Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Artwork
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Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Artwork

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  202 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A girl dresses in a bunny costume to earn her dad's approval. . . . A boy bakes a cake and takes out his dad in the same afternoon. . . . These are just two of the offbeat and utterly captivating scenarios readers will find in this collection of stories inspired by narrative artwork. Nine charcoal drawings, each one hauntingly surreal, were the creative spur for eighteen d...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Dutton Children's Books (first published 2006)
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Aug 08, 2014 Becky rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grade 8 and up
Recommended to Becky by: Maia
I can't believe it took me this long to read this book!! I loved it! Artist Scott Hunt provides 9 evocative charcoal drawings meant to inspire narration, and 18 authors for teens write short stories about them. There are two stories for each picture, proving that there is no "right" way to interpret a picture. I enjoyed varying the order in which I looked at the picture and read the two stories.

In some of the stories, the picture functioned as a physical object (like an old photograph, or a dra...more
It's been quite a while since I finished this book, but I remember how much I loved it even though months and months have passed. The premise of having two stories originating from the same piece of artwork worked effectively; furthermore it was interesting to compare the short stories of favourite authors such as Sarah Dessen, M. T. Anderson and John Green with their other work - a peek into the mind of the author, if you will. It's a little tricky to find, but a good scour of the internet will...more
This books tells short stories about original works of art. It's called Twice Told because two different authors each write a story about the same picture. It's fascinating to compare their different takes on the art, and to compare the stories to the art itself.
Diana Welsch
This was a book of short stories, in which excellent and well-respected young adult authors were given an illustration by Scott Hunt and they wrote a story about it. There were two stories about each drawing. The authors include John Green (Looking for Alaska), Ron Koertge (Stoner and Spaz), M.T. Anderson (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing), Sarah Dessen Just Listen, and, yes, even William Sleator (House of Stairs).

The drawings were sometimes ordinary, sometimes odd: a teenage girl gazes...more
Twice Told is a collection of eighteen short stories influenced by nine unique illustrations. Scott Hunt, an illustrator by trade, decided to transpose the typical author-illustrator collaboration by asking authors to write short stories based on drawings he created. Hunt assigned two authors to each illustration and gave them free rein to interpret them resulting in this exceptional collection. The stories vary greatly in subject matter, but all address issue of or relating to young aduts. Even...more
I always feel that short stories are difficult to read because you're expected to become "oriented" to the author's world within a few paragraphs and once you've finally started to care for the characters, the story is over. (I feel the same way about movies.) That's why this compilation struck a cord with me. Having an inspirational image to refer to during the orientation process was quite helpful.

Of course, some stories won me over more than others. My three favorites were "Just a Couple of...more
I found this book during my obsession-with-John-Green phase and the concept sounded interesting - for each illustration, two authors wrote short stories. It was interesting to see similar themes pop up in each story. For the illustration "Cake" (which shows an axe laying beside a cake on a table), both authors had a theme of hatred for a father. For the illustration "Donuts" (which shows a heavy man standing in front of a donut shop called Marty's), both main characters worked in the donut shop,...more
I really liked this concept: an artist sends out some of his original work and comissions authors to write short stories about them - two stories for each picture. I like the idea of art inspiring art.

The stories are, of course, a mixed bag. I think my favorite pairing was "Cake," which is based around a picture of a cake and an axe that are together on a kitchen table.

I was looking at this as a book that I could have my CAP class read, but once again I'd probably get called onto the carpet for...more
Jul 16, 2008 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers, writers and artists (not that writers aren't a variety of artist)
Shelves: ya
Artist Scott Hunt presented nine charcoal drawings to a group of authors who typically write for the young adult audience and asked them to create short stories using his artwork as inspiration. Each of the drawings is paired with two stories from two different authors, and the difference between the stories reveals the uniqueness of each author's vision.
This book really gives you a great taste of the work of authors like Sarah Dessen, Bruce Coville, John Green and M.T. Anderson - just to name...more
An interesting concept...Scott Hunt asks authors to write on a charcoal drawing- 2 different authors for each drawing. These stories show how differently people see things, and also how one can draw inspiration from art. The charcoal drawings are very interesting and well done- the stories vary. Some are so-so, some are great. They are by well know YA authors such as Neil Shusterman, MT Anderson, and John Green. A great collection.
Aug 14, 2011 Jacob marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I think I should rename 'could-not-finish' to 'did-not-finish' because the former seems negative. And while a lot of the books on the 'c-n-f' shelf are indeed bad, others I just didn't get around to finishing for one reason or another, esp. if they're short story collections/anthologies like this one.

