Books by Bruce Coville

DIARY OF A MAD BROWNIE by Bruce Coville
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 30, 2015

"A knee-slapper in this or any edition. (Fantasy. 9-11)"
A dedicated slob and a neatnik brownie, both with fierce tempers, face off in this much-expanded version of Coville's short story "Clean as a Whistle," published in Oddly Enough (1994).Read full book review >
GOBLINS ON THE PROWL by Bruce Coville
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 16, 2015

"A goblin salute (i.e., a finger up the nose) for this brisk and funny outing. (afterword) (Fantasy. 9-11)"
In an inexcusably tardy sequel to Goblins in the Castle (1992), stakes escalate when old spells and new mischief collide, sending a giant stone toad bounding off with the previous episode's protagonist in its mouth.Read full book review >
AMBER BROWN IS ON THE MOVE by Paula Danziger
Released: Sept. 12, 2013

"Even though filtered through numerous works and new authors, Amber's voice remains fresh, funny and achingly honest—traits readers love about her. (Fiction. 7-11)"
Amber Brown is facing two tough challenges: her recently blended family is in the midst of moving to a new home, and she can't seem to focus on pending high-pressure standardized tests at school. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 13, 2012

"Fully faithful to the voice Danziger gave Amber Brown, this visit with an old friend will totally satisfy readers. (afterword by Danziger's niece, 'the real Amber Brown') (Fiction. 7-11)"
Amber Brown fans will rejoice; against all odds, their favorite protagonist is back. Read full book review >
ALWAYS OCTOBER by Bruce Coville
Released: Aug. 28, 2012

"Surprises abound: Most threads are wrapped up, but there is room left for other books with these diverting characters. (Fantasy. 9-12)"
From the very first line ("We've only got two weeks before Jake has to turn into a monster for the first time") to the riveting ending, this fantasy will have readers turning pages recklessly. Read full book review >
THE LAST HUNT by Bruce Coville
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: June 1, 2010

"Amalia Flickerfoot'—plus magical figures from a comically monkey-like pet and a gryphon with a tender ego to angels (thinly disguised as 'Great Powers'), centaurs and, of course, shining, magnificent unicorns aplenty—will be swept along to the grand, hard-fought resolution. (cast list, map) (Fantasy. 10-13)"
Continuing a series practice, this finale substantially tops the previous volume's page count as Coville draws all his characters and plot lines together in a mighty cascade of short chapters to a climactic battle on the alternate world of Luster. Read full book review >
ODDEST OF ALL by Bruce Coville
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"Punctuated with poignant or tragic notes but light in overall tone, this gathering nicely demonstrates both Coville's versatility and his broad appeal to young audiences. (Short stories. 11-13)"
To the short stories gathered in Odds Are Good: An Oddly Enough and Odder Than Ever Omnibus (2006) Coville adds nine more: six previously published but revised, and three newbies. Read full book review >
THE WINTER’S TALE by William Shakespeare
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"Yet the cleverly selected direct quotes and theatrical watercolor and gouache images make this a more than adequate companion to the original play. (Picture book/play. 7-10)"
One of Shakespeare's more problematic romances gets a picture-book treatment in Coville's new rendition. Read full book review >
THOR’S WEDDING DAY by Bruce Coville
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Written in an informal tone and illustrated with plenty of line drawings (not seen), this makes a hilarious alternative to Shirley Climo's more earnest rendition of the myth, Stolen Thunder (1994), illus by Alexander Koshkin. (afterword) (Fiction. 9-11)"
The irrepressible Coville retells a rare and funny tale from Norse mythology, adding only a few details and a young human narrator. Read full book review >
MOONGOBBLE AND ME by Bruce Coville
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Dec. 1, 2004

"The troop of adventurers returns to Edward's village to await Moongobble's next assignment to prove himself worthy of membership in the Society of Magicians, and further volumes expanding the series seem destined to develop Edward's own interest in becoming an apprentice magician. (Fiction. 6-9)"
A little boy named Edward is the first-person narrator of this transitional chapter book that also includes a bumbling beginning magician, backfiring spells, and a talking toad. Read full book review >
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S TWELFTH NIGHT by Bruce Coville
Released: March 1, 2003

"Prospective audiences or cast members will get a clear sense of the play's tangled plot from this, but will have to see it performed to fully appreciate its sheer hilarity and joyful climax. (Picture book. 9-12)"
Coville, who's done so well with these in the past (Romeo and Juliet, 1999, etc), prefaces his latest Shakespearean retelling with the claim that its themes of trying on a new identity and having to yearn in silence for another will carry particular resonance for young readers as "the struggle of adolescence in microcosm!" Read full book review >
HALF-HUMAN by Bruce Coville
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"A good choice for fantasy fans, or teachers looking to supplement a mythology unit. (Short stories. 10-14)"
Centaurs, mermaids, and similar fantastic creatures populate the latest collection of short stories compiled by Coville. Read full book review >
THE MONSTERS OF MORLEY MANOR by Bruce Coville
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

