Sunday, October 03, 2010

Strange Happenings by Avi . . . because it *is* RIP season, even if I'm not signed up

Strange Happenings by Avi
Copyright 2006
Harcourt Books - Short Stories/Children (ages 9-12)
147 pages

Strange Happenings was on my wish list at Paperback Swap for at least 2 years before I finally managed to acquire a copy. I'm just telling you that so that you'll know what a patient soul I am.

There are 5 short stories in Strange Happenings. "Bored Tom" tells the story of a boy who'd rather be a cat (because cats don't have to do anything but lie around all day -- obviously, Tom has never met my hyperactive kitty girls) and describes what happens when Tom gets to change bodies with a stray cat he has adopted. "Babette the Beautiful" is the story of a queen who wants to give birth to a baby of flawless perfection and finds the answer to her wish is a little too much to handle.

"Curious" tells what happens to a boy who is so curious about the town baseball team's alien mascot that he can't rest till he finds out who is inside that costume. "The Shoemaker and Old Scratch" tells the story of a greedy shoemaker who makes a deal with the devil but doesn't know it. And, "Simon" tells about a hunter who gets his due after he kills the most beautiful bird in the forest.

Each story has a bit of a fairy-tale feel and they do tend to be horrifying in the manner of the old-style tales but not always in a gory way. Strange Happenings was definitely a good choice for that spooky time of year some of us have come to know as R.I.P. Challenge Season. Well, at least I think of it that way.

I didn't sign up for the R.I.P. V. Challenge since I have a two-challenge limit; but I still wanted to read something creepy. It fit; I'm satisfied. I can't say I loved the stories but I also can't seem to put a finger on why. Maybe it was the fact that they were a little too predictable. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for the level of payback in the average fairy tale. Honestly, I just don't know. But, I'm glad I waited 2 or more years for the book because it definitely was a perfect way to usher in fall and I do think it's worth reading, even though I didn't find it altogether satisfying.

I always regret it when I don't sign up for the R.I.P., incidentally. Someone remind me of that, next year, okay?
Sometimes kitties do lie around doing absolutely nothing. We call it "looking innocent".

©2010 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Bookfoolery and Babble, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I will cause I'll probably sign up for it next year. lol I couldn't remember so I am doing Fright Fest instead and reading 4 books that are either scary or set during Halloween. :)


  2. Maybe the stories aren't too predictable to younger readers. It sounds like a good book for October.

  3. I actually just saw this book on display shelf at the library! I picked it up and thumbed through the story about the cat, but didn't check it out as I'm trying to make my way through a series at home. I might give it a go later, it looks good!

  4. Aww very innocent looking. Kind of. The book sounds really good, thanks for posting about it. Oh, and happy to hear that you're so patient ;)

  5. Krista,

    Thanks. I've been signing up every 2 years and I always, always regret the years I don't sign up. This year, I hadn't quite emerged from my slump during sign-up time. I haven't heard of Fright Fest. Cool!


    Yes, I thought about that. I don't think they'd be too predictable for youngsters and it's definitely a great read for fall.


    It's a pretty fun book. I didn't love it, but I would have abandoned it if it hadn't kept my interest because I'm tremendously picky, right now. I don't want to go back into that horrid slump!


    Izzy was sleepy when I took that shot. She doesn't slow down very often, but she gets all cute and blinky when she's worn out. Poor Fi wishes she'd wear out more often, I think. LOL

  6. I'm still looking for the "right" Avi book for me...I don't know..maybe there is no right Avi book for me..maybe he's not for me. But I WANT to like him!!! I read one of his Crispin books back in the day and despised it. But I know so many people really like him. Don't know if I'd like this one or not. But I do adore that pic of Fi :)

  7. Chris,

    I'm not really a fan of Avi. I remember how disappointed you were with Crispin. It's my favorite of the Avi books I've read. I'm not even sure why I keep reading his books! Maybe, like you, I just desire to like them but I've found they tend to sound great but then end up lacking in the execution.

    Thanks. That's Izzy in the window. She is really something. I think some days Fi is thrilled to have a buddy and the rest of the time she would just like that little creature to go away!

  8. The operative word being "looking".

    Next year, you should really sign up for the RIP Challenge.

    /dusts hands. My work here is done. :)

  9. Carrie,

    Exactly. Well, she does look innocent, doesn't she?

    Oh, okay. Bit early for a reminder, isn't it? LOL

  10. Love that photo! Frame-worthy.

  11. Care,

    Why, thank you! Maybe I'll get a copy printed. Good idea. :)


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