Everyone faces dark times. Everyone looks for a light to get through. These fifteen stories show teen heroes/heroines using creativity and heart to find their inner "spark" to overcome adversity, evil, or ignorance. In this anthology for all ages, join a girl who struggles to accept the zombie working at her school, a second-rate superhero who might just have what it takes after all, and a young magic-user who must decide whether to break the rules to save the day. These compelling young heroes/heroines prove sometimes it simply takes a spark to light a fire in the darkness.
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In this anthology for all ages edited by the fabulous Rebecca Moesta, a girl struggles to accept the zombie working at her school, a second-rate superhero who might just have what it takes after all, and a young magic-user must decide whether to break the rules to save the day. These compelling young heroes/heroines prove sometimes it simply takes a spark to light a fire in the darkness. I've published 25 volumes of Fiction River to date, and this volume is one of my hands-down favorites. – Allyson Longueira
"If you haven't checked out Fiction River yet, you should. There's something for everyone."– Keith West, Adventures Fantastic
"Fiction River is off to an auspicious start. It's a worthy heir to the original anthology series of the 60s and 70s. ... It's certainly the top anthology of the year to date."– Amazing Stories on Fiction River: Unnatural Worlds
"The Fiction River series is a wonderful mind-expanding read…"
– Astro Guyz
People often ask me why I read (and write) stories for young adults. To me, the reasons are obvious. Early adulthood is a time of discovery—of self and of the world. It's filled with idealism, hope, wonder, and high emotion. Each new experience has the potential to become a turning point.
The books I read as a teen changed my perspective. I learned the ripple-effects of making decisions. I was swept away by the excitement or heartache of relationships. I saw that cultures can have quite different definitions of "grown up" and diverse views of life and death. My ideas of honor, freedom, truth, and redemption were challenged. It was uncomfortable and exhilarating. I fell in love with those feelings.
When I was still in that child-to-adult transition, I decided that I wanted to write the same kind of books: books that could change minds and feelings. And even though I went on to read thrillers, biographies, mysteries, romances, and other "grown up" books, I never stopped reading Young Adult fiction. It still has the power to move and excite me.
When I got a chance to edit an anthology, it felt natural to collect stories featuring young characters. I don't believe for a moment that YA literature only appeals to specific age ranges. The themes are universal. A study in the past few years showed that 3/4 of the people who buy young adult books are adults. Okay, maybe a lot of those adults give the books as gifts to their kids, but they also read those books. This trend is so widely recognized that comedian Stephen Colbert once joked, "As far as I can tell, a young adult novel is a regular novel that people actually read."
I agree, and that's one reason this anthology exists—for readers of all ages.
Why Sparks? A spark is a small particle of fire or electricity. A symbol.
The "sparks" in this anthology are teens who find their own inner fire, overcome adversity, and change things for the better. In a metaphorical sense, they might ignite a candle to light the darkness, start a fire to ward off the cold, or set off an explosion that alters the world.
I hope that these stories spark your imagination as much as they did mine.
March 25, 2015