Sunday, August 16, 2009

GEEKTASTIC: Stories from the Nerd Herd

Before I read this wonderful collection of short stories, I hadn't stopped to think about all the different flavors of geeks there are. I can now share with you that in addition to science and math geeks, there are music geeks; gamer geeks; fantasy geeks; comic book geeks; Star Trek and Star Wars geeks; role-playing geeks; technology geeks; theater geeks; fan fiction geeks, etc.

Geektastic is edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci and includes stories by YA authors I recognized such as Lisa Yee, Cynthia & Greg Leitich Smith, and John Green and those I did not recognize like Barry Lyga and Libba Bray.

Advance copy invited all readers "whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!"

In most cases, these can be described as coming-of-age stories. Each story addresses one or more of the issues people encounter as they grow into adulthood - wanting to belong but feeling different; finding joy in interests shared with a friend; gender role development; how much self to show to the world and how much to keep hidden; family challenges; evolving friendships; honor; trust; loyalty - all the biggies.

Some of the stories are more compelling than others, but they are all worth reading. If you're not a geek yourself, you probably know a geek. What all these stories have in common is the discovery that no matter what your area of interest, everyone wants the same things - to belong; to be recognized; to be valued.

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