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
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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 Montpelier, 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.