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On the Fringe

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  263 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
In every school at every grade, there's a pecking order among students -- an in crowd and those outside it, who are often ridiculed mercilessly for the "crime" of being different. This powerful anthology explores the teen outsider experience in electrifying, never-before-published stories by eleven of today's most acclaimed YA authors. A tomboy finds the relief of self-exp ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Dial
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This is a collection of short stories for young adults about students who don't fit in at their high schools. It deals with the issues of violence and bullying and the impact of these things on the individual and the community. I think this book could be very significant for young readers because although it doesn't solve any of the problems it discusses, it definitely opens up thoughts and questions about the issues.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, but I wouldn't call it a light read. It's
Oct 04, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
On the Fringe by Chris Crutcher is a ground breaking collection of short stories about high school.
Using work from well known YA fiction novelists, On the Fringe tells the story of a tomboy struggling with her sexuality, a popular cheerleader who discovers that there is a lot more to her high school than just her and many more stories of growth and change.
On the Fringe is a book directed at teens especially ones going through tough personal times. If you are struggling with yourself or others,
Soooooo.. where should i start.. Well first of all, this had a collection of stories.. It's not one story. One of my favorites so far is one about a girl who is sort of an outcast.. Her best friends have moved away.. BOTH OF THEM!! so shes kinda all alone,but worst of all shes like some kind of lesbian , dyke !! Well actually she dosent know WHAT she is she dosent know if she likes boys.. girls.. or both!! She dosent even look like a average girl .. shes like a tom boy i guess... She wears bagg ...more
Desiree Roe
Mar 13, 2013 Desiree Roe rated it really liked it
Lacey is afraid to death that standing up for the school "freak" will destroy her popularity. Gene, mocked one time too many, heads for class with a loaded rifle. “On the Fringe” is a series of stories that paint wonderfully terrifying images of both the good and devastating issues of an average high school. If I’m being quite honest this book terrified and amazed me. During some of the stories I felt like I was reading a horror book and others made me feel like there was still hope for mankind. ...more
Nov 07, 2013 D'oreo rated it did not like it
I rally do not like any kind of anthology to begin with, but this one was very dry and the few good stories were spread so long apart, I felt like this was a book where you had to read it to get through it, not to enjoy it.

I did not like this book at all. the biggest thing that I disliked was when the boy came in with a gun and shot all of his classmates, most of them died instantly, another story I hated was about a girl who everyone thought was a lesbian and she was molested.

I hated this book
This review is only based on the Crutcher story. It is about a school shooting that brings up all the questions one experiences when you think about this and like so much in life it doesn't have any answers, you just need to live past it.
Apr 08, 2014 Collin added it
On the Fringe is a compilation of several short stories that are each centered on a particular group or individual that resides on the edges, or “the fringe” of the social structure. The reason for which these stories were combined to form a book is because they all share the same goal of attempting to open a window into the world of those who have become pray to their peers’ tormenting. Within the pages of On the Fringe lay the stories of a group of outsiders who band together in order to supp ...more
Roger Bailey
Apr 25, 2011 Roger Bailey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bullies.
Shelves: fiction, anthologies
This anthology was compiled in response to the Columbine shootings and is a collection of stories about high school students who are bullied and how they deal with it. It postulates that the victims of bullying are somehow different . They are called geeks, nerds and other insulting names, but the one thing that they are is outsiders. I was intrigued by the theme of this book and wanted to read it because when I was in high school I was a victim of bullying. Virtually every day I was constantly ...more
Angelica Alonso
Dec 29, 2007 Angelica Alonso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is composed of several short stories all written through the perspective of those who don’t often hear. After reading this book, I began to think of the way we separate each other at my school. Maybe we don’t have the jocks and the cheerleaders but we separate ourselves often by race. One of the points is to break the misconceptions of the typical groups such as the geeks and nerds. The book deals with many issues that revolve around teenagers and pressure. One of these issues includes ...more
Tiffany Ferrant
The Guide To Understanding Teenagers (A Little Bit)

