word craft


Best Shorts

Best Shorts

illus. by Chris Rasch­ka
Houghton Mif­flin, 2006
out of print; look for this book at your favorite library or used bookstore

if you liked this book, try:

Favorite Short Stories for Sharing

What’s this book about?

New­bery Medal–winning author Avi has select­ed short sto­ries from the past and present in this enter­tain­ing col­lec­tion for young read­ers. And whether you begin by read­ing alone or read­ing aloud, these sto­ries are some of the very best to share.

Fea­tur­ing loy­al pets, rogue waves, ghosts who use cell phones, and young peo­ple caught up in events beyond their con­trol, these sto­ries are writ­ten by some of the most enter­tain­ing and esteemed authors of children’s lit­er­a­ture. They will have you savor­ing a qui­et moment by your­self, talk­ing dur­ing din­ner­time with your fam­i­ly, and laugh­ing in class with your friends.

Story Behind the Story

It was in 1846 that Edgar Allan Poe set down crit­i­cal “rules” for writ­ing the short sto­ry. (You can find them on the inter­net with ease.) Aside from writ­ing short sto­ries that are still read, (and scare read­ers) he did much to pro­pel and estab­lish the short sto­ry as an Amer­i­can form. Think of Fitzger­ald, Hem­ing­way, Updike, Stein­beck, O Hen­ry, among many oth­ers.  Indeed, there was a time when short sto­ries were a sta­ple of Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture, find­ing pub­li­ca­tion in an aston­ish­ing array of pub­li­ca­tions, and read by multitudes.

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“This col­lec­tion of short sto­ries begs to be read aloud. Avi and Shute choose short sto­ries from award-win­ning con­tem­po­rary and clas­sic authors. Mys­ter­ies, ani­mal sto­ries, thrillers, and even fairy tales are rep­re­sent­ed here. … If read aloud and shared … these sto­ries will cap­ti­vate a class and per­haps con­vince them to seek out oth­er sto­ries by the authors … rec­om­mend­ed for mid­dle and ele­men­tary school libraries and is par­tic­u­lar­ly suit­ed for teach­ers look­ing for read-aloud mate­r­i­al.” (VOYA)

if you liked this book, try: