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Best Shorts: Favorite Stories for Sharing

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  129 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Newbery Medal–winning author Avi has selected short stories from the past and present in this entertaining collection for young readers. And whether you begin by reading alone or reading aloud, these stories are some of the very best to share.

Featuring loyal pets, rogue waves, ghosts who use cell phones, and young people caught up in events beyond their control, these stor
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published September 25th 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Jun 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Read from this collection, and from least to most liked:

Night of the Pomegranate, Tim Wynne-Jones
The Librarian and the Robbers by Margaret Mahy
Jimmy Takes Vanishing Lessons by Walter R. Brooks

I got the book for the latter two and read the Wynne-Jones because he's someone I've been meaning to try for most of my life; he was always on the shelf next to my beloved Diana Wynne Jones, but each time I read the blurbs of his books I lost interest. This story was fine but did nothing for me.

I did not
Sep 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Teachers are always asking me for short stories--this anthology does a good job of gathering up a bunch of good-to-read-outloud stories by classic children's authors. Appropriate for 4-8th grade--which is nice.

Confession: I read Baby in the Night Deposit Box to a group of 6th graders a few days ago, and I'm pretty sure a few of them fell asleep... so maybe it's a little less thrilling than I think.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Age range - 6th through 10th grade (+). Kudos to Avi - and 5 stars - for the range of stories collected here.

My thoughts:

"Rogue Wave" - Theodore Taylor (1996) I know nothing about waves - rogue or otherwise - and don’t want to learn. I do know that I feared for Scoot and her older brother Sully as they try to survive the catastrophic wave that capsizes their boat. 5 stars

“The Caller” - Robert D. San Souci (2003) Scary. Deceased Aunt Margaret wants her ring back. 5 stars

"Scout’s Honor” - Avi (199
Martha Miller
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My son is 12 and loved almost every story in this collection. I did too. There were just a couple that were too edgy for us, especially at nighttime. Favorites included absurdity of The Baby in the Night Deposit Box, the silliness of The Librarian and the Bank Robbers, and the way poverty was dealt with in The Special Powers of Blossom Culp. So many good stories!
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Dianna Geers for

In BEST SHORTS, you never know what surprise you're going to get next. Unlike many short story collections, which usually revolve around some thread of a theme, the stories Avi selected for this anthology come from all over the genre spectrum. The one thing they all have in common, however, is that they are all great little adventures you can experience without the big time commitment of an entire novel.

Readers can get freaked out by seeing what happ
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, youth
I only read the story I checked out this book for. It was JIMMY TAKES VANISHING LESSONS by Walter R. Brooks, pp. 308-320. I read this book as a boy and wanted to find if it was still around. When I read it, it was one of the Scholastic books my brother had purchased at school. I read it on our trip to San Francisco.
It always fascinated me. It was about a boy that went to his aunt's home that she couldn't rent because it was haunted. He saw the ghost and it scared him (Jimmy). However, he got ov
It's been awhile since I've read a book of short stories. I picked up this one because I'm thinking of doing a summer reading club based on short stories, and I wanted some ideas. This is an interesting collection, with some stories based on historical events, a couple of ghost stories, and two old classics - "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Lady or the Tiger". Does it make me cynical when I say that the first time I read that story, I was in a real quandary as to which door the Princess chose for her ...more
Sep 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya

Best shorts is just what it sounds like, a bunch of really good short stories by different authors. I really enjoyed the variety and quality of the stories. The authors ranged from fairly current to 1850's. It had a nice well rounded feeling.

When I was young I always thought that short stories were easier to write because they were shorter. Now that I'm gray haired and much wiser (wink, wink) I know that a good short story is harder to write. You have to grip the reader and still give them th
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
I'm not generally a fan of short stories, but from time to time I can be persuaded.

In this case, it was the inclusion of "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" by Megan Whalen Turner. I like both her short stories and novels, and this one did not disappoint.

I also enjoyed:

Scout's Honor by Avi
The Town Cats by Lloyd Alexander
To Starch a Spook by Andrew Benedict
The Librarian and the Robbers by Margaret Mahy
Jimmy Takes Vanishing Lessons by Walter R. Brooks

From which it can be concluded that if I am go
Christian McKay
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it
There are some real gems here, especially the editor Avi's short, which was surprising because I haven't enjoyed his writing in the past. Other stories are fine, they get the job done, while others felt rather trying . . .

My favorites:

Rogue Wave by Theodore Taylor (very simple but very good)
Scout's Honor by Avi (hilarious)
The Dog of Pompeii by Louis Untermeyer (heart-wrenching!)
Nuts by Natalie Babbitt (short and sweet)
Ho-ichi the Earless by Rafe Martin (spooky)
Zlateh the Goat by Isaac Bashevis S
Mar 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great short stories in here!! And not a boring loser one in the whole lot. This gave me some good ideas of authors to explore and was thoroughly delightful reading for the kids and me. The selection varies widely in length and subject matter, with a nice heavy dose of mild horror stories that appeal. My favorites were "Baby in the Night Deposit Box" by Megan Whalen Turner and "Jimmy Takes Vanishing Lessons" by Walter R. Brooks.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Technically a collection of short stories, not a chapter book. This collection is so unique and varied. From writing style, to genre to character choice, each story offered something different. I really enjoyed almost every story. Do not read it all in one go though. It's great to pick up and come back to and it was also great to share and read out loud.
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I can honestly say that it was a really scary, and also interesting book filled with scary things in it. Each story was different and special in its own way. I honestly thought it was going to be a funny book with funny short stories because of its cover which I thought looked funny. I think I shouldn't judge a book from it's cover.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
A collection of 24 stories by various authors, both old and new. Some are funny, some chilling, and all of them are beautifully written. Favorites include: The Caller by Robert D. San Souci, Ho-ichi the Earless by Rafe Martin, The Librarian and the Robbers by Margaret Mahy, and The Baby in the Night Deposit Box by Megan Whalen Turner.
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: older children and parents reading with them
This is a really great collection of short stories. Our girls aren't quite ready for most of the stories yet, but I read them a few. It's a wonderful group of authors and a very diverse bunch of tales. Some are more mature than I would advise for the Juvenile section (perhaps more for the Young Adult section), but overall they are great and I loved them.
Nov 28, 2008 rated it liked it
I was familiar with several of the classics from this collection - "The Dog of Pompeii" and "The Lady or the Tiger" were in an old literature book that I inherited from Aunt Lois (I think). The other stories were classics in the same vein: sweet, clever, and insightful. I don't recall any that were like OMG SO AMAZING, but there weren't really any stinkers, either. A good all-around collection.
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I don't read a lot of short stories. Usually I like to get immersed in the book and the characters, which is more difficult in short stories. But this was quite fun to read. I enjoyed some of the stories better than others, but it was a great mix of different voices and genres. Delightful.
Oct 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-for-nls
A decent mix of short stories for children, spanning most of the 20th century. A good choice for the bookshelf of any family, especially those interested in promoting literature over popular fiction.
Malia Moore
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
There are some fab shorts in this book, and all of them are great for long car trips!
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm typically not a huge fan of short stories, but I liked many of these. Some seemed familiar so I wonder if I read them in school long ago- through some other collection.
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
An excellent collection by some of my favorite writers and some new favorites that I'll be exploring further. Every story had a unique perspective. Definitely recommended for everyone!
Jun 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Some of the stories in here would lend themselves to being read outloud by a volunteer parent to their child's older elementary class.
Suzanne Zulauf
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Some great ones to include in mini-lessons!
Jun 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Even though I really don't like short stories, I read this one to look for read-alouds and found several possibilities. If you like short stories, you might really like it.
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Some Where Good Some Were Not"

I have no idea why this book is out of print, but it is amazing. I got it from Greenwich Library.
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Oct 22, 2014
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Mar 07, 2011
Mari Nakagawa
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Apr 08, 2014
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Jul 23, 2015
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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 popular among readers young and old.
More about Avi...