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Best Shorts: Favorite Stories for Sharing Hardcover – September 25, 2006


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Hardcover, September 25, 2006
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Series: Best Shorts
  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618476032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618476039
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up–Unlike most collections, there is no integrating theme in the 24 short stories included here–just fine writing, cultural diversity, and timeless creativity. With such strong writers as Richard Peck, Natalie Babbitt, Lloyd Alexander, and Rafe Martin, one would expect nothing less. Strategic placement of genres sustains reader interest. Animals as heroes, time machines as homework helpers, along with Washington Irving's timeless classic Rip Van Winkle and Frank Stockton's highly provocative The Lady or the Tiger? offer many powerful, instantly engaging choices, especially appealing to reluctant readers. Scatterings of the supernatural appear throughout, such as in Patricia McKissack's The Woman in White, in which a desperate ghost propels readers into the injustices of the pre-Civil Rights era. Others are sure to elicit a shiver, like Robert San Souci's The Caller. Brief biographical sketches of the contributors are included. Katherine Paterson offers a persuasive afterword in favor of sharing, discussing, and reading these selections aloud as well as exhorting the dire need for more quality writing in short fiction.–D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Katherine Paterson’s international fame rests not only on her widely acclaimed novels but also on her efforts to promote literacy in the United States and abroad. A two-time winner of the Newbery Medal (Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved) and the National Book Award (The Great Gilly Hopkins and The Master Puppeteer), she has received many accolades for her body of work, including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, given by her home state of Vermont. She was also named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. She served as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature in 2010-2011.
Ms. Paterson is vice president of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance (www.thencbla.org), which is a not-for-profit education and advocacy organization. The NCBLA’s innovative projects actively promote literacy, literature, libraries, and the arts.  She is both an Alida Cutts Lifetime Member of the United States Board on Books for Young People (www.usbby.org) and a lifetime member of the International Board on Books for Young People (www.ibby.org).
She and her husband, John, live in Barre, Vermont. They have four children and seven grandchildren. For more information, visit www.terabithia.com.


Chris Raschka, writer, illustrator and trained violist is one of the country’s top children’s book talents. His Yo! Yes? was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1993 while his Hello Goodbye Window won the Caldecott Medal in 2005 . This is Chris’s first picture book for Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
Highly recommended, even if you're not a teacher!
M. Criss
The stories are well written, captivating, and present an array of genre.
Colorado Teacher
Like reading short stories and this book has some of my favorites.
rekliner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on December 10, 2006
In BEST SHORTS, you never know what surprise you're going to get next. Unlike many short story collections, which usually revolve around some thread of a theme, the stories Avi selected for this anthology come from all over the genre spectrum. The one thing they all have in common, however, is that they are all great little adventures you can experience without the big time commitment of an entire novel.

Readers can get freaked out by seeing what happens when Dad loses his cell phone at Auntie's funeral, travel along with some city-smart boys who try to camp out alone, and root for an entire bank who adopts a baby abandoned in the night-deposit box.

It's pretty slick how a well-written short story can suck you in; before you know it, you're reading a genre that you are sure you don't like. An interesting thing that happened to me as I read this compilation of stories is that I enjoyed stories in genres that I may never have picked up if they had been labeled. As I read these stories to my sixth-grade students, they wanted to get copies of their own. They, too, enjoyed the punch in these stories and the wide variety of styles and genres.

How can you go wrong with a book featuring stories from such authors as Richard Peck, Lloyd Alexander, Washington Irving, Theodore Taylor, and even Avi himself?

If you're looking for a sampler of authors or genres, or a few short stories to read between novels, or something to read without committing to an entire book, or you just feel like something a little different, then try BEST SHORTS on for size. It is one of those one-size-fits-all kind of collections.

Reviewed by: Dianna Geers
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Criss on July 9, 2010
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Avi wins again! This is a terrific group of stories, some funny (Avi's own short) and some scary...some classic and some new. The stories are deeper than a typical collection of say, scary stories, and will spark conversation in a classroom. This is a great anthology for the classroom, by the way, but I've only seen one other teacher who uses it aside from myself, so was glad to read a review by a teacher. Yea! Kids deserve this book and it will help them love to read! Highly recommended, even if you're not a teacher! :o)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ada on September 12, 2007
Even though these short stories were collected with young or teen readers in mind, I found many of them highly entertaining and some even made me laugh out loud on the underground train where I was reading them!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda on July 12, 2009
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I bought this for my 10 year old son and he loves the stories. He was having difficulty finishing long books (for losing interest) so we bought this based on other recommendations and YAY! He loves the stories. They are captivating!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Bird-Lowry on February 21, 2009
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I used two stories in this book for my 5th grade class and they loved the stories. The same cannot be said for the stories in their reading textbook. The Woman in the Snow is one of the stories. I used it just after Obama's inauguration and had my students write a literary response set in November 2008. It is great to expose them to good literature that calls for inference and critical thinking.

The other story I used was The Night of the Pomegranate. I used it the week of the science fair and it launched a great discussion about the merits of experience and communicating your experience in ways the teacher can evaluate. The students produced an art project showing the Milky Way, Big and Little Dippers, Polaris and Mars in response to the story. We were also studying constellations in science so we were able to tie multiple subjects together and explore information from different angles.

One of my non-readers was so excited by the book that he asked his dad to buy him a copy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Colorado Teacher on November 23, 2008
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I was looking for an anthology for students who read between the 4th and 7th grade level, something other than the typical core by the big publishers. The stories are well written, captivating, and present an array of genre. Best of all, my students love the book.
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