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

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  270 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Children's stories, American; Fiction; General; Juvenile Fiction; Short Stories
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Dutton Juvenile (first published 2006)
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  270 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Jul 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: grade 8 and up
Recommended to Rebecca 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
Feb 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
May 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-classics
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.
Dec 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Man, these illustrations are really cool, although some are clearly more ripe for writing than others. I kept imagining some authors being jealous of the ones with better drawings.

The premise of this collection is great. It reminds me of exercises I always did in creative writing classes when I was a kid. The stories themselves are a mixed bag. For some stories it felt like the author was trying to write past their illustration, like they had to jam their picture in there somehow but it wasn't t
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Diana Welsch
Jan 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Bobbie Dunn
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I picked it up to find a short story for a class, but I ended up reading nearly every one of them in a couple of days! I love the concept of two writers telling the story of one picture, and how different those stories became! This book gave me a chance to discover new authors that I hadn't read before and read some really unique and enjoyable stories!
Jul 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, book-club
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
May 11, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jul 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
May 19, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was created by showing two different authors a picture and having them create a story based on that picture. It was so interesting to see the different stories they would come up with when looking at the same picture. The artwork in the book was full of interesting and thought-provoking pictures and that helped to make for some very interesting and thought-provoking short stories. I really enjoyed many of them! I also loved reading through the author's notes at the end for how they wen ...more
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
A lot of the stories were great, some were less-than-great. Green's, for example, was so poor that I gave up my attempt to read it. (Anyone else going to talk about the weird commentary on racism from the white guy?)

Similarly, I felt like some stories tried to tackle subjects too big for them-- stuff like toxic masculinity and homophobia. The better ones were short and sweet, like the two about the bear (both of which I loved.)

All in all, most of the stories were good, and I do think if you li
Jan 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
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.
William Herschel
Nov 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 thats
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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!
May 14, 2012 marked it as abandoned
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.
Dec 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories, 2009
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.
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

Click Here For Full Review
Kylie Sparks
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Kristen Landon
Sep 03, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
♠️ TABI ♠️
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A collection of short stories based on original artwork - very neat idea, and I was happily surprised that I didn't really not like any of the stories. Some were creepy, some were cute, but all fantastically written.
Jun 01, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Hailey Ann
Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Adams' Country Retreat
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Based on nine drawings by the author Scott Hunt; writers such as William Sleator and Margaret Peterson Haddix along with other famous writers develop interesting stories to go along with the artwork. Great idea for a book. Enjoyed a few stories!
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