Reviewed by Dianna Geers for TeensReadToo.com
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 happens when Dad loses his cell phone at Auntie's funeral, travel along with some city-smart boys who try to camp out alone, and root for an entire bank who adopts a baby abandoned in the night-deposit box.
It's pretty slick how a well-written short story can suck you in; before you know it, you're reading a genre that you are sure you don't like. An interesting thing that happened to me as I read this compilation of stories is that I enjoyed stories in genres that I may never have picked up if they had been labeled. As I read these stories to my sixth-grade students, they wanted to get copies of their own. They, too, enjoyed the punch in these stories and the wide variety of styles and genres.
How can you go wrong with a book featuring stories from such authors as Richard Peck, Lloyd Alexander, Washington Irving, Theodore Taylor, and even Avi himself?
If you're looking for a sampler of authors or genres, or a few short stories to read between novels, or something to read without committing to an entire book, or you just feel like something a little different, then try BEST SHORTS on for size. It is one of those one-size-fits-all kind of collections.