The Anything Box

by Zenna Henderson | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by choclaholic of Laredo, Texas USA on 5/12/2003
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by choclaholic from Laredo, Texas USA on Monday, May 12, 2003
This was a great set of short stories. I remember reading them again, and again as a teen and young adult.

Soon after I registered this book, another BXer asked for this book in a trade. So before I released it, I had FlyinFox read it. After reading them, he said he was surprised this was not on my so-called "favorite fiction" shelf. I replied it had indeed been there for years. Then I found out this book was out of print, and that gave me second thoughts of losing these stories forever.

So I found another copy at (for me to keep) and am releasing this one. I feel better, and am glad I'm able to share.

Journal Entry 2 by choclaholic at to a fellow bookcrosser in Manchester, New Hampshire USA on Monday, July 07, 2003
Release planned for Tuesday, July 08, 2003 at to a fellow bookcrosser in Manchester, New Hampshire USA.

I plan to give this to GoryDetails at the meet-up.

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Thanks so much, choclaholic - I love Henderson's stories, and am delighted to get to BookCross this collection. [Had a great time at the Meetup, too!]

Journal Entry 4 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, July 14, 2003
Zenna Henderson is known mainly for her stories about The People, a benign race of psychically-gifted aliens who've been stranded on Earth. Those stories are lovely, sad, and funny by turns, and together they form a mini-epic - but they're not the only stories Henderson wrote.

"The Anything Box" is a fabulous collection of stories that range across fantasy, science fiction, horror, and blends of all three. Half of the tales in here can still make me cry, after having read them often over the last thirty years... Many thanks to choclaholic for letting me read them again!

Common themes in Henderson's stories are children [sometimes helpless victims, sometimes heroes, sometimes monsters] and teachers [likewise], but the permutations are impressive. The title story is a classic Henderson type: a busy teacher notices one girl in the class being picked on for spending too much time staring into her desk; the child claims that she's looking into a box that will show her whatever she wants to see. Since nobody else can see this box, the teacher wonders if the child is in need of help - but then something glimmers in her hands...

Many of the stories here involve children and the power of belief, but they vary widely in tone and direction: "Hush" is a chilling little horror story; "Come On, Wagon!" chills in a different way entirely; "And a Little Child..." warms, rather than chills.

Not all the stories include children or children's themes, but belief still holds sway. "The Grunder" is written from the viewpoint of a loving husband who is wrecking his marriage by his own uncontrollable and baseless jealousy; the solution that is offered him is unbelievable - but when he has no other choice, what can he do but try?

"Walking Aunt Daid" is an enigmatic fable, a heart-wrenching twist on the Old Family Secret plot. "Things" deals with a clash of cultures on an alien world; "Food to All Flesh" deals with a more basic clash, and takes place in a remote Mexican pasture. "The Last Step" features a stern, no-nonsense teacher - the antithesis of most of Henderson's teachers - who encounters something right out of the Twilight Zone. But none of these snippets do justice to the stories, to the lyrical tone and the spiritual and emotional subtexts. You just have to read them.

[Henderson's other collection of "non-People" stories is "Holding Wonder", also very much worth reading.]

Journal Entry 5 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, July 14, 2003
I'm sending this on a bookray. Participants, in mailing order:

janaqq (Texas)
Sherria (Connecticut)
Soraidh (Missouri)
kalipriestess (Florida)
*** added ***
Mandali (Seattle, WA)
daydee (New Zealand)

Please journal the book as soon as you receive it, and PM the next person in line for their mailing address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the book. Try and read the book reasonably promptly - within a month, let's say - and then journal any comments you have and send it to the next person. Hope you all enjoy it! (And thanks to choclaholic and flyinfox for sending it out on its travels!)

Journal Entry 6 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, July 20, 2003
Controlled release:

I'm sending this to BCer janaqq, to kick off the bookray. Hope you enjoy it!

Journal Entry 7 by LFL_CedarPark from Austin, Texas USA on Monday, July 28, 2003
Received the book today.

You have a great book stamp. The bc stamp on the pages is neat too.

