In the Shadow of the Master: Classic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

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by Edgar Allan Poe and Michael Connelly, ed.. Short Stories. 416 pages. Grades 6-12.
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Review

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No exploration of short stories is complete without reading Poe. If you are looking for an anthology of his stories I highly recommend this one.

This anthology includes essays by various mystery writers like Stephen King and Sue Grafton about how the reading of Poe has affected them. The experience of Poe as required reading in school comes up again and again. The "broccoli" that teenagers are required to eat. The essay writers often compare their early experiences of reading Poe with later readings when they were able to discover greater meaning.

These essays are a great follow-up after reading the stories but are also a good jumping off place for discussions about required reading and about revisiting texts later, how changes in the reader affect later readings. It's a good time to talk about what the reader brings to a story in general.

In the collection of Poe stories anthologized here you'll find old standards such as “The Raven” and “The Pit and the Pendulum” and lesser known stories like “The Descent into the Maelstrom”.

Reading these stories in the context of the essays creates a sense of joining a community of readers sharing these stories that so many of us have been affected by. For students it can be their first experience of sharing a readers' community that extends beyond the walls of the school.

Other mystery writers whose essays are included in this book include: Jeffery Deaver, Nelson DeMille, Tess Gerritsen, and Lisa Scottoline.

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Related Books

  • cover art You Don't Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens by Sarah ed. Cortez. (2011, Pinata. ISBN 9781558856929. Order Info.) Short Stories. 320 pages. Gr 9-12.
    This is a high quality collection of eighteen short story mysteries written by and featuring Latinos. It includes a wide range of settings and style. Some have elements of the paranormal, some are lighthearted, some are dark. Most have a realistic sprinkling of Spanish words and the editor has included a glossary. A welcome Hispanic voice in the mystery genre.
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