I think the main reason why I liked this book so much was that it wasn't a book at all, but a collection of stories that could easily have been made into longer versions. They all had a different meaning and were about different high school situations. What I disliked about the book was that some of the stories were very fast paced and almost rushed, and I think that if the author had slowed down a little bit and given more detail it would have
Alex Templeton
Apr 02, 2011 Alex Templeton rated it it was ok
This is the second YA short story collection I've read in my teacher's search for more middle-school/high school appropriate short stories to add to my collection. Let me give my usual disclaimer of not being the target audience, and say that I was in general disappointed by this collection. I found the stories often just weird and/or disturbing, which may have been intentional, given the fact that the collection is all about teenagers who are outsiders. Will Weaver's "WWJD", Jack Gantos' "Muzak ...more
Danny Araujo
Mar 04, 2010 Danny Araujo rated it really liked it
on the fringe is a bunch of stories by lots of authors all having to do with conflicts in school and how people would deal with it. in one story, one unpopular kid in school goes crazy and starts to take on the school columbine style, by taking a gun and shooting people. one external conflict is that all of the jocks and bullies pick on the nerds just because they are not popular or anything. one internal conflict is that all of this bulling gets to the kid's head and then in turn makes them fee ...more
Sep 02, 2007 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers, teachers, outsiders and insiders
Shelves: booksivetaught
I'm putting this under "books I've taught" since I don't have a shelf for "books I will teach." This is an anthology compiled by Donald R. Gallo, and each story is centered on a teenager (or teenagers) who feel like outsiders. One or two of the stories are a bit too corny for me to brave teaching, and some are only stories I'd recommend, because their content would make me nervous as a new teacher (one is about suicide, another is a fully detailed school shooting). But several are very teachable ...more
Angie Kirschman
Jul 16, 2010 Angie Kirschman rated it really liked it
This collection of short stories, each about an "outsider" (i.e. nerds, kids with disabilities, kids with less than desired home lifes, etc.), and each written by a different author, was very interesting. Some of the stories are partly based on the author's own experiences growing and some were just written to help people understand some of what goes on in the minds of kids who feel the same way as the "boys of Columbine".
It was very sad to hear that most kids think that bullying has gotten wor
Clarissa Munoz
Feb 28, 2014 Clarissa Munoz rated it really liked it
At first, I thought this book would just be about one story in general but, once I finished the first little story I came upon another one, and then another. All these were similar for the most part and showed great emotion. I personally love to read these types of books because I sometimes feel the same in their shoes. I guess it'll be helpful towards to me to find out what they have done to fix things. All of these stories touched my heart and i just wished i could of been there for them. Some ...more
Jan 11, 2008 Debbie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teens
Another home-run collection for young adults edited by Donald R. Gallo. Anyone who reads YA lit will recognize the phenomenal authors featured in this collection--M.E. Kerr, Chris Crutcher, Jack Gantos, and Joan Bauer, to name a few.

What I liked best about this collection is that it went beyond the stereotypical tales of puny geeks getting bullied by muscle-bound, light-on-brains jocks. Each story deals with unique individuals who feels like outsiders for a variety of reasons. My favorite stori
Dec 22, 2007 Jack rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA fans
I'm still longing for books about school shootings, and this collection of stories was written kind of in response to those young adults who stood up after Columbine and pointed out the problems abounding in the public school system.

