STRANGE HAPPENINGS by Avi

STRANGE HAPPENINGS

Five Tales of Transformation
by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Strange, indeed—these tales are actually startling. Avi continues to surprise by adding new styles, genres and topics to his storehouse of writing, rarely repeating himself. The lead story, “Bored Tom,” sets the tenor when a bored boy trades places with a cat because he wants to sleep a lot. “Babette the Beautiful” transmogrifies familiar fairytale elements into a story of a princess who is picture perfect but can’t see herself in a mirror. Booktalk the middle story, “Curious,” and kids will be hooked. Jeff Marley is most curious about the baseball team mascot called “The Alien,” but trying to find out his identity leads him to a point of no return. “The Shoemaker and Old Scratch” pits a greedy shoemaker against the Devil in a bargain of souls versus soles. The titular character in “Simon” is so vain, his goal in life is to have the world gaze upon him with admiration and envy. His solipsism turns him into a birdbrain—that is, a man with a bird’s head. The mix of contemporary and fantasy settings is effective and eerie enough to produce a shiver or two. (Short stories. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-15-205790-0
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2006




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