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The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  3,021 ratings  ·  138 reviews
O.Henry's Christmas classic, and other stories with artful twists, in an amazing Scholastic Classics edition introduced by award-winning author Pam Munoz Ryan

A young woman makes a drastic decision -- and her husband has a Christmas surprise in return. A dying girl attaches her fate to that of a leaf. A writer sobs at the sight of a menu. A detective tracks a theif to an un
Hardcover, The World's Best Reading, 255 pages
Published August 1st 1987 by Reader's Digest Association (first published 1906)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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John Yelverton
This is one of the most touching stories that you will ever read.
Cassidy Shea
"Suppose you should be walking down Broadway after dinner, with ten minutes allotted to the consummation of your cigar while you are choosing between a diverting tragedy and something serious in the way of vaudeville. Suddenly a hand is laid upon your arm. You turn to look into the thrilling eyes of a beautiful woman, wonderful in diamonds and Russian sables. She thrusts hurriedly into your hand an extremely hot buttered roll, flashes out a tiny pair of scissors, snips off the second button of y ...more
May 29, 2013 Haley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Haley by: Smith Prep
During the reading this week, I felt that I was really able to see O. Henry’s personality in the stories. One of my favorite parts was the beginning of “Springtime a la Carte” on page 10:

“It was a day in March.
Never, never begin a story this way when you write one. No opening could possibly be worse. It is unimaginative, flat, dry and likely to consist of mere wind. But in this instance it is allowable. For the following paragraph, which should have inaugurated the narrative, is too wildly extra
Jason Daly
The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories is a compelling book consisting of ten short stories that all come together to symbolize life and all the wonders that come with it. Although the stories all have different plots and settings, the characters are all relatable and despite unique events portrayed in each story, it almost seems as if all the stories somehow connect to each other. Among these short stories are tales of a poor couple that will do anything to purchase elegant gifts fr thei ...more
Sergei Barsamian
Wow, what an unusual mix of urban sadness and optimist Western thinking. There are no story endings so unexpected and genial as O.Henry's. The Gift of Magi and other stories, written by the humanist author in prison, will leave thoughtful melancholy in the soul of the reader forever...
I really enjoyed this compilation. I had never before read the other short stories by O. Henry-who hasn't read The Gift of the Magi?-but I found that reading his other stories was really fun. I loved the surprise twist endings and the lessons that were learned at the end. I was really happy to see the other stories- a new perspective to his writing style. I did not think that this was book for children, though. I personally had a hard time concentrating on what was happening in some of the stori ...more
Ashley Snarr
What I loved about these short stories is how they help you look back and ponder on your life experiences and how you treated people. I had heard the gift of the magi before, and I remember the first time I heard it I was frustrated because neither one really got a useful gift. Then I read it the second time and I realized the moral behind the story, and how it is showing true love for a person, not just gift giving. It made me ponder on what I have always viewed Christmas time as, and if I pay ...more
These short stories by O. Henry are as hilarious as they are bizarre. Henry is such an amazing storyteller, it is nearly impossible not to get sucked into the world he creates in about five pages or less. These stories are endearing, and they are still incredibly enjoyable more than 100 years after their initial publication. While some of the stories are not exactly politically correct by today’s standards, and a handful deal with some dark subject matter, the vast majority simply ooze with wit ...more
I have grown up with the story of the gift of the Magi. My mom would always tell it to me orally every Christmas. Even though I didn't see an actual picture book of the story until I was fifteen, but I have always loved how the story was one of love and sacrifice. It was special for me to read the original version and see how much detail goes into this sweet story. I think that all of these short stories are great to have around the home at any age. They are easily applicable, and it makes anyon ...more
The Gift of the Magi - the first story in the book, and the one I am most familiar with. It still makes me tear up.

The Cop and the Anthem - I had not read this story before. It was a cute story about perseverance.

Springtime a la Carte - another story I had not read before. What an enjoyable little love story.

The Green Door - all about what we expect to see and a little bit of fate

After Twenty Years -- an interesting reunion story. Funny where life takes you.

The Furnished Room - a little sad.
This book is my first introduction to O.Henry and his mischievous twists of fate to all his story endings. I was forewarned about these twists and tried to guess throughout all the stories - but I was always surprised. I found this quite delightful. This book is a compilation of his short stories written between 1906 - 1911 including:

