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Sky Blue Water

2016

Jay D. Peterson and Collette A. Morgan, Editors
Foreword by Kevin Kling

Sky Blue Water

A one-of-a-kind collection of short stories that celebrates Minnesota’s vibrant storytelling tradition

A collection that embodies passion for fostering literacy in young readers, Sky Blue Water celebrates young adult and intermediate fiction from some of Minnesota’s most beloved and award-winning authors to emerging talents and many more. Featuring primarily never-published stories, this anthology beautifully captures the essence of Minnesota adolescence in twenty short stories and poems.

The Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute is a place where the pure, unadulterated weirdness of kids is honored and amplified.

Dave Eggers

From the Dakota people who first inhabited the state to its generations of immigrants and today’s residents, Minnesota has long had a vibrant and unique storytelling tradition. A rich and often under appreciated part of this tradition is youth storytelling—a movement of which Minnesota is a national forerunner. Here, for the first time, two of the state’s beloved independent booksellers collect a wide array of short stories for young readers that pay homage to Minnesota's diverse cultures and stunning landscapes.

Sky Blue Water celebrates young adult and intermediate fiction from some of Minnesota’s most beloved and award-winning authors to emerging talents and many more. With each turn of the page, every young reader will find a poignant and relatable story: tales of discovering hidden truths about one’s family, dealing with a difficult bully, and falling for the new kid who dresses like a cowboy, as well as settings from Rainy Lake to Lake Calhoun and time periods from Prohibition to the present day. Featuring primarily never-published stories, this anthology beautifully captures the essence of a Minnesota adolescence in twenty short stories and poems. Sky Blue Water features a Q&A between Minnesota classrooms and the contributing authors as well as curriculum materials for families, teachers, and students.

This collection embodies passion for fostering literacy in young readers. A portion of the proceeds from Sky Blue Water will go to the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute, a Twin Cities organization offering free tutoring and writing assistance for students ages six to eighteen.

Contributors: William Alexander, Swati Avasthi, Kelly Barnhill, Mary Casanova, John Coy, Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Anika Fajardo, Shannon Gibney, Pete Hautman, Lynne Jonell, Kevin Kling, Margi Preus, Marcie Rendon, Kurtis Scaletta, Julie Schumacher, Joyce Sidman, Phuoc Thi Minh Tran, Anne Ursu, Sarah Warren, Stephanie Watson, and Kao Kalia Yang.
Sky Blue Water

Jay D. Peterson spent twelve years as store manager of Magers & Quinn Booksellers of Minneapolis. He is an active and dedicated member of the Twin Cities literary community and served as founding board chair of the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute.

Collette A. Morgan believes that sharing stories changes lives. In 1992, she and Tom Braun opened Wild Rumpus Books in Minneapolis. She has served on the board of directors of the American Booksellers Association and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association.

Kevin Kling is a well-known playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered. He lives in Minneapolis.

Sky Blue Water

The Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute is a place where the pure, unadulterated weirdness of kids is honored and amplified.

Dave Eggers

This mother lode of short stories by talented Minnesota writers offers vivid glimpses into the cultural life of the state through the eyes of its youth. The authors get into the heads of their young characters through their spot-on use of dialogue and genuine senses of innocence and wonder.

Kirkus Reviews

A high-quality anthology full of classroom potential, sure to inspire budding writers and hook casual readers, too.

School Library Journal

One of the pleasures of this anthology is the chance to see several well-known YA novelists working in shorter forms. Another is the range of voices — and themes — in the collection, all linked loosely through the metaphor of water.

Star Tribune

None of the stories or poems are long, and the excellent writing should keep young readers riveted. (There’s no reason adults can’t enjoy these award-winning writers, too, and the collection would make a dandy teaching tool for writing classes.)

Pioneer Press

The subtitle touts this as “Great Stories for Young Readers” and although all of the protagonists in these compelling, witty and wise short stories are teens or pre-teens, they are “great” for any reader.

Lake Superior Magazine

Themes reflecting the lives of young adults are as diverse as the contributors, including family secrets, bullying, accepting newcomers, family relationships, friendship, fear, loss, and hope.

Oneota Reading Journal

Sky Blue Water

Contents

Foreword

Kevin Kling

Introduction

Jay D. Peterson and Collette A. Morgan

The War between the Water and the Road

William Alexander

Dee Dee

Kurtis Scaletta

Kings and Queens

John Coy

Max Swings for the Fences

Anne Ursu

The Creature under the Bush

Lynne Jonell

The Blue between Us

Joyce Sidman

Fishing

Anika Fajardo

Strange Island

Julie Schumacher

Ozymandias

Kelly Barnhill

Worry and Wonder

Marcie Rendon

Mourning Dove

Joyce Sidman

My Icy Valentine

Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Poetry Themes from Creative Writing Class

Joyce Sidman

The Silver Box (An Excerpt)

Margi Preus

Pressure

Swati Avasthi

Opposite Land

Pete Hautman

Chant for a Winter Dawn

Joyce Sidman

Lone Star

Shannon Gibney

The Ocean Where the Dreams Go

Trần Thị Minh Phước / Phuoc Thi Minh Tran

Adrift

Mary Casanova

We Were Boys Together

Kao Kalia Yang

Why Does Dr. Seuss Rhyme All the Time? Questions for the Authors

Prompts for Classroom Discussions and Creative Writing Activities

Stephanie Watson and Sarah Warren

Contributors