Silverman, Jay. Mirror, Mirror: Twisted Tales. Chicken House, 2002. ISBN 978-0439295932 161 pp. $
These not-so-subtle moral tales warn teens of the danger of talking to strangers and taking drugs, and deal with issues such as abuse, anorexia/bulimia and obsessive compulsive disorder. The contemporary stories are told in a narrative voice mimics the traditional fairy tale style and contains the requisite elements of magic, spells and transformations, but the plots are predictable and the language unexciting.
In these lessons, the ghostly voice of a dead, thin aunt convinces a girl she is fat and must stop eating. Divorcing parents literally rip their daughter apart in a tug of war when they can’t agree on a visitation schedule, and well-off boy switches places with a homeless youth and back again. These tales might as well end with the epitaphs to be healthy, not to let your parent’s difficulties get to you, and to be thankful for what you have and help those in need.
The neon green cover is eye-catching; but the shimmering title could have been printed backwards and forwards to create a mirror image. The collection may have appeal to some short story fans; I’d recommend rereading The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block instead.