I met our ninth reader on a gloomy October evening for a delicious bowl of ramen and a conversation about the short story collection Oddly Enough (1994). Bruce Coville’s fantastical and often spooky narratives enthralled our reader at a young age and strengthened her interest in fiction. We talked about the humour found in the unexpected, children’s tolerance for dark subject matter, and the books we read when the days grow colder and the nights grow longer.
“When I was a kid I was really not into fiction at all. I didn’t find stories interesting. I really liked reading non-fiction. I would just sit in the animals section of the non-fiction area…maybe some not-so-serious astrology, maybe some Egyptian history, that kind of thing…[But] I just remember this book on the shelf. It was hardcover, but it didn’t have a slipcover on it, so it was completely blank except for these magical words on the spine that said Oddly Enough. And I picked it up and found that it was just a little bit of magic…The Oddly Enough stories were a bit deeper, there was more at stake and there was more to be explored…I think I found it when I was in middle school. And I was definitely looking for magic at the time.”