This gave him the idea to frame an experiment of his own: he produced nine suggestive drawings and sent each one to two well-known authors of young adult fiction. The original stories that authors such as Sarah Dessen, M. T. Anderson, David Lubar, John Green, and Nancy Werlin, among other luminaries in the YA world, produced based on the illustrations are by turns haunting, surprising, and moving. These authors obviously find great freedom and inspiration in working to an assignment of this nature, and the fact that each drawing gets two very different treatments suggests the possibility that there are many more stories in potential here, opening the door for creative writing assignments for students that use Hunt's own richly evocative work or the original artwork of classmates as springboards. Moreover, there is a lot to work with and discuss about the visual codes that might cause the stories to overlap in thematic terms or imagistic resonance; for instance, what is it about an axe on a table beside a frosted cake in a retro kitchen that would [End Page 19] lead authors as diverse as M. T. Anderson and William Sleator into the baleful territory of a boy in violent conflict with his father over the subject of his masculinity? Besides being useful as a creative model and a vehicle for introducing techniques of visual and verbal analysis, the book features stories that are compelling examples of the aesthetic form of the short story, and their varied content—parent-child relations of many stripes, requited and unrequited love, sexuality with all of its confusions and abuses—will appeal on its own merits. Notes from the authors are included.



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pp. 19-20
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