Strange Happenings: Five Tales of Transformation
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Strange Happenings: Five Tales of Transformation

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  375 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Children become cats and birds, a once-invisible young woman pieces herself back together, and the identity of a mysterious baseball mascot is uncovered—all within this eclectic collection from master storyteller Avi. By turns chilling, ethereal, and surreal, these thought-provoking tales are sure to engage anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to become someo...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published May 1st 2006)
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Lori
Another "Mom, you have to read this!" from my 6-year-old. And really, who can resist discussing literature with a cool kid?

Honestly, I loved that she loved it. Five stories with at least one decent twist each, and a couple of them surprised me. She'll be on to Ray Bradbury, Steven King and Clive Barker before I know it.
Terri
Avi's short stories will intrigue readers and delight those who enjoy spooky settings, a shiver up the spine, an eerie or ironic twist. These tales build suspense without being horrific, a nice change of pace and a step up from Goosebumps!
Natalie
This book is very well written, but very, very strange. It is a collection of five short, strange, and sometimes dark tales. Everything about the book is strange. Intriguing, but strange. Mysterious, in a strange way. It is very well written, though, so if you don't mind strangness or a little dark, I recomend you read this story.
Grace Wright
A bunch of weird stories are in this book. Children become animals, a once-invisible woman pieces herself back together, and the identidy of a mysterious mascot is uncovered. All these are: STRAANGE HAPPENINGS!!!!
Chris
Full review at Booklikes.


It’s actually a pretty decent collection of stories. The two central themes are of transformation and are careful what you wish for, you just meant get it. The problem with the use of the second theme in some books is that taken too badly it can be seen as an endorsement of “maintain the status quo and conform”.

Avi is not one of these writers. The point isn’t conforming, but acknowledging the situation, dealing with it, and moving beyond it.

True, there is one story whe...more
Addison
theres like three stories in it and it is so cool my favorite story is theres this devil and a cat and it is an awsome book
Emily Morris
Surprisingly, this book is a little more intense than it looks, and I suppose it serves me right for expecting less from Avi. However, when I ordered this I was honestly predicting some cute little spooky stories and nothing more. Instead, Avi whips out the crazies from his deep imagination for some truly spellbinding and even disturbing tales (that are still appropriate for children's literature, of course). Impressive, all the way. Avi hits everything from the modern day to the fairy tale to t...more
Smile!  :D
Never listen to what a cat has to say!!!!!
Stay away from Mascots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Beware that person behind the door!!!!!!!!
(Don't ask just read the book & you'll know what i mean!)
This book lives up to it's title the story's in hear are strange! I tell you the last chapter leaves you woundering "Would I ever make that same mistake?" That's my favorite chp! The whole book will make u second guess about simple things in life. Even if the story's are weird each chp has a life lesson.
I...more
Jen
Oct 24, 2007 Jen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Avi fans
This book was enjoyable to read, but the stories were fairly predictable.
04josiek
In this book there are five different short stories to it. The first one is called Bored Tom. The first short story is about Tom this kid is so bored of his life and doing homework. He just wishes he didnt have to go to school anymore, he just wants to sleep all day long. One day he was sitting on his front porch and a black cat came over and talked to him. Tom thought he was crazy cause he could hear the cat talking. The cats name was Charlie. Charlie became his house pet and he would sleep al...more
Monica Lopez
I enjoyed reading this science fiction novel by Avi. It is well written and uses descriptive language, would be great to help build vocabulary in young readers. Children become cats and birds and get to experience what it would be like to be something else. Another woman who was invisible, becomes a human again. It's a nice collection of tales that weave together really well. This book would be perfect for middle school kids.
Kay Iscah
5 Cautionary Tales to darken the sleep of your tween. Avi is a very talented author. Most of these stories kind of had a moral to them, which makes the dark endings easier to take. I just didn't enjoy them that much. It's probably because the only likable protagonist is the one who has the worst fate...well, I suppose you could argue the Shoemaker's fate is worse, but he at least gets to live a long full life first.

