Color of Absence: 12 Stories about Loss and Hope

by James Howe

These 12 short stories by well-known authors of fiction for teens focus on loss in... read more

These 12 short stories by well-known authors of fiction for teens focus on loss in many forms. Annette Curtis Klause’s jaded vampire uses and discards young women without a second thought, but becomes unaccountably attached to a stray cat in “Summer of Love.” Cooter finally gets to know his father only to lose him to HIV in “What Are You Good At?” by Roderick Townley. Other heroes of these stories experience such losses as a beloved grandparent’s failing memory and the end of a burgeoning romantic relationship when an unplanned pregnancy develops. Naomi Shihab Nye evokes memories of loved ones by the foods associated with their lives in “Shoofly Pie.” Jimmy Sims is a professional baseball player who must weigh the loss of the season against the potential loss of his wife in “Season’s End,” by Walter Dean Myers. Collectively, the stories offer insight into the types of loss that confront many adolescents. (Ages 12–16)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002

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