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Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction Paperback – Bargain Price, May 5, 2005

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-Teens will find much to savor and celebrate in this dazzling collection of 16 short stories by some of the best fantasy writers around. A biographical sketch and note from each one follows every selection. The collection starts off with Delia Sherman's "Cotillion," a luscious and romantic version of "Tam Lin" set in Manhattan, 1969. Diana Wynne Jones's "Little Dot" will charm anyone who has ever loved a cat. Kara Dalkey elegantly retells Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" in "The Lady of the Ice Garden," and fans of Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel (Harcourt, 1997) will find great pleasure in "Beauty," his charming tale of one of Meliara and Shevraeth's children. Nancy Springer slyly twits the movers and shakers of the world in "Mariposa," a comic tale about a woman looking for her soul. An adaptation of the folksong "The Black Fox" by Emma Bull is complemented by Charles Vess's fine graphic interpretation. "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" by Megan Whalen Turner is a sweetly daffy look at how evil can be beaten with rules and regulations. In Lloyd Alexander's devastating "Max Mondrosch," a man tries to do everything in his power to get by and still fails utterly. The most disturbing story in the collection, however, is Garth Nix's "Hope Chest," in which innocent Alice May is saddled with the task of saving her family and her town from the creeping shadow of evil. A first-class collection.
Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-12. The only theme in this gorgeous tapestry of a collection is that all the authors are part of the Firebird imprint. The 16 stories are richly romantic in the broadest sense, and they effortlessly transport readers. Delia Sherman's opening "Cotillion" evokes the spell of lute music and New York City in 1969; Garth Nix's creepy "Hope Chest" is a Western stand-alone with a very unusual sheriff; Michael Cadnum and Meredith Ann Pierce turn old stories inside out. There's a cat tale (Diana Wynne Jones), and an odd changeling tale (Nancy Farmer), and a graphic novel by Emma Bull and Charles Vess. Nancy Springer takes a bemused and ironic look at what might happen when a girl wants her soul back. So many beguiling tales in one package make this a real find. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 16 years
  • Grade Level: 6 - 11
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Firebird (May 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142403202
  • ASIN: B005Q76XEE
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,793,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on July 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Firebird, a new imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, offers reprints of classic fantasy and science fiction books for both teenage and adult readers. One of their most recent original releases is a one-of-a kind anthology appropriately titled FIREBIRDS.

This magical collection covers a wide range of genres --- fantasy, romance, time travel, adventure, and suspense. Popular authors such as Garth Nix and Lloyd Alexander contribute tales, along with strong, newer voices Michael Cadnum and Megan Whalen Turner.

A description of a couple of the stories hardly does this vivid collection justice, but it does show that there is something for all readers here. In Nix's "Hope Chest," sixteen-year-old Alice, who is adopted, is surprised when the never-opened magic chest that she was discovered with as a baby springs open to reveal some powerful guns. Her hands know what to do with them but her heart does not, until evil comes to her town. In Turner's "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box," a child is slipped through the slot for night deposits, and is raised by the bank and its workers. The child, Penny, is happy enough until someone comes to claim her "deposit."

Editor Sharyn November is known for seeking input from teens, which is undoubtedly a large part of what makes this collection so strong. FIREBIRDS is a great gift for the many devoted fans of fantasy stories, or for anyone looking for a highly engaging read.

--- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Firebirds" came into my hands with high praise from sources I respected, and I was not disappointed. I was not overly impressed either. The collection of stories is fairly broad, but the focus is clearly on fantasy (broadly defined, not just swords and sorcery, although there is that too). I have no idea why it includes science fiction in the title, I can't remember a single title I would classify as SF.

There are several stories that revisit old tales to give them a new spin: "Cotillion" (D Sherman) places Tam Lin in 1960's New York, "The Fall of Ys" (MA Pierce) questions the character motivations of the original, "Medusa" (Cadnum)retells the story from the title character's point of view, "Lady of the Ice Garden" (K Dalkey) sets an Andersen tale in Japan. With the ties to classic tales and the strong female leads all around, these stories are particularly well suited for classroom use.

Changelings also play a prominent role: "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" (M Whalen Turner) in which a magical child is raised by a bank; the surprisingly effective "Hope Chest" (G Nix) which combines elements of horror, political dystopia and, of all things, the Western; "Remember Me" (N Farmer)in which a changeling's differences ostracize her family and "Flotsam" (N Kiriki Hoffman) an overly ambitious about a little boy lost among worlds that ultimately fails to move the reader.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Let me begin by saying that I am not a huge fan of short stories: I prefer larger novels that I can really sink into, and of course short stories can only whet one's appetite. But when I saw the calibre of the authors presented here, I had to have a read: Lloyd Alexander, Garth Nix, Diana Wynne Jones, Meredith Ann Pierce, Patricia McKillip - wow! I adore all these authors, but had never experienced any of them in short story format. Maybe because my expectations were too high, or maybe because of my bias against short stories, reading became a little tedious after a while, and though I never regret reading a book, I doubt I'll be picking up this particular anthology again. However, there are some gems spotted in amongst them, and the skill of the authors involved is to be recommended:
"Cotillion" Delia Sherman - a retelling of the Tam Lin tale in 1960's New York, with a few tweakings and an unfortunate case of love at first sight. Beautiful imagery though.
"The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" Megan Whalen Turner - a comic-fantasy tale of a bank that takes an abandoned baby into its care, and the evil enchantress than turns up many years later to "withdraw her niece".
"Beauty" Sherwood Smith - a 'sequel' of sorts to "Crown Duel", which was unbeknownst to me when I began reading it. Ironically enough, I had checked out "Crown Duel" from the library at the same time as this anthology and now know how the story ends. Sigh.
"Mariposa" Nancy Springer - a nice little story about a young woman searching for her soul, left in the care of the fishes that swim in the stream at her childhood home.
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