Readers who prefer their monsters lizard-headed or with vampire fangs, snake-haired, hunchbacked or overmuscled, froggish or doggish, need look no further than this over-the-top tale of two human siblings helping a notably motley semi- or non-human cast stave off an alien invasion of Earth. Read full book review >
THE PRINCE OF BUTTERFLIES by Bruce Coville
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2001

"Some will find this story lightweight and sentimental; others will see the trajectory of meaning inherent in a committed life. (Picture book. 6-9)"
The prolific, multitalented Coville (Half-Human, 2001, etc.) takes off in a different direction with this unusual story of a boy who bonds with a migrating flock of monarch butterflies, emphasizing so strongly with their plight of diminishing habitat that he actually briefly becomes one of them. Read full book review >
ARMAGEDDON SUMMER by Jane Yolen
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Jed and Marina have epiphanies great and small, and they emerge whole, still searching for belief in its myriad aspects, and for each other. (Fiction. 12-15)"
The format—a story told from alternating viewpoints, with a few letters, radio and e-mail transcripts, and other realia thrown in—is becoming familiar, but two practiced writers employ the tactic and run with it in this page-turner. Read full book review >
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S MACBETH by Bruce Coville
CLASSICS
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"A volume for those who are certain that this kind of adaptation—reduces an intense psychological study to a slim story of multiple murders—will not prejudice children against future encounters with the Bard. (Picture book. 9-12)"
Tempting readers into this dramatic retelling, the introduction calls this a ``horrific tale of witches, murder, ghosts and revenge.'' Coville (William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1996, etc.) repeats most of the play's famous phrases (condensing the ``Double double, toil and trouble'' incantation to six lines) and expertly captures the original's lurid supernatural manifestations and dark tone. Read full book review >
THE LAPSNATCHER by Bruce Coville
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Clara Vulliamy's Ellen and the Penguin and the New Baby (1996) and, more recently, in Clare Jarrett's Catherine and the Lion (1997). (Picture book. 3-8)"
Jacob has a new baby sister and isn't very happy about the situation. Read full book review >
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM by Bruce Coville
CLASSICS
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"As an introduction to the real thing, this may be useful to older readers who want to have the plot and characters in mind before they enter Shakespeare's realm. (Picture book. 7+)"
William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream ($16.99; PLB $16.89; Oct. 1996; 48 pp.; 0-8037-1784-6; PLB 0-8037-1785-7): Coville (Fortune's Journey, 1995, etc.) gracefully retells this famous comedy, retaining just enough of Shakespeare's language to lend a sense of the world of the play without overwhelming picture- book readers. Read full book review >
FORTUNE'S JOURNEY by Bruce Coville
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"Her dialogue and inner musings are stiff compared to the heroine's in Coville's Jennifer Murdley's Toad (1992). (Fiction. 10+)"
ODDLY ENOUGH by Bruce Coville
FICTION
Released: Oct. 3, 1994

"An odd mix of the painfully earnest and the occasionally witty. (Stories/Fiction. 12+)"
Coville's (The Dragonslayers, p. 842, etc.; I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X, above) collection of some new and some old short stories includes the spiritual, the mythical, the mystical, and the just plain silly. Read full book review >
I LEFT MY SNEAKERS IN DIMENSION X by Bruce Coville
FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Coville (Oddly Enough, below) is at the top of his weird, wonderful form. (Fiction. 8-11)"
Rod Allbright returns for his second space romp (after Aliens Ate My Homework, 1993) with the crew of the spaceship Ferkel. Read full book review >
THE DRAGONSLAYERS by Bruce Coville
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: June 1, 1994

"Most of these ideas recall such longer fantasies as Patricia Wrede's Dealing With Dragons (1990) and its sequels, but Coville's sly sense of humor gives it all a tasty glaze. (Fiction. 9-11)"
A wispy confection from the author of My Teacher Is An Alien (1989) and other bon-bons, featuring a fire-breathing dragon, a misguided witch, talking animals, a hot-tempered princess, a plucky young page, and ``the world's oldest working squire.'' When King Mildred (yes, Mildred; he had a difficult youth) offers half his kingdom and his daughter Wilhelmina's hand to whoever slays the dragon created by witch Grizelda, only old Squire Elizar volunteers; but the feisty princess, in disguise, slips out to do the deed herself. Read full book review >
JENNIFER MURDLEY'S TOAD by Bruce Coville
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1992

"Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Snagged immediately with ``If Jennifer Murdley hadn't been forced to wear her brother's underpants to school, the whole thing might never have happened,'' readers will find this latest escapade featuring Mr. S. H. Elives and his quirky magic-shop endlessly funny. Read full book review >