18 February 2013

Review: Who Done It? Compiled by Jon Scieszka

soho teen, anthology, 826NYCRemember when I introduced you to the fairly new imprint Soho Teen by teasing you with a passage from Jacquelyn Mitchard's What We Saw at Night? In my opinion, Soho Teen is an imprint to watch; I've loved both titles I've read.

Who Done It?, compiled by Jon Scieszka, is a winner on two levels. More than 80 well-known, well-loved authors of young adult and children's books contributed to this fun, fun, fun anthology. Here's the idea: Famous editor Herman Q. Mildew has allegedly been murdered. The list of suspects is made up of authors and illustrators who slaved for worked with the odious wonderful children's editor.

So what do Libba Bray, John Green, Lev Grossman, Gayle Forman, Lemony Snicket, and Mo Willems have in common? They and dozens of their peers have been called to an old pickle factory either to confess to the murder or to provide their alibi.  (Did you know the origin of the word alibi? Heather Terrell kindly provides the details. But that wasn't a diversionary tactic or anything.)

As we read through each author's statement, our job is to figure out who is telling the truth, who is lying, and who is the killer. It's no easy task because the devious up-front, disgusting lovely Mr. Mildew had so many enemies friends. Don't worry if you can't decide, all will be revealed by the end.

I just loved reading these short pieces. Each one is funny, creative, and clever. Many of the stories include references to young adult and children's books, pop culture, television, social media, and the publishing industry. Best of all, the authors' personalities and sense of humor really pop out in this collection.

The statements are written in a variety of styles besides straight prose, such as lists, Twitter conversations, and poems. Other stories are illustrated, and we're even treated to a graphic short story. Read them all from first to last or read the pieces in any order that suits your mood. Just read them to discover a new side to some of your favorite authors.

The second win for Who Done It? is that all proceeds are earmarked for 826NYC, a nonprofit teen literacy program founded by Dave Eggers. According to Soho Teen, the anthology has already "begun inspiring teen writing" in conjunction with other New York City programs.

Buy a copy for yourself and another for a young reader in your life. Not only will you love the stories but you'll help encourage a new generation of writers at the same time.

This post will be linked to Kid Konnection, hosted by Julie at Booking Mama.

Buy Who Done It? at an Indie or at bookstore near you. This link leads to an affiliate program.
Soho Press / Soho Teen, 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616951528
Rating: B+

Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Daryl 2/18/13, 9:11 AM  

always looking for good teen lit ... thanks!

Cathy 2/18/13, 9:53 AM  

This sounds like so much fun! I'll definitely be picking up a copy, especially since it's for charity.

Beth Hoffman 2/18/13, 10:52 AM  

The minute you said, "Each one is funny, creative, and clever." I was hooked!

bermudaonion 2/18/13, 10:57 AM  

Oh my gosh, this sounds fantastic and since proceeds go to charity it's a win-win!

Joanna 2/18/13, 1:04 PM  

Oh my gosh, how fun! It's great to see people having such creative ideas!

Julie P. 2/18/13, 1:08 PM  

I would have loved this book as a kid. Heck, it sounds like I'd enjoy it now!

caite 2/18/13, 2:33 PM  

sounds like such fun...love that cover.

Larissa 2/18/13, 4:18 PM  

Fun idea! It.s always interesting when several voices join a common project.

Jenn's Bookshelves 2/19/13, 9:21 AM  

I almost picked up this book for my oldest this weekend but decided to wait to check out some reviews first. You've sold me; this book must be mine (I mean ours, of course.)

Heather 2/19/13, 10:19 AM  

Oooo this sounds fun! Imma gonna look it up!

Chris Howard 2/20/13, 8:35 PM  

I didn't know this came out! I've been waiting for it actually!!

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