Book Review: What do fish have to do with anything and other stories by Avi

Another random find.

I knew I was looking for something but I didn’t know what I was looking for. I found it lying ignored and I grabbed it because I just had the feeling it would be special. As we have all been reading on Facebook, after all instinct is apparently the greatest intelligence. I knew the name was big – Avi. I knew this Newberry medalist would definitely have something worthwhile to offer. Also I loved the name of the book. Now that I have rambled on about why I picked up the book, let us move on, TO the book.

It is simply brilliant. Seven brilliant stories through seven unique voices, Avi blows your mind away with challenging concepts with unseen twists. The book is recommended for 10 to 14 year olds and is definitely worth reading. All seven stories talk about the turning points in the life of seven children as they discover something very important about life and themselves. The stories are very short but have the biggest of meanings attached to them.  The book covers every concept that is key to growing up, especially during the transitional phase of going from being a child to an adolescent – divorce, death, suicide, happiness and a lot more.

In fact I would say it’s a keeper simply because it is one of those books that if you read again and again allowing a gap in your lifetime, it would give you a different perspective each time. I love such books. Richard Bach’s Illusions does that to me.

Here is a little something on each of the stories

Story one: What do fish have to do with anything?

My Comments:  I didn’t know there was a cure for unhappiness but this story gives you one and guess what, it is the perfect cure.

Story two: The Goodness of Matt Kaizer

My Comments: I didn’t know being good was a scary thing but I guess it can be.

Story three: Talk to me

My Comments: Sometimes we just need someone who listens.  But sometimes that’s just not enough.

Story four: Teacher Tamer

My Comments: Don’t fight every fight today. For all you know, tomorrow you may find a reason not to fight. So let’s wait until tomorrow.

Story five: Pets

My Comments: There is a ghost of a chance you don’t want to give in. If that’s the case do it yourself or if you can’t, get help.

Story six: What’s inside.

My Comments: We all live in boxes. It doesn’t matter that we do. But it matters what’s inside the box with you.

Story seven: Fortune Cookie

My Comments: Sometimes kids have to be parents when parents act like kids.

Now you are probably wondering which ones were my favorites. I loved story one and seven. The concepts are exceptionally strong.

For parents or children who have never read a book by Avi, you might want to think of starting now. Avi is the pen name of Edward Irving Wortis. He has written over 70 books and writes a lot for the older children and YA category. Some of you may also know him as the author of Crispin: The Cross of Lead which won the Newberry Medal 2003. His other famous works include The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing but the Truth.


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