In hindsight, I don’t think Taaqtumi from Inhabit Media was for 12 year olds. I spent a fair bit of time editing the short stories as I read them out loud to my son, both for the amount of swearing and the content within the pages.
(Writer’s Note: I found out that Taaqumi is actually an adult book, hence the swearing and content. However, as I was able to edit it out without changing the story, was it really necessary? I would say no, but that is likely just me. As a note, Inhabit Media publishes two adult books a year.)
While there were a number of stories we like, my son asked me to stop reading Wheetago War II: Summoners by Richard Van Camp because “there are so many stories, we don’t need to read them all” and I asked, and was granted, permission to stop reading the Lounge by Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley. I spent a lot of time having no idea what was happening and a lot of time editing content while reading. This one really isn’t for kids. (See above.)
However, the rest of the stories were great. The Haunted Blizzard by Aviaq Johnston was the most terrifying to me. My son looked at me like I was crazy, but I did actually feel scared. The Wildest Game by Jay was disturbing, and I did actually want to stop reading it, but my son liked it and asked me to continue. We really liked Utiqtuq. It was a story that came up in conversations throughout the day. It was cool concept and a unique way to end the story, not what I wanted, but really perfect for a horror anthology.
There were a lot of Inuktitut words that I had no hope of pronouncing despite the lengthy pronunciation guide at the end of the book. I liked the stories that gave me the Inuktitut word and translated them in the same sentence. It allowed me to use the English word when reading out loud – which was is easier for me. Language is not my speciality.
I would actually suggest all the stories should have the meaning of the words in the same sentence on the first reference, so I didn’t need to stop and look it up, which sort of wrecks the moment.
My son was disappointed when the book was over.
All the stories were so different from each other, which made it a great anthology to read right before bed. Watch out for The Door.