- The Gift of the Magi
- The Cop and the Anthem
- Springtime a la Carte
- The Green Door
- After Twenty Years
- The Furnished Room
- The Pimienta Packages
- The Last Leaf
Erin Eve
An ambrosial collection of really quirky, whimsical stories, often with a twist in the end that keeps the reader on their toes and engaged in guessing. Some are love stories and some aren't; some have happy endings and some don't; O. Henry does not limit himself to one type of story and the scope of his imagination ranges from the comfortingly traditional to the wildly obscure. One of my favorites was one told from the point of view of a dog, who kept swearing by Sirius. While some are as short ...more
I enjoyed reading some of the lesser-known ironic stories of O. Henry in this book. My very favorite lesser-known story in this book is "The Green Door" in which a man receives a mysterious business card which simply says "The Green Door". The man is intrigued because he finds that everyone else has been handed a business card for a dentist office rather than for "the green door". So, of course, he has to go in search of this mysterious green door. I love the course of the story. I don't underst ...more
A good selection of some of O. Henry’s most noted stories, including the classic “The Ransom of Red Chief,” “The Cop and the Anthem,” and “The Retrieved Reformation.” The surprise endings in the earlier stories become a little wearisome and almost formulaic, but the later stories are more complex and insightful. In all of his writing, however, O. Henry is a playful and witty stylist, and I had to consult the dictionary to learn the meaning of some his more operatic words.
I felt like some of the stories didn't relate to today's world anymore, while some rang true. His stories have morals. That is something that is missing in some books, movies, etc. His style of writing was difficult for me to read, although my vocabulary grew. There were a lot of words I didn't understand. He wrote these stories for the people of his time and I feel like they were more intelligent than we are now.
Alexis Priestley
I like this collection of short stories. I think the plots are well told and they're fun to think and talk about. I especially enjoyed the first two stories which was The Gift of the Magi and The Last Leaf. I think those are two wonderful stories and incredibly thought provoking. They're just the kind of stories that really resonate and make you feel like a better person just for reading! (:
Whitney Summers
I had a hard time rating this collection of short stories. There are a few of O Henry's stories that I enjoyed and some that seemed very pointless and overbearing with all the what seemed like useless words to me, at least for a child it would seem that way. Many of the stories didn't seem to have points but I did enjoy the gift of the magi, after twenty years, and a few others.
Lindsay Gilbert
I enjoyed these short stories, each of them had were laid out to have our own interpretations of them, which I really liked. We had a class discussion about this book and it was interesting how long we could hold a discussion even about one of the short stories. This made me realize what a great book it would be to have in class probably at the 5th and 6th grade levels.
Loryn Tindall
I was surprised that I actually knew some of the tales in this book. It was almost like reading a fairytale book for real life. I rather enjoyed "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Last Leaf" and the applications they have to adult life. The wording was a bit hard to understand at first but not too long into it everything starts to become very clear.
During his 5 years he served in prison in 1898, O. Henry wrote this book. It is ten short stories that were published under the pseudonym O. Henry. His real name was William Sydney Porter. I've never read his work before or heard of him, so when I came across this book in my 17 year old son's bookcase, I thought why not.
I really enjoyed O. Henry's writing and would had given it 3-1/2 stars instead of 3 if Goodreads gave out 1/2 stars. I love how each story has a twist and turn. I also love read
I loved these short stories by O. Henry. I really enjoyed the Last Leaf especially. There were others that I liked as well. The gift of the Magi was a favorite as well. I love how much the husband and wife desire to sacrifice for each other even though the ending contradicted their purposes in the story line!
Stephanie Day
These are beautifully written, but the were a little depressing. The ironic endings threw me for a total loop, I'm a happy ending kind of person, so I wasn't sure how i felt about these. The ending just mad me feel like "Well what was the point of all of that?... Beautiful writing, not my taste in story.
A young woman makes a drastic decision--and her husband has a Christmas surprise in return. A dying girl attaches her fate to that of a leaf. A writer sobs at the sight of a menu. "The Gift of the Magi" with "The Last Leaf," is the best of them all. But I'm afraid I wasn't too impressed with the other short stories featured in this collection.

Although the stories use a vocabulary and style that are reflective of the author's own era (O. Henry lived from 1862 to 1910), the humor and irony of the
Sierra Hagar
The stories in this book all had something to do with a different holiday or season. But another thing that they all had in common is sacrifice. In this book and in many of the stories there are examples of people sacrificing something really important to them for someone else.
Austin Francis
I was misled by my teacher that this was a young child's book. I would say it is definitely for older children if you are planning on using this in the classroom. I thought the stories were very meaningful. A little confusing, but then again, it was written a long time ago.
Perri Irwin
I really liked this book! All of the short stories in it have a message or a lesson. The stories illustrate the lesson very well. They are a little bit hard to follow but it is worth it to read because they are great stories to teach life lessons to children.
I wish there were half stars, because this would get 4.5. It's beautiful storytelling that appeals to all ages. It's vivid imagery makes it wonderful for children without pandering or condescending to them and its complexity makes it fun for adults as well.
Ashlynn Johnson
My favorite story in this is the last one, the kidnapping. It's a hilarious story and they made a movie out of it which is equally hilarious! These stories are great and easy reads. They teach simple lessons and provide great ideas for discussion.
Meagan Pack
This is a great book! There are lots of the classic little holiday stories that are warming to the heart. They also have great motives and lessons. I think that kids could learn a lot about caring for others from this collection of stories.
I haven't really read O. Henry since I was in a high school lit class. It was an enjoyable foray back into short stories with the master of irony. Some are less convincing than others but the gems are a treat.
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William Sydney Porter lends the pen name "O. Henry" to surprise endings signed officially as Sydney Porter. His biography shows where he found inspiration for his characters. Their voices and his language were products of his era.

He was born 1862 Greensboro, North Carolina. When he was three years old, his mother died from tuberculosis. He left school at fifteen, worked five years in uncle's drugs
More about O. Henry...
The Gift of the Magi Selected Stories The Ransom of Red Chief The Best Short Stories of O. Henry The Last Leaf

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