I'm glad this is one of my free post-yard sale scores...it still has a $15 sticke...more
Nicholas Siebers
Interesting stories. Not easy to anticipate the endings. A little creepy, but my 7 year old daughter liked them a lot. Not always happy endings.
Hannah
It's so interesting! A bit creepy, but I like that in books :)
Audrey
Avi has written five stories focused on the theme of “transformation.” In one a bored boy trades places with a cat, in another a princess is born invisible and must find pieces of herself to become somebody, and in yet another a sneaky shoemaker must find out the hard way why the devil is sometimes called “Old Scratch.” These strange tales are surprisingly well-written, and are what writers like R.L. Stine should aspire toward in their own work.
Sarah Rosenberger
Strange Happenings by Avi was definetally a good quick read. Avi's style is always enjoyable for me ever since I have read this book. Being my first Avi book, I wasn't sure what to expect at first. It didn't take long before Avi's mysterious and sometimes disturbing stories drew me in. This was a nice book to read in a night and only takes a couple hours. Very enjoyable and an easy read for children.
Christy
Children become cats and birds, a once-invisible young woman pieces herself back together, and the identity of a mysterious baseball mascot is uncovered--all within this eclectic collection from master storyteller Avi. By turns chilling, ethereal, and surreal, these thought-provoking tales are sure to engage anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to become someone--or something--else.
Mary
I have only read a little Avi (The Book Without Words) but I liked it very much. This is a collection of "fairy" tales (no fairies involved, actually) and they are clever, but short and Avi has not developed his characters like he did in Words. I think it is good for its age group of 8 to 12, but I will find a full length novel for my next Avi.
Rachel
My favorite was the one entitled Curious. All the others had a moral or were predictable for me but that one really surprised me and made me laugh. It was still predictable but was my favorite over the cat/boy thing, the invisible princess, the bird/man story, or the devil/old shoemaker one (probably my least favorite)
Trin
Bleh. "Five tales that explore the possibilities of transformation"—an appealing concept, but with rather dull results. There's just nothing new here—nothing you couldn't get from reading a half dozen random fairy tales, and I would have felt that way even when I was ages 10-12. I feel bored again just talking about it.
Chelsy
Um, it was alright. My favourite story in this was the first one, with the cats. Although, I really didn't like the story about the mascot; it was way too creepy...and gross. This book is definitely worth being in my collection, but there are plenty of other books I'd rather obtain before acquiring this one.
miranda melton
this book has some myseriuos stores in it[more than one].
one story had a boy in it and he saw this giant pink blob,that looked all slimy and grose,was coming out of the sewer.[i dont really want to spooal anything.one other story had shapeshifters,[i thought that one was my fav.].i really liked this book.
Littlecat3
I loved this book so much that I started reading the short stories aloud straight from the book to my three little cousins and the oldest is six.
I love everything about this book especially the story Babette the Beautiful
This book makes me want to go find more books by avi and read them
Temoca
I think Avi is tapped out. These are short stories, supposedly ones you could tell by the campfire. I might have thrown this in the campfire, but I donated my copy to the school library instead. It makes me feel a little better since I have never believed in destroying books.
Connie
This collection of short stories was well put together. I especially enjoyed "Bored Tom" and "Old Scratch." The stories are short enough that you can get some great conversations with your class. The kids were always disappointed when we had to stop reading for the day.
Faith
This book has five little stories. Each story is totally different from the next.

Reasons I like this book-

Reason 1- The book is a fun easy read.

Reason 2- I could imagine everything perfectly.

Reason 3- It made me wonder about what is out there in this world.
Lrubin
Wow! I love this book...it really makes you think...;)
Jamie
I loved this book! The stories are a bit odd but it was great. I loved the idea of a boy turning into a cat and having to go through all these things to get back. I also found it great how they usually ended with some creepy unusual ending. It is one of my favorites!
JennLynn
Five short, fairy-tale like stories of humans (and animals) undergoing different sorts of transformations. Very well written (as all Avi works are), and a quick read, but not really my favourite type of book. Avid fairy tale lovers would appreciate it a lot more. B-
Rand
Wildly inventive and hilarious fables that transcend time and age. The morals are as subtle, cynical and instructive as Grimm's.

If you want the children you know to grow up wise without losing their natural sense of wonder, hand them this book.
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10105
Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use."
Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and The Crispin series. His work is very much desired by readers young and old.
More about Avi...
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Crispin #1) Nothing But the Truth Poppy (Tales of Dimwood Forest, #1) The Seer of Shadows

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