Avi author writer
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Strange Happenings
Harcourt, 2006
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Strange Happenings: Five Tales of Transformation

Children become cats and birds, a once-invisible young woman pieces herself back together, and the identity of a mysterious baseball mascot is uncovered—all within this eclectic collection from master storyteller Avi. By turns chilling, ethereal, and surreal, these thought-provoking tales are sure to engage anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to become someone—or something—else.

Behind the Book

Avi writes: This collection of short stories—my second—was built upon an earlier, smaller collection, Tom, Babette & Simon. In this collection, the original stories were rewritten and added to, so as to create this expanded edition. I always find writing short stories a challenge and a delight. To write a good one is very hard. A good short story reveals a great deal with brief strokes. A good short story suggests more than is actually on the page. And finally, I think, a good short story, must bring the reader to a place which concludes the tale, and suggests some deep finality about the life of the characters. Moreover, the shortness of the story creates its own tension. Every word, every sentence must reveal much.

Awards and Honors

Children's Choice nominee, California
Children's Choice nominee, Oklahoma

Review

“… the pieces are vividly imagined and shot through with a captivating, edgy spookiness, which, along with their brevity and some droll, crackling dialogue, makes them great choices for sharing aloud in class or as inspiration in creative-writing units.” (Booklist)

 
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