Necessary Noise: stories about our families as they really are ed by Michael Cart.
Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins Publishers: NY, 2003.

Traditional, blended or fractured - all families have disruptive moments. Times when communication is imperative, even if it is translated through behavior. Obviously, better if it initiates conversation, but families are often not that direct in communicating. These ten short stories deal with problems bursting out in modern families and the handling of the explosive moments.

It's hard to say I liked the book exactly, because most of the content is difficult, understandably. The stories are good for those who like to read of misery and be challenged by issues. I have 2 favorites - Hardware by Joan Bauer which describes a family being pushed out of business by a Super Store and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde by Sonya Sones for the format and language in which it is written. Sibling rivalry in the extreme in sparse but direct and personal verses.

Two entries are biblical in content - modern day versions of the Lazarus story (sisters dealing with his possible death) and Hagar and Ishmael (a homeless single parent family). There are a variety of issues in the others - belief vs skepticism, a visit to death row and a son abandoned by his father, a mental illness addressed by medication, a boy living with his mom and her female partner and unwilling to accept the situation, the relationship of 2 male friends through their lives, and a boyfriend brought home from college.

related-family, short stories, tear jerkers, authors - Joan Bauer, Norma Howe, Emma Donoghue, Nikki Grimes, Walter Dean Myers, Joyce Carol Thomas, Rita Williams-Garcia, Michael Cart, Sonya Sones, Lois Lowry

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