I checked out Twice Told from the library and only was able to finish maybe three before I had to return it. One was John Green's, which I quite liked; Sarah Dessen's, which I don't remember much fr...more
Anthologies are difficult to evaluate because of the diversity, so I won't. I'll just focus on the John Green story for which I got this.
I liked it. It's got a great third-to-the-last paragraph. And I like how his writing is nerdy in its "Actually,-most-frogs-will-jump-out-of-the-boiling-pot-that-lore-is-based-on-an-experiment-where-they-removed-part-of-the-frog's-brain" kind of way. The main character lets the reader in on how things are not quite what they seem, but doesn't say it out loud to...more
The John Green short story is great.
A neat idea to use in class: write a story based on a picture.
William Herschel
Dec 02, 2009 William Herschel rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle-schoolers, young
Shelves: unfinished
I really liked the concept of this book. Two authors get a picture, each write a short story around it. Fun to compare the similarities and differences they got out of the pictures and how they expanded on it.

But, otherwise, the book was lousy. The writing was simply too non-worthwhile and seemed to be written for middle schoolers or younger. Granted, this was a YA book.

I read only about four of these and got the general idea. If anybody reads this and knows of a book with similar concept that´s...more
While the stories were "okay" (really only two standouts for me) the concept was much more interesting. How do any two individuals approach what they are seeing without any context?

To test this out, our book club members each brought in a photo which was passed around the room. We then wrote a few sentences based around what was in the photo. (As did the authors of the book.) It was a blast to see the similarities in themes and thought patterns that the group had, but also the stark differences....more
This one would be so fun for a creative writing class. Each of the pictures have something in them that is startling and deserves more than one look. It's purt' near impossible not to create a story around these. I read this book a couple of months ago, and the one picture that stays with me, along with the stories with it, is the one with the elegant chocolate cake sitting pristine on a table in an immaculate kitchen. Next to the cake is a hatchet. I dare you not to shiver reading those.
Artist Scott Hunt has created this wonderful book of short stories using a technique common to creative writing teachers. He sent original art to some of today's top young adult authors and they have created funny, intriguing, thought-provoking stories from them. Each picture is interpreted by two authors, showing how one image can inspire different points of view. The writing is top notch and each story is a gem.
I bought this primarily because of John Green's short story, but when I recieved it, I found that so many fantastic writers had stories in it, like Nancy Werlin, M.T. Anderson (My latest literary crush; he's adorable) David Lubar, and Sarah Dessen. I loved the premise; that pairs of authors are each given one picture and must write a story about it. I think a second volume would be a neat idea.
An absolutely fascinating concept--beautiful artwork given to up and coming Young Adult authors, with two short stores for each picture--proving that there is no one "correct" viewing of a piece of art. The charcoal drawings are provocative, the stories are new and original, and I would definitely consider teaching an elective class around this concept. I'm thoroughly engrossed!
I enjoyed many of these stories. The concept was interesting--stories in pairs, each told about a work of art. The art seemed kind of cheesy and old-fashioned to me and I could tell that many of these authors didn't really want to tell the kind of story that would fit with the work of art, so they fit it in in creative ways. Some of the stories were really a perfect fit with the art.
Really enjoyed this book of short stories, all written by well-known ya authors. Twist is that each story is inspired by original art work, the first story is written from a smaller image of the art piece, the second story written from the full image. Stories range from funny to a bit bizarre (Shusterman's for example). But even without the art, stories are good.
Gabie (OwlEyesReviews)
Guys, this is a little treasure. It's beautiful. I did not think that every story was AMAZING but every story fit perfectly. I loved it. It is a must read. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful <3

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Feb 25, 2013 Amber marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the first handful of stories--this is a neat concept for a book. But then I started to read a story that was really disturbing (about a little boy who is sexually molested) and I really lost enthusiasm for this book. The stories are just too random for me to spend the time reading them, quite frankly.
Kristen Landon
Cool concept. An artist created original pictures and gave each one to two authors. Each author creats a short story based on the picture he/she received. Very varied. I liked some stories much better than others. A few of the illustrations were cool and interesting, but I found many of them quite bland.
Hailey Ann
This book, while fairly good, left me feeling kind of weird. Like when you turn on the TV eagerly to watch your favorite Monday night show, only to realize that it's actually Sunday night. Then you have to reorient yourself to the bizarre new world you're in.

It was that kind of weird.
A book of short stories written by YA authors inspired by drawings made by Scott Hunt. Each drawing had two different stories and it was interesting to see what inspired the authors. In the back, each author talks a little about their process.
Cool concept that makes for interesting stories. Loved the part at the back of the book where each author explained a little bit about why they wrote their story the way that they did.
Dec 05, 2012 Francesca marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I really love the idea of this book. Eighteen authors, two assigned to each strange illustration? And John Green happens to be one of those authors? How could I not read this!
Pretty awesome... fun... nice for like DEAR which i have in class... i can like finish one short story every day... they r all cute except for a few that were disturbing
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