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Half-Human

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  995 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Like us, but not quite...

A girl who hears the sea amongst the busy streets of Manhattan. A princess born with the strength to clutch a sword hilt. A winged boy who cannot fly. In these stories, the kind where trees can become men and girls wake up with snakes for hair, people are not always what they seem. But they still must discover who they are.

Compiled and edited by Br
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Paperback, 212 pages
Published September 30th 2004 by Scholastic (first published November 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,737)
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Tracy
Aug 22, 2008 Tracy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tracy by: Found on the library shelves
An oft-asked question I get is "what can I get my son to read?" Guys are tricky. Some guys view books as work; something that is not sports, tv, friends, or video games. Just like I conduct a reference interview with adults, I do so with kids.

Half-human is a collection of short stories dealing with kids that have unusual challenges in their lives. Unusual being part centaur, part hawk, or even part dragon. Having a bad hair day? Imagine the frustration when Dusie wakes to find a head of...snake
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Izlinda
In the introduction, Coville says he was interested in half-human creatures and beings and asked for short stories. He was surprised, but pleased, I think, at the variance of stories he got. He got some stories that weren't about the typical part/half-human creatures.

"Becoming" by Nancy Springer -- This story I really liked. I thought it was believable in the young girl's reaction to her fate. (I forgot her name and I had already returned the book.)

"Linnea" by D.J. Malcom -- Meh. This story I d
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Natasha
Actually a very decent anthology. I wish this system had half stars, because it really deserves 4 and a half as a whole. I will revise this review including the names of the short stories and possibly a short synopsis, but overall a decent collection. Very short book, I would have liked more, so it's recommended you buy this in paperback because unless you find a hardback used like I did, it isn't worth the hardback new price.

Stories:

Becoming by Nancy Springer (Medusa)
Linnea by D.J. Malcolm (Mer
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Gabriela
It's funny actually. Reading the story about Medusa the second, it actually inspired me to surf the internet about these mythologies. I already knew the story about how Medusa came to be. She was the most beautiful creature who was also being loved by the god, Poseidon. But Poseidon already belonged to Athena. Athena was jealous and so she turned Medusa into a snake headed monster. They don't provide this in the book though. I felt Medusa II's pain though. She was just a regular girl in New York ...more
Aelvana
This is one of his many children's anthologies, and this particular book focuses on people who blend humanity with something more.

Becoming, by Nancy Springer, is a good choice for the lead story. Medusa wakes up one morning with snakes for hair... and no small amount of hysteria ensues as she tries to come to grips with exactly what has happened and what that means about who she is. A good story with a nice image of statues running through it, though I could see Troy coming from a mile away.

Linn
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Odette
Often with collections of short stories, it's hard to like all of them. With this collection, though, there's something in each of the stories that appeals to me. I certainly like some better than others (the one about the girl with snakes for hair, the one about Melusine, and the one about the boy with hawk's wings), but they all have their moments.
Hannah
Really, I would give it a 2.5 because it's a book of many stories and I only liked a couple of them. But the ones I liked were great, and I really liked the poem "How to make a Human" by Lawrence Schimel. It's a very... realistic poem from some points of view and it's a poem that says something I think to be true.
Beth
A collection of tales that include centaurs, selkies, mermaids and the like—loosely based on mythology of the mix of human and animal—many taking place in modern times, though not all. Included is Gregory Maguire’s Scarecrow—an excellent piece that begins with the birth of the Scarecrow of Oz.
Miriam
This book of fantasy stories was a light, fast-evaporating treat. A couple of the stories stand out amongst the rest, particularly Mandell's and Coville's. Many of the stories, most notably Springer's intriguing first entry in the collection, feel dissatisfyingly like excerpts or preambles to aborted novels. This is an unfortunate risk in short story reading. Personally, I want to be left wanting more because the short narrative is so beautiful crafted, not because the author wanted more, or at ...more
Jacqueline-wa
This book is the greatest book in the world. I absolutely love this book. This book is a true fanasty book of short tales but they are amazingly all awsome in their own way.
Tams
I thought this book would be great for fantasy lovers of all ages!
Patricia
One of the best books i've read
Samantha
Becoming by Nancy Springer ****
This was an excellent short story to start the collection out with, and it was told from the point of view of a creature who is often only portrayed as en enemy in stories. I especially loved the ending, and how human a gorgon can really be.

Linnea by D. J. Malcolm ****
I enjoyed this story more than the first, with the greater sense of terror, of needing to find a way to escape, to become human again, only to realize that what she once thought of flaws are actually
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Lauren
I shall review each story as I go through when it's fresh in my mind:

Becoming by Nancy Springer
Unfortunately I can't say that I liked this one at all. It feels like a gimmiky idea, poorly executed. One thing I really can't stand is when serious things happen in young adult stories and they're just brushed off. (view spoiler)
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Isabell
This was a real treat. I had this collection of ten short stories by different fantasy authors lying around for quite a while now, having it originally bought for only one of the stories. Now I finally managed to read the whole collection and don't regret it.

