21 Proms, David Levithan and Daniel Ehrenhaft, eds.
Scholastic Point, 2007, 289 pp., $8.99
This is a collection that includes one poem, one play, and nineteen short stories about one of the most anticipated, or dreaded, events in the life of a high school student. The stories range from the true to life to the outright fantasy, from heartbreaking to hilarious, and they are told from every conceivable point of view, girls, boys, and parents. There are stories about courage, embarrassment, new found love, old friendships renewed, and father’s anxiety. This collection crosses the boundaries of race, social class, age, and sexual orientation.
Many of the stories could be used on their own as supplemental material in various units. I would caution that sex, drugs, and course language are often part of the story, but do not seem contrived in their usage.
At first glance, and by reading the title, I would say this book would appeal to teenage girls, but having read the stories, many would also appeal to the boys.