I will start to read the book this week and then pass it along on its journey. The little girl on the cover freaks me out a bit. I might have to put a sticky over her eyes.


Journal Entry 8 by LFL_CedarPark from Austin, Texas USA on Sunday, August 03, 2003
These stories were amazing. My favorites were Something Bright, The Anything Box, and The Beast Hill. I will think twice when looking at grassy hills. I will send this book to Sherria next.

Thanks for sharing this book. I really am going to read her other book when I can get a hold of it.

Journal Entry 9 by Sherria from Bethel, Connecticut USA on Friday, August 15, 2003
Received this yesterday, and plan to start reading it tonite. I'm really looking forward to it!

Journal Entry 10 by Sherria from Bethel, Connecticut USA on Wednesday, August 27, 2003
I read this book while on vacation, and enjoyed it. Henderson's stories are so well written, the prose just flows and I had fun with each one of them. Some were rather disturbing, others were almost uplifting, but all were wonderfully written.

Thank you so much for sharing this book Choclaholic!

I'll be sending it out to Soraidh tomorrow.

Journal Entry 11 by Sherria from Bethel, Connecticut USA on Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Yikes, a bit of a delay in mailing. Sorry. This book went out via media mail today 9/2/03, on it's way to Soraidh

Journal Entry 12 by Soraidh from St. Louis, Missouri USA on Wednesday, September 10, 2003
I just found this in my mailbox this afternoon. What a surprise from Sherria! I didn't know I was next on the ray. They're all descending at once!

I'll read this and get it off soon.

Journal Entry 13 by Soraidh from St. Louis, Missouri USA on Friday, September 19, 2003
Some wonderful stories from a fertile imagination! I didn't read all the shorts but the ones that did catch my attention were quite gripping. My favorites are the title tale, "The Anything Box" and the story that follows it (which I of course can't remember right now), and "Something Bright."

I sent this off in the mail to kalipriestess by media mail yesterday.

Journal Entry 14 by kalipriestess from Tallahassee, Florida USA on Sunday, September 28, 2003
Received yesterday and I've already read the first (and title) story. It kept my attention, but wasn't quite my style. We'll see what the rest of the book brings!! Then it's off to Mandali. Please be patient if it takes a little extra time for me to read this. I'm a bit overwhelmed by bookrings and rays at the moment!!

I liked the stories toward the end of the book better than the ones at the beginning, but overall, I prefer my books darker and deeper. These were a bit too predictable and there were too many happy endings. What can I say, I'm a product of Generation X.

Journal Entry 15 by kalipriestess at Bookring/ray in -- Mailed, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Released on Friday, October 24, 2003 at Bookring/ray in USPS, postal release USA.

Sent on to Mandali in Seattle, WA.

Journal Entry 16 by Mandali from Olympia, Washington USA on Saturday, November 01, 2003
I just received this in the mail and am looking forward to reading it. I am almost finished with my current book and will start on this soon. Thank you so much!

Journal Entry 17 by Mandali from Olympia, Washington USA on Thursday, November 06, 2003
My father first introduced me to Zenna Henderson's stories many years ago. Her well-crafted stories have passed the test of time and they still are as fascinating and enjoyable to read as I remembered them to be. Henderson was a teacher for many years and I particularly like her stories about unusual children and the teachers that encounter them in the classroom. The title story, “The Anything Box,” and “The Last Step,” the last story in the book, both deal with the above theme but are completely different. Written in 1962, “Subcommittee” is still relevant today as it reminds us how much better we would get along if we could be as open-minded as young children.

I will be mailing this to daydee when I can get to the post office. It may take a few days. Thanks for sharing this book.

Journal Entry 18 by Mandali from Olympia, Washington USA on Friday, November 07, 2003
I was able to get to the post office today to mail this to daydee in New Zealand. As I sent it surface mail, it will take a long time to get there, but it is worth the wait.

Journal Entry 19 by daydee on Friday, November 14, 2003
Received this long-sought-after book from Mandali. All the way from USA.
I plan to read, re-read, and then keep it until another bookcrosser requests it. