Bruce Coville is the author of 103 books for children and young adults, including the international bestseller MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN, the wildly popular UNICORN CHRONICLES series, and the much-loved JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER. His works have appeared in over a dozen languages, and won children's choice awards in over a dozen states, including twice in California. He has been, at various times, a teacher, a toymaker, a magazine editor, a gravedigger, and a cookware salesman. He is also the founder of FULL CAST AUDIO, an audiobook publishing company devoted to producing full cast, unabridged recordings of material for family listening. Mr. Coville lives in Syracuse, New York, with his wife, illustrator Katherine Coville.
Where to find Bruce Coville online
This spooky story tells what happens after the careless Duffy leaves his jacket in the woods. Both funny and scary, it is a favorite of many storytellers, and the most reprinted of all my short stories.
What's the Worst That Could Happen?
The tragically hilarious tale of a boy named Murphy Murphy, and the pain he endures at being 13.
Originally published in 13: Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen,
edited by James Howe.
The Guardian of Memory
In the world of Luster, the dwarf Grimwold, keeper of the Unicorn Chronicles, is summoned to tell an important tale as part of a ceremony that occurs once every 25 years. It is the story of Alma Leonetti, and her quest to discover why something sweet and precious has disappeared from old Earth.
(A much shorter version of this tale appears in DARK WHISPERS, Book 3 of the Unicorn Chronicles.)
Fortune Plunkett's father left her two things: his acting troupe, and a deathbed wish that she fulfill his dream and lead the players across the continent to San Francisco.
It's 1853, and the Gold Rush is in full swing. Joining a wagon train, Fortune and her actors find more action, adventure, and drama than any of their plays could offer in this carefully researched historical adventure.
Coville's Book of Fear
For lovers of the dark and spooky, a collection of a half dozen of my most frightening short stories, starting with "There's Nothing Under the Bed" - my personal choice for my all time scariest. (My editors says it still gives her nightmares!)
First time this particular group has been gathered in single collection. Also included: a new introduction, and notes on the genesis of each story.
The World's Worst Fairy Godmother
Every spell Maybelle casts seems to backfire. After her latest disaster (involving a princess becoming a frog) Maybelle's boss gives her one last chance. Her job? Reform a nearly-perfect but utterly obnoxious girl named Susan. Alas, Maybelle has a secret enemy, an imp named Zozmagog, working against her.
Magic, mischief, and big laughs abound!
Features Katherine Coville's illustrations.
After the Third Kiss: A Dragon Story
There is an old tale of a maiden turned to a dragon, who can only be restored to human form by three kisses from her brother. The question is, what happens next? Once you've been a dragon, tasted blood and ridden the wind on leathery wings, can you ever really go back to being a mere human?
That's the question that May Margret must answer, after the third kiss . . .
The Giant's Tooth
Edgar Twonky didn't intend to get eaten by a giant while he was heading for Cottleson Fair. Sometimes these things just happen. What was even more startling was what he discovered and learned once he was in the giant's mouth . . .
The Stinky Princess
What happens when a perfectly proper princess becomes fascinated by a fairly stinky goblin? Well, among other things, a trip to Nilbog, the underground world of the goblins. Not to mention advice from an ancient gobliness, a ride on a very large frog, and a trip to the Lake of Fire!
The Mask of Eamonn Tiyado
Harley Burton stumbles into Mr. Elives' Magic Shop, where he finds a strange mask that will lead him into a horrify Halloween adventure.
The Ghost Let Go
Nina ("Nine") Tanleven and her friend Chris Gurley find themselves stranded in an isolated old house on a country road. They're not surprised to find that the place is haunted - they've had a lot of experience with ghosts already. But can they help this ghost find peace in only one night?
Funny, spooking, touching, this story features the popular heroines of THE GHOST IN THE THIRD ROW.
A Life in Miniature
A modern retelling of "Tom Thumb" that I originally wrote for the Datlow/Windling anthology SWAN SISTER.
In Our Own Hands
The aliens have arrived, and they're offering us a deal that might be too good to say no to.
Or is it?
What is the balance between freedom and safety, between control and protection?
What would your choice be?
Herbert Hutchison in the Underworld
What happens when a very bad kid crashes his mother's car and ends up having to make a journey through Hades - and must make some choices while doing so?
This is probably the darkest story I've ever written, and is, in an odd way, the mirror opposite of "The Box."
Warning: This is definitely YA, not for younger readers.
Jacob's father is Earth's first ambassador assigned to another planet. Now Jacob must deal with being the only kid in school without six arms and an extra eye in the middle of his forehead. But his biggest challenge comes when he makes a diplomatic error that could cost him the thing he loves most.
A tender story about finding your place in the universe that opens with a major fart scene!
The Boy With Silver Eyes
Set in the world of the Unicorn Chronicles, this is the story of Nils, whose father was a Hunter and who forced Nils to do something terrible that changed his life thereafter. Seeking the songs of earth, fire, air, and water, Nils tries to fulfill his destiny.
Features a guest appearance by "The Wanderer", Ivy Morris.
My Little Brother is a Monster
At some point everyone who has a baby brother thinks, "That kid is a real monster!" In Jason's case, it happens to be true. But then, "Little Dumpling" isn't actually Jason's brother; he and his mom found the baby in a basket on their porch. But what happens on the night of the first full moon, and where Little Dumpling really came from, is beyond Jason's wildest imaginings.
A Blaze of Glory
A young man, unemployed and rootless, comes home to help his grandmother through her last days. As her memory peels away, so that the present is dim but the past grows ever more vivid, she tells him the strange story of the magical event that shaped her youth. He is drawn in by her tale, and longs to believe. But it couldn't possibly be true . . . or could it?
Biscuits of Glory
When Benjie Perkins meets the ghost of Elvira Thistledown he learns the strange story of why she haunts his kitchen . . . and what someone must do in order to break the curse that holds her to the mortal world. A lighter-than-air ghost story that mixes chills and chuckles.
With His Head Tucked Underneath His Arm
Seven kings ruled the continent of Losfar, and each one hated the others. War was constant, yet, as always, some resisted.
When the young pacifist Brion is unjustly executed, he is so infuriated he returns from the dead with a plan that will shake the kingdom to its roots.
Originally published in Bruce Coville's collection ODDLY ENOUGH.
Donald Henderson is horrified when his (extremely embarrassing) grandfather begins to question authority. A dark meditation on free speech and the price of freedom.
Originally published in 2041 AD, edited by Jane Yolen. Republished in Bruce Coville's solo collection, ODDLY ENOUGH.
Clean as a Whistle
When the messiest girl in Minnesota is saddled with a compulsively tidy brownie, there are sure to be problems. Hilarious problems.
Originally published in ODDLY ENOUGH.
The Passing of the Pack
A young man seeks to understand the strange connection he feels to the wolves that live hear his village.
Originally published in the anthology WEREWOLVES, edited by Jane Yolen. Republished in Bruce Coville's solo collection, ODDLY ENOUGH.
When Jamie's father dies, he is taken to live with his uncle, a strange man who has an alicorn - a unicorn's horn - in his possession. But the man is hiding more secrets, darker ones, and Jamie must unravel them if he is to uncover his true destiny and finally find his way home.
The Language of Blood
In the Glorious City a boy named Banang is selected to be heir to a strange and bloody tradition that will allow him to speak "the language of blood."
Originally published in ODDLY ENOUGH
When a boy is given a box by an angel who asks him to care for it, the task shapes his entire life.
Originally published in DRAGONS AND DREAMS (edited by Jane Yolen) this is one of Bruce Coville's personal favorites among all his stories.
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