School Library Journal:

Gr 5 – 9 — Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (Houghton, 1984) has taken on a life of its own in the years since its original publication. The mysterious pictures, accompanied only by a title and a caption, have captivated many young readers to create their own stories. Chronicles presents stories to go with the images by a who’s who of writers for children and young adults-and adults if you count Stephen King. His “The House on Maple Street” is actually one of the strongest selections, reprinted here from one of his short story collections in 1993. In this tale, children maneuver their cruel stepfather into the titular house just prior to the perfect lift off. It’s fully realized with deftly drawn characters. Also memorable is Lois Lowry’s “The Seven Chairs,” about a nun who learns that she can “rise,” along with seven special chairs. M. T. Anderson’s “Just Desert” (the picture with the glowing pumpkin) is an especially brilliant take about a boy who just may be the only person on Earth with everything being created just for him. Van Allsburg’s “Oscar and Alphonse” has an appropriately heartbreaking ending. The rest of the collection is hit or miss. Cory Doctorow’s “Another Place, Another Time” is among the most disappointing, as he takes what is arguably the most iconic image in the book and turns it into an unintelligible mumbo jumbo of time-travel jargon. Chronicles turns out to be a mixed bag, but at the same time it is a potent reminder of the brilliance of Van Allsburg’s original creation.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO –Tim Wadham (Reviewed August 1, 2011) (School Library Journal, vol 57, issue 8, p123)