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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,313 Ratings  ·  80 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
Paperback, 212 pages
Published September 30th 2004 by Scholastic (first published November 1st 2001)
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Aug 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jun 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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.


Becoming by Nancy Springer (Medusa)
Linnea by D.J. Malcolm (Mer
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythology
Can't beleive I didn't already review this...

Anywho, I love this book. All the stories were awesome, and the concept is a favorite of mine anyway, so yeah, really, really good.
May 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, anthologies
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)
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good anthology, but I do wish that the person who compiled it hadn’t included the picture of the horse with the baby body because that was unnecessary
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Magical brilliance that really makes you think.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.

Feb 03, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Maria Waltner
Solid 3 stars. Some stories were certainly better than others.
This is one book that I tripped upon in high school and absolutely fell in love wit since it reaches the young developing heart of a child. For the average teen or adolescent these stories ask questions that may be bothering them while giving wise answers but all within a story.

What makes these stories (and one poem) special is that there are a lot of famous authors who have contributed to this beautiful collection. Their writings, although separate, don't conflict but give weight to each othe
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oz, read-in-2014
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
Oct 23, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Sep 30, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Victoria Fuller
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Okay, prepare for an unusually harsh review from me. I was excited for this book, I really was.
I found my hopes for this book quickly dashed. The outside of the book was pretty, and that's about where my excitement ended. The book itself is... childish. Maybe it was meant for a child, and I just wasn't aware of that fact. It would have changed my view of it from the start. But the stories feel like something written in a High-school creative writing class and the pictures are poorly done Photos
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Marina Woollven
Apr 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
Picked this up thinking it was YA. However, I think this is written more for pre-teens then actual teenagers. The quality of writing itself is disappointing. It might be okay for elementary kids, but I really wouldn't recommend it for anyone older. The stories themselves could be predictable or bland at times, with flat characters. I did enjoy the last story, but it's not enough to save the entire anthology.
Jun 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
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.
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 Givens
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Four out of ten were great stories. Particularly happy that so many had characters choosing to live in both worlds, rather than making every problem a choice between worlds.

Favorites: "Linnea" by D.J. Malcolm, "Scarecrow" by Gregory Maguire, "Princess Dragonblood" by Jack Mandell, and "The Hardest, Kindest Gift" by Bruce Coville.
Mar 29, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Mar 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Lisa Rathbun
I enjoyed this YA collection of short stories based on creatures that are not all human: a selkie, a mermaid, a gorgon, a girl who is half-human and half dragon, even the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.
Jun 08, 2011 rated it liked it
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 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?”
More quotes…