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 drawing found at a flea market), and in others, the picture functioned as a snapshot of the plot. The stories themselves were incredibly gripping (Alex Flinn's, M.T. Anderson's, and Bruce Coville's, especially), and made me want to read more short stories. The background and sense of place and character that the authors developed from a single image made me envious as a writer.
The "Notes from the Authors" at the end is one of the best parts of the book. I may buy this one for my personal collection! This would be fascinating to incorporate into an illustration or writing course. Could be used with teens in conjunction with "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick."
"The mind is always in conversation with the heart."
"Aunt Sophie's wisdom often had to be taken with a grain of salt, and sometimes Tylenol, but her view on magic was something that Bettina had taken to heart. Bettina was sure, for instance, that the eyes of some old portraits really did follow you across a gallery, that cameras did occasionally capture a soul, and that the most deeply loved stuffed animals were aware."