Compiled and edited by Bruce Coville
Illustrated by Marc Tauss
Have you ever wished you could fly like an eagle, run like a horse, swim like a whale, or breathe fire like a dragon? Discover what it might be like to be only half human, and decide if you’d really like those wishes to come true.
Laura knew she wasn’t like anyone else. She never had been. Only she could hear the ocean and smell the sea air in the middle of Manhattan. Only she was drawn to the sea when she visited her grandparents’ house. And only she went up to explore the attic her grandfather had told her never to enter. It was the day of his funeral, and he could no longer stop her from finding the secret hidden there, carefully folded away under a loose floorboard. It was a seal skin, soft, glistening, and more beautiful than anything Laura had ever seen. Trying to get away from everyone, Laura bundled it into her arms and took it to the edge of the sea, and wrapped it around herself. Suddenly, it seemed to come to life, covering her completely. And when she could see again, she was no longer a girl, she was a seal. Laura was like no one else. She never had been.
It had been an odd pregnancy from the beginning. Agora was an old Shetland pony, who’d never been bred before. As a matter of fact, she hadn’t been bred this time either. She was just pregnant. And when labor began, things got even more odd. Her baby was a horse from his tail to his chest. From there to his head, he was a little boy, complete with a big grin and baby teeth. What’s going to happen to the colt boy who nurses from his Shetland pony mother, when the tabloids find out about him?
And what of a princess with dragon’s blood in her veins? Or a girl with snakes on her head instead of hair? Or a boy who doesn’t know how to be human, because he used to be an apple tree? Or teenagers who will never be part of the human race the way you and I are, who must struggle continually to knit together the two sides of themselves. What are their lives like? How will they ever find peace or happiness?
Read these stories by different well-known science fiction and fantasy writers to find out about these and other strange beings who are only half human.
This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart