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Acting Out

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Six masterful children's authors have become master playwrights in this collection of one-act plays that might just make you want to ACT OUT!

In The Raven, Sharon Creech spoofs a publishing office while Susan Cooper shows the environment fighting back against overdevelopment in The Dollop. Patricia MacLachlan puts a twist on detention in The Bad Room and Katherine Paterso
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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3.38  · 
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 ·  58 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

What happens when you ask six Newbery Award winners to write one-act plays? Well, you get a book like ACTING OUT, and you get the potential for a lot of fun.

Award-winning authors Avi, Susan Cooper, Sharon Creech, Patricia MacLachlan, Katherine Paterson, and Richard Peck were asked to write one-act plays. They were given the freedom to write about anything, but there was one catch. Each author picked a word which was to be used in a
May 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, read-2011
This collection of one-act plays, written by six winners of the Newbery Medal, will appeal to middle school students enrolled in a beginning drama class. My favorite is Sharon Creech's "The Bad Room," which revolves around students in detention. It reminded me a bit of the 1985 movie, "The Breakfast Club." One interesting spin is that each author was asked to choose a word to use in his/her play; all six words chosen were then used in each play.
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The plays in this book are funny, clever, and sometimes quite touching. I really love the basic concept, using an improvisational theater game where the players are given a word that they have to drop into a scene. Each author contributed a word, so there are words like "Dollop," "Justin," and "panhandle," that they must use in their play. It's fun to identify the words, but the plays themselves don't need a gimmick to be fantastic reading. I can't wait to use this book with my class!
Sep 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: middle school students
It was fun to read these one act plays by Newbery-winning authors. However, I was kind of disappointed in the quality. I thought they would be so much better, maybe even something we could perform for our fine arts plays this year. The first one by Sharon Creech is really the best in my opinion, but there are too few characters. Bummer.
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
I don't read this style of writing often, play format, but I really enjoyed it. I like other works by most of the authors who wrote a play for the book. It was clever to have words that they all had to use in the play to connect them all a little.
May 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
A wonderful collection of short plays! It was interesting to see how the Newberry-award winning authors approached a different medium.
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: play, esl, esl-2, english-2
All of these were not great, but these made it worth the read:

The Billionaire and the Bird by Katherine Paterson
Effigy in the Outhouse by Richard Peck
Not Seeing Is Believing by Avi
Apr 11, 2014 added it
Shelves: children-s
Inspire creativity by reading or acting out these one-act plays by acclaimed authors.
I lost this book when I checked out from the library. Then I had to go and pay for it. Awesome. I still don't know where it is...
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle, reader, plays
My favorite play was Paterson's "Billionnaire and the Bird." These plays appear easy to stage, using one part props and one part audience imagination.
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
These plays were worth reading, but each one is odd enough, in its own way, to make me think I probably wouldn't have kids acting them out.
May 19, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: drama, juvenilelit
not surprisingly, I loved Susan Cooper's entry
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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.
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