The children in these stories have one thing in common—they are all young monsters. Some of them are horrid. Some are grotesque. Some are merely unusual. And still others are diabolically clever at disguising their awful desires. Some of the monsters are unwitting captives of their fates. Others relish what they are—horrible as it may be.
Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh have selected stories by Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, H.H. Munro, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, among others, that will evoke both sympathy and horror. All will chill you to your very bones.
This is actually better than most of the “Young so-and-so” anthologies—anything that starts out with a Ray Bradbury story has something terrific going for it right there, even if “Homecoming” isn’t Bradbury’s best—but one still wonders at some of the selections. (One also wonders why Bixby’s “It’s a Beautiful Day” is left out; it’s a terrific story, if perhaps overexposed. Perhaps it was considered a little too chilling for a preteen audience.) Still, in addition to the Bradbury, we’ve got Tanith Lee’s exquisite “Red as Blood,” Jerome Bixby’s “Young One,” and Jane Yolen’s nice (if too obviously pointed) “Angelica.”
Asimov isn’t represented, and the other stories here are never bad but never spectacular, either. Personally I have no strong urge to reread it, but I’d have no trouble recommending it to a member of the target audience.