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Oddest of All Hardcover – September 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
ODDEST OF ALL opens with the thought-provoking "In Our Own Hands," in which Earth is given a mind-boggling choice. It all begins in a time set in the future when Johnny, home from college, is getting ready to dig into his breakfast cereal in front of the television. Suddenly he notices that the newscaster has been replaced by a female with blue scales, green hair and huge eyes. Although Johnny and his mother believe at first that someone is playing a joke when she greets the "people of Earth," they soon realize it's no prank. Of course they are terrified, especially after the aliens demonstrate their power. But they soon discover that Earth's inhabitants are being given an opportunity to decide the planet's future. The story's ending will make readers ponder for a very long time.
Most of the collection's tales are fantasy, but "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" is a realistic "horror" story that any teen can relate to. Murphy Murphy is not exactly rolling in good luck (there's that name, just to start with). Will his life get rosier now that his crush, Tiffany, seems to be noticing him, too? How much is Murphy crazy about Tiffany? After she asks if she can speak to him, he is tempted to say, "Your words would be like nectar flowing into the hungry mouths of my ears..." Thus, when Tiffany asks him to take part in her drama club skit, Murphy readily agrees, ignoring for the moment that he suffers from literally paralyzing stage fright, in a setup for hilarious tragedy.Read more ›
Some of the stories in this volume seemed like typical horror/ghost tales; "The Ghost Let Go" and "The Mask of Eammon Tiyado" both fit into this category. "The Thing in Auntie Alma's Pond" was a nice change from this typicality that addressed some of the same issues as the other tales from a different viewpoint.
One of my favorite stories in the book, "In Our Own Hands," focuses on a future in which aliens come to Earth, not to take it over and destroy it, but to take it over so that they can improve it for humans, since we have not been doing our part to take care of this world. However, these aliens do appear to be benevolent in their intentions; they announce that everyone on Earth will have the opportunity to cast a vote and decide the course of action that their planet will take. This story deftly addresses important issues of ecology and human initiative while placing the focus not on the environmental message but in the head of an average college-age boy named Johnny who struggles over his own decision about how to cast his vote.
Other notable tales, in my opinion, were "The Hardest, Kindest Gift" and "Herbert Hutchinson in the Underworld"--the former sprawling and poignant, the latter short and sparkling with satire.Read more ›
What would you do if an alien announced that the fate of the world was in your hands and that you could save the planet by voting for them to run the country instead of the President? Would you vote "yes" or "no"? Read "In our own hands" to decide what the better choice might be. Find out also what lies at the bottom of a pond & what happens to frogs when they are exposed to toxic waste.