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A Collection of Nine Winning Favorites

Mr. Lawrence Nissim's writi ngs focus on stressful situati ons in which young people fi nd themselves in their homes, in their neighborhoods, and in their schools. Readers may be able to identi fy with the characters who appear in each plot. A fi rst example rises in "Befuddled" the fi rst of nine stories found in A Collecti on of Favorites.Two high school friends have a disagreement at school. They decide to meet aft er school at the nearby park to sett le their diff erences. At the park their discussion escalates to anger, then to pushing each other. Dominic is punched and falls backward, smashing his head on a bench. Dominic is unable to move. "Risky Excursion" takes two twelve-year-olds on a bike-riding adventure with some risk. Mitch disobeys his mother and follows Carl to the shopping center then later fi nds himself in a police car. A surprise ending follows. In "I Did It for You," Todd's lunch recess at school began peacefully. He simply wanted to join his friends in their daily basketball game. But his practice shots were interrupted. Looking across the active schoolyard, he witnessed some behaviors that rekindled memories that caused him and his family much distress last summer. He felt he had to cross the yard and get involved. But was his decision wise? The fi ft h story in A Collecti on of Favorites is "Daughters." Two eighth-grade girls were longti me friends. They were bored with their summer vacati on, so both of them decided to take a shopping excursion to their local mall. But neither had any shopping money. One of the girls felt mischievous and broke the law then encouraged her friend to copycat the behavior. Their responses to each other aff ected a change in their relati onship. In "David's Crisis," David's parents are in a marital crisis, and David thinks his father is abusing his mother. Is it true, or is David wrong? What can a teen do about a situati on such as this one? Can the school help solve David and his parents' issue? In "Fancy Jeena," Jeena is being bullied in her new junior high school. Four girls have been harassing her at school. She tries to avoid them in the halls, the cafeteria, and the schoolyard. One of the bullies pushes and hurts Jeena aft er class one day. There are no witnesses to this incident. What is the cause of the bullying? Reader will discover, at the end of each of the nine stories, a short list of discussion items, which will relate to the preceding presentati on. In the eighth of our nine stories, "The Eighth Grade Court," Jamie's fi rst days of sixth grade begin sadly and stressfully. His dad had been killed recently in an auto accident. Jamie now feels a huge empti ness every day. They enjoyed close ti mes together, sharing thoughts and playing basketball. An opportunity arises at school, whereby Jamie is invited to play basketball with some eighth graders. But the invitati on leads Jamie on a questi onable and scary course. Mr. Lawrence NIssim's ninth and final story in "A Collection of Favorites" is titled, "The Plan". This tale seems appropriate for young players who participate in Little League baseball or softball. Or any sport, which welcomes parent participation. A player's success often follows when families attend his or her games. But often, the actions of a significant family member will deter the development of the athlete. Our main character was embarrassed by the behavior of his father during a game. The player wanted to continue to play the game he loved, but not with his father present. Howie's plan had to be successful.

--Lawrence Nissim

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