Time Capsule: Short Stories About Teenagers Throughout the Twentieth Century

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9780385326759: Time Capsule: Short Stories About Teenagers Throughout the Twentieth Century

Teenagers who have entered this new millennium with visions of what their lives will be like in years to come will be intrigued by these 10 imaginative stories collected and edited by author and editor Donald R. Gallo. Award-winning authors explore a different decade of the 20th century through the eyes of teens with concerns and emotions similar to those of young adults today.

Gallo’s introduction to each piece will give readers a sense of the many technological advances, as well as the political and cultural changes, that came with each new decade and story. How did young adults cope with so much change, so many opportunities? The stories will inspire teenagers as they experience changes in their own daily lives.
From the Paperback edition.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

From the Back Cover:

"The stories are smoothly connected and insightfully introduced by succinct historic prefaces, giving readers new ways to explore their heritage." — Publishers Weekly, Starred

"In Gallo’s new thematic anthology, 10 of today’s best YA writers contribute clever, captivating short stories that span the twentieth century and run the gamut of historical perspectives and tones." — Booklist

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1900-1909 The Electric Summer by Richard Peck

I was sitting out there on the old swing that used to hang on the back porch. We'd fed Dad and the boys. Now Mama and I were spelling each other to stir the preserves. The screen door behind me was black with flies, and that smell of sugared strawberries cooking down filled all out-of-doors. A Maytime smell, promising summer.

Just turned fourteen, I was long-legged enough to push off the swing, then listen to the squeak of the chains. The swing was where I did my daytime dreaming. I sat there looking down past Mama's garden and the wind pump to the level line of long distance.

Like watching had made it happen, dust rose on the road from town. A black dot got bigger, scaring the sheep away from the fence line. It was an automobile. Nothing else churned the dust like that. Then by and by it was the Schumates' Oldsmobile, turning off the crown of the road and bouncing into our barn lot. There were only four automobiles in the town at that time, and only one of them driven by a woman--my aunt Elvera Schumate. She cut the motor off, but the Oldsmobile was still heaving. Climbing down, she put a gloved hand on a fender to calm it.

As Dad often said, Aunt Elvera would have been a novelty even without the automobile. In the heat of the day she wore a wide-brimmed canvas hat secured with a motoring veil tied under her chin. Her duster was a voluminous poplin garment, leather-bound at the hem.

My cousin Dorothy climbed down from the Olds, dressed similarly. They made a business of untangling themselves from their veils, propping their goggles up on their foreheads, and dusting themselves down the best they could. Aunt Elvera made for the house with Dorothy following. Dorothy always held back.

Behind me Mama banged on the screen door to scare the flies, then stepped outside. She was ready for a breather even if it meant Aunt Elvera. I stood up from the swing as Aunt Elvera came through the gate to the yard, Dorothy trailing. Where their goggles had been were two circles of clean skin around their eyes. They looked like a pair of raccoons. Mama's mouth twitched in something of a smile.

"Well, Mary." Aunt Elvera heaved herself up the porch steps and drew off her gauntlet gloves. "I can see you are having a busy day." Mama's hands were fire red from strawberry juice and the heat of the stove. Mine were scratched all over from picking every ripe berry in the patch.

"One day's like another on the farm," Mama remarked.

"Then I will not mince words," Aunt Elvera said, overlooking me. "I'd have rung you up if you were connected to the telephone system."

"What about, Elvera?" She and Mama weren't sisters. They were sisters-in-law.

"Why, the Fair, of course!" Aunt Elvera bristled in an important way. "What else? The Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. The world will be there. It puts St. Louis at the hub of the universe." Aunt Elvera's mouth worked wordlessly.

"Well, I do know about it," Mama said. "I take it you'll be going?"

Aunt Elvera waved her away. "My stars, yes. You know how Schumate can be. Tight as a new boot. But I put my foot down. Mary, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. We will not see such wonders again during our span."

"Ah," Mama said, and my mind wandered--took a giant leap and landed in St. Louis. We knew about the Fair. The calendar the peddler gave us at Christmas featured a different pictorial view of the Fair for every month. There were white palaces in gardens with gondolas in waterways, everything electric-lit. Castles from Europe and paper houses from Japan. For the month of May the calendar featured the great floral clock on the fairgrounds.

"Send us a postal," Mama said.

"The thing is . . ." Aunt Elvera's eyes slid toward Dorothy. "We thought we'd invite Geneva to go with us."

My heart liked to lurch out of my apron. Me? They wanted to take me to the Fair? "She'll be company for Dorothy."

Then I saw how it was. Dorothy was dim, but she could set her heels like a mule. She wanted somebody with her at the Fair so she wouldn't have to trail after her mother every minute. We were about the same age. We were in the same grade, but she was a year older, having repeated fourth grade. She could read, but her lips moved. And we were cousins, not friends.

"It will be educational for them both," Aunt Elvera said. "All the progress of civilization as we know it will be on display. They say a visit to the Fair is tantamount to a year of high school."

"Mercy," Mama said.

"We will take the Wabash Railroad directly to the gates of the Exposition," Aunt Elvera explained, "and we will be staying on the grounds themselves at the Inside Inn." She leaned nearer Mama, and her voice fell. "I'm sorry to say that there will be stimulants for sale on the fairgrounds. You know how St. Louis is in the hands of the breweries." Aunt Elvera was sergeant-at-arms of the Women's Chris-tian Temperance Union, and to her, strong drink was a mocker. "But we will keep the girls away from that sort of thing." Her voice fell to a whisper. "And we naturally won't set foot on the Pike."

We knew what the Pike was. It was the midway of the Fair, like a giant carnival with all sorts of goings-on.

"Well, many thanks, but I don't think so," Mama said.

My heart didn't exactly sink. It never dawned on me that I'd see the Fair. I was only a little cast down because I might never get another glimpse of the world.

"Now, you're not to think of the money," Aunt Elvera said. "Dismiss that from your mind. Schumate and I will be glad to cover all Geneva's expenses. She can sleep in the bed with Dorothy, and we are carrying a good deal of our eats. I know these aren't flush times for farmers, Mary, but do not let your pride stand in Geneva's way."

"Oh, no," Mama said mildly. "Pride cometh before a fall. But we may be running down to the Fair ourselves."

Aunt Elvera's eyes narrowed, and I didn't believe Mama, either. It was just her way of fending off my aunt. Kept me from being in the same bed with Dorothy, too.

Aunt Elvera never liked taking no for an answer, but in time she and Dorothy made a disorderly retreat. We saw them off from the porch. Aunt Elvera had to crank the Olds to get it going while Dorothy sat up on the seat, adjusting the magneto or whatever it was. We watched Aunt Elvera's rear elevation as she stooped to jerk the crank time after time. If the crank got away from you, it could break your arm, and we watched to see if it would.

But at length the Olds coughed and sputtered to life. Aunt Elvera climbed aboard and circled the barn lot--she never had found the reverse gear. Then they were off back to town in a cloud of dust on the crown of the road.

I didn't want to mention the Fair, so I said, "Mama, would you ride in one of them things?"

"Not with Elvera running it," she said, and went back in the house.

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