The stories are all different in topic and style, naturally. But still the common theme suggested by the title can be found in all of them. Sometimes the characters are literally half-human, sometimes one has to look closer to "see" their ot
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Chris
Bruce Coville has assembled the crème de la crème of children and 'tween fantasy authors in this anthology of short stories about mythological creatures in modern times. Nancy Springer introduces us to Medusa's family centuries after her death, Jane Yolen explores the early life of a centaur born on a farm, and Gregory Maguire fans will be delighted to learn about the creation of the Scarecrow from the Wicked series. Other authors include Tamora Pierce and her story of an ancient tree spirit, Ju ...more
Marcia
From the back cover: "A girl who hears the sea amongst the busy streets of Manhattan. A princess born with the strength to clutch a sword hilt. A winged boy who cannot fly. In these stories, the kind where trees can become men and girls wake up with snakes for hair, people are not always what they seem. But they still must discover who they are."

Once I got over the fact that it was a bunch of short stories, I paid attention to each short story. There were some good messages lined within the word
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Jessica Sierocki
Some of the stories I like better than others so I had to rate this as a whole even though some of the stories deserve five stars.
Purpleholic
I purchased this book for my preteen aged daughter but I read it as well. I like to be aware of what she is reading even if I don't like it. With this book I really enjoyed reading the differing views on the main subject from each author. some of the story-lines were so intrigueing that I just kept reading when I should have put the book down for a little while. I know that this book will teach her even more tolerance of those who are different beccause it will give her some ideas of how differe ...more
Gewbook
This was a good collection. There were a lot of interpretations of mythology, which I wasn't necessarily expecting, but most were good. My particular favorites from this compilation were "Centaur Field" by Jane Yolen and "Soaring" by Tim Waggoner. Most of the rest were good. I don't care for Gregory Maguire - the more I read of him the more I realize I just don't like the way he thinks or something. And I didn't really like Bruce Coville's contribution, but I liked all the other things he chose ...more
Lucy
Interesting collection of people who are not quite human: selkies, mermaids, a centaur, a bird-boy, a tree-man, et al. Not great but pretty good.
Becoming by Nancy Springer; Princess Dragonblood by Jude Mandell; How to make a human by Lawrence Schimel; Linnea by D.J. Malcolm; Soaring by Tim Waggoner; Water's edge by Janni Lee Simner; Elder brother by Tamora Pierce; Scarecrow by Gregory Maguire; Centaur Field by Jane Yolen; The hardest, kindest gift by Bruce Coville.
Bailey
Jun 05, 2009 Bailey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All of you people who like Mermaids, Centaurs, and Their Ilk
Recommended to Bailey by: Xerxes Break(Vivian Ephona)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J
i have a serious weakness for sci-fi/fantasy short story collections, despite not really liking them. average (and sometimes less-than-average) writing and stories, but i'll probably read it again. it only cost me twenty-five cents, but in emotional turmoil it's way more expensive. and yes, i do realize how ridiculous i am.
Heidi
Some of the short stories were better than others, but as a whole it was a fun read! I especially liked the story of the girl who woke up one morning to find her hair had turned into snakes. It was no surprise the new "hairstyle" didn't fit into the junior high social scene!
Becca
Some stories are better than others. I think this book aims low, and could be much better. Some stories are insightful and leave you hanging, others are tied up perfectly, but a few are tied up with a bright pink polka-dotted bow (can you tell I don't like pink?).
Steven
This was a highly creative and well put together anthology full of extremely entertaining stories that really would work great if made into either a film or a broadway play. There wasn't a bad story in this book and it was really hard to pick a favorite.
Hatice
I can't believe I actually read this but here it goes. This book, I thought was a story, a novel. but as it turns out, it was a book with short stories about being half-human. I read it of course. Some stories good, some stories just on the weird side.
Taylor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eli
A nice collection of YA spec short stories about beings who are half human and half something else. Nothing particularly deep or earth-shattering, but a lot of solidly crafted tales to keep a reader entertained for a time.
Dianna
some of the stories were eh, but some were most amazing. i particularly liked the one about the tree. not a book i would super recommend,though. it was good, but just kindof...to keep me from being terribly bored.
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“Lights and darks. And suddenly i was here, where everything seems strange. And I don't know why. Like the Fox and the Crow, I don't know the whole story yet. But that's a good reason to go on, don't you think?"
"Go where?" said the Scarecrow.
"Go forward," said the girl. "See something. Learn something. Figure it out. We won't ever get the whole thing, I bet, but we'll get something. And then we'll have something to tell when we're old about what happened to us when we were young."
"Now?" said the Scarecrow. "Can you tell it now?"
"After," said the girl. "We have to have the BEFORE first, and that's life"
"And what's life?" said the scarecrow.
"Moving," said the girl. "Moving on. Shall we move on? Will you come with me?”
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