Those kids were promptly expelled, put into therapy, or silenced for not adhering to the "axis of evil" terminolgy suddenly surrounding the kids who shot up the school. Some of these stories are good, particularly Angela Johnson's "Through A Window," which is quite
Brianna Harvey
Dec 09, 2013 Brianna Harvey rated it really liked it
This Book On The fringe is a must read for teenagers around the United States. Its dedicated to every kid who ever been called a hurtful name. Also to those who tried to feel superior by putting down someone else. In teen life theres many out there that want to be different from everything and everybody else around society. This book shows you different types of kids such as a athlete or religious teen. Tales of kids going through the struggles that are terrifying and provocative. After reading ...more
May 16, 2010 Julia rated it really liked it
Dedicated “to every kid who has ever been called a hurtful name,” this anthology of short stories was a very welcome read. “Guns for Geeks” by Crutcher is about a teased, mistreated boy who pulls a shotgun on his peers in high school and the effect this has on the survivors. Angela Carter’s “Satyagraha” is about an Indian boy who teaches his classmates how Gandhi dealt with bullies. Jeanie is a tomboy and possibly a lesbian, but definitely different from her peers in “Standing on the Roof Naked” ...more
Sep 12, 2013 Gaby8c rated it liked it
Shelves: qr
I found that this collection of short stories about outsiders was for the most part exciting and entertaining. A couple of the stories were hard to follow and were hard to read, but overall, a good book. I like short stories in general, because usually, it leaves you with a place in the book to pause, without having the feeling that you cannot continue it, and without the feeling of a cliffhanger.
Landon Beeson
This is a collection of short stored edited by Don Gallo. He picked these stories to relate to those people (students) who find themselves "on the fringe" or outcast by their peers. I believe this book to be encouraging and uplifting to those in this situation. Even though some of these stories are harsh and even disturbing, I think that it reaches out to not only these people, but also helps to bring about a sense of self-actualization to those who are responsible for the outcasting.
Julie S.
Dec 20, 2009 Julie S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nearly anyone
I really really like this book. Some of these tell good stories about the ones of high school that we don't usually hear about. As far as teen fiction goes, this type has to be one of my favorites. Skip the teen vampires and gossip girl type books. These feel real. I especially liked "Standing on the Roof Naked." The characters all felt so real to me, like they could be students sitting in my math class or across the cafeteria. I highly recommend this anthology.
Sep 27, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best collections of short stories for teens I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I was again moved as I re-read this and selected some of the stories for class to draw connections with the whole class novel. Relevant and controversial, these stories bring high-interst, high stakes issues and provide relevant connections that can relate to so much of what we do, and covey why the issues we teach are important to kids.
Sandra McLeod
Oct 29, 2010 Sandra McLeod rated it really liked it
A wonderful collection of short stories about kids who are "outsiders" which can facilitate some great discussions both in the home and in the classroom. The stories are written by well-known YA authors and many readers, both old and young, will easily relate to the universal situation of those in the "in-group" versus those "on the fringe."
Cathy Leininger
Sep 30, 2013 Cathy Leininger rated it liked it
I read Guns for Geeks by Chris Crutcher which was a short story in this book of short stories. A good, solid story about and all too regular occurrence of a school shooting with the perspective of survivor's guilt. I would recommend that it be read in the context of several other nonfiction news articles and books about school shootings to provide other perspectives.
Mrs. Nienhaus
Feb 02, 2016 Mrs. Nienhaus rated it really liked it
I really liked this book because it offers a variety of insights in the life of high school students. The range of perspectives given and the variety of teen social groups addressed makes this book a great starting point for discussions. These are some tough topics and the presented in a collection of short stories makes this a quick read for even the reluctant reader.
Sep 25, 2010 Peacegal rated it liked it
This is an agreeable collection of stories about teenagers who, for various reasons, are marginalized by their peers. Although I’m well out of the teen stage, I still periodically pick up these sorts of books: I myself was bullied and I know the experience can alter personality well into adulthood. Of course, as with any multiple-author collection, the stories will vary in interest.
May 05, 2014 Zoie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Good book. I think I'll probably teach it. Or excerpts of it, at least.

A little too much demonizing of the jocks and emphasizing of the LGBT students.

Other than that, it definitely brought up some important issues.

Vicky  del Rio
Hi this is Victoria and I am telling you this book is good. It remind me of some higschool kids lives, but the realize that their are people that are less fortunate then them.I would recommend this book to middel schoel and highschool students. For more information talk to me.
Aug 04, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great short stories about students "on the fringe" of society & how they try to cope. The stories cover topics about bullying, homosexuality, suicide, and a school shooting. Not uplifting, but definitely real. I would recommend this for middle to high school students.
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"Stories about journeys have interested readers since the beginning of language," says Donald R. Gallo of DESTINATION UNEXPECTED, his critically acclaimed anthology of short stories by prominent writers of young adult fiction. "Arriving at the destination is the goal, certainly, but the experiences during the journey itself are what transform the character. The most important experiences are often ...more
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