By Jeff Baker
When I was a kid (I mean, really a kid) I had subscriptions to two magazines: “Jack and Jill” and “Golden Magazine.” (and I sent my first submission off to J & J about 1968, to one of their “Finish The Story” thingies.) and I’ve been looking for one of the short-stories for years, to see if it still holds up. I don’t remember the title but it was about 1969-70, and it was about a kid (who narrated the story) and bought a cheap camera and the pictures it took showed things the way they really were; a bin of apples at the grocer’s was seen as partly spoiled, the kid’s mean-looking dog was seen as nice and friendly, ect. It had the feel of a story by Robert Arthur or a YA Twilight Zone (or “Weekend Special,” if you remember those!) If anybody remembers the story, get a hold of me thru this blog and let me know!
Speaking of Robert Arthur, his anthology “Alfred Hitchcock’s Ghostly Gallery” has been reprinted, and while none of the stories were originally written for a YA audience (some from Weird Tales) the anthology was marketed for young readers.
About 20+ years ago, YA writer/editor Bruce Coville put out 12 theme anthologies, starting with “Bruce Coville’s Book of Monsters” (1993) and moved on through Aliens, Ghosts, Nightmares, Spine Tinglers and finally, Magic. Then, there were sequels to all of them, usually having a Coville story (and for a few books a serialized novel.) I read them all in the 90s when I was trying to teach myself how to write short-stories and reading all the anthologies I could. They’re still out there and I recommend them, a blend of new stories and classics (“To Serve Man” by Damon Knight is in one of them, “The Baby Sitter” by Jane Yolen is another.)
Coville’s excellent story “Am I Blue?” is the title story of a 1995 YA anthology of gay-themed stories.