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Oddballs Paperback – June 1, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

The author of such reliably offbeat sf thrillers as Strange Attractors (1990) radically changes pace for ten hilarious, semi- autobiographical stories. With affection and a splendid sense of comic timing, Sleator drags forth incidents from his family closet's darkest recesses--the time young Tycho was hypnotized and then made to drink from the toilet; an indignant skit that laid bare the failings of certain parents, to their vast amusement; rough-and-tumble car games; and deliciously horrifying pranks played on unsuspecting passersby. Vivid characterizations (sister Vicky ``had always enjoyed making dolls fight with each other; when the dolls wore out, she ripped off their arms and legs. Now she is a nurse'') always balance foibles with saving graces; embarrassment is eased by laughter, while painful circumstances always come right in the end. Sleator shows how, in a loosely run household presided over by indulgent working parents, he and his three siblings developed confident, independent spirits. Though he admits to making up a few things, his dedication is telling--``To my family: Please forgive me!'' (Slightly fictionalized autobiography. 11-14) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. 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: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1010L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780140374384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140374384
  • ASIN: 0140374388
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 4.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

It was a great book, and I think that most peoople would enjoy reading it!
Amy
THIS IS FROM HIS LIFE." I can't believe people don't appreciate the first only look we have into the life of the Literary God known as William Sleator.
Jason Henderson
It is a must read for william sleator fans who will come to understand the author's source for such amazing ideas for his books.
sf reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm constantly at my 11 year son to read and I'm always on the lookout for books that will keep him interested and foster a love of books. Someone suggested that William Sleator would do the trick. He thought the book was hysterical and it made for a great summer read for him. I would suggest it for anyone trying to get a boy to read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Katy on March 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was excellent because it was about William Sleator and his family with real funny stories. One of the things that I thinkabout this book was that you don't know if the stories William Sleator is telling are reaaly true until the end of the book.William Sleator shares strange and wacky stories about growing up with his mother,farther,his brothers,Danny and Tycho,and his sister vicky. For example ,William's family never took care of their front yard because they only used their backyard,so they never mowed or planted anything in it. The dad,a physicist,used to blindfold the kids and take them for a ride in the car. He would then drop them off in an unfamiliar area and tell them to find their way home. William's dad would give them one dime to cll home if they could not find their way. This was a weekend game they sometimes played. A positive effect I thought this book might have on its reader is to teach kids that it's ok to not be popular. William Sleator said that people should like you for the way you are, not the way you look or how athletic you are. William and his friends were in an unpopular group because they chose to be happy the way they were. They still had fun. One thing I thought might have a negative effect on readers would have to be stories Sleator tells about him, his sister, Vicky, and their friends doing "pituh-plays". William Sleator says "pituh-plays" are skits "often inspired by real people or situations or by unpopular movies and books". One of the meanest "pituh-plays" they ever played was with Vicki and her friends. They went to a fountain at a park with a watermelon wrapped up like a baby.Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RowdyHowdy on November 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is William Sleator's account of his wacky childhood with his fascinating family of big fat weirdos.
Sleator makes it clear that he (along with his family) was an ODDBALL--that is, not a misfit, just somebody who was always doing something weird--these stories are guaranteed to amuse you, no matter what your age.
I have read this book many times--and I would've given it 5 stars, but it recently dropped down one spot in my mind. In the last chapter, Sleator tells of one part where he fibbed and stretched the truth a bit--so I had always figured, everything else must be true, if he's willing to say that little part was fictional.
And I hate to steal anybody's enjoyment of how amazingly weird the people depicted in this little book are, but I have to tell the truth: The last time I finished reading this, I looked in the very front of the book, at the page with all the publication info--
My feelings were a bit hurt when I saw in small print a few words that changed the way I felt: 'ALL CHARACTERS AND EVENTS DESCRIBED IN THIS BOOK ARE FICTIONAL.' I really hope that's just an obligatory disclaimer.
Even if you have to suspend your disbelief, believe me, you'll enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
this book made me want to do everything the characters did. from wrapping up a watermelon in a baby's blanket and pretending it was a baby then throwing it in a pool to see what everyone's reaction would be; to having my dad drop me off in the middle of town, letting me find my way home; or having a seance in a half-built playhouse in my backyard and recording voices to play from under the table. i even tried dying my hair with kool-aid after i read this book. i would reccomend this book to anyone who has a sick sense of humor. as strange and even disturbing as this family was i wish i was a part of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
You're sitting down about to read Oddballs and the first thing you see is "To my family: Please forgive me." That is a very creative start to a book. The characters include Vicky, who loves to dye her hair with grape juice, Bill, the reassuring older brother, and Danny and Tycho,the youngest of the family.
The book also has its downs.I mean one minute the chapter is the funniest, then you get to the next chapter and it is so dull. He should have thought about some of the chapters a little more carefully before writing them.
This is a three star book all the way.I would recommend this book for someone who wants a good laugh and wouldn't mind reading something a little different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sf reader on August 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was a little surprised to find this book is an autobiography instead of the science fiction and horror that mr. sleator usually writes. It is a must read for william sleator fans who will come to understand the author's source for such amazing ideas for his books. Be warned these are just stories of his typical (or not so typical) youth, and not a mind bending science fiction read. We learn of his unusual upbringing and his off the wall family as the author was growing up. The horrible and funny things his family do to others and each other make for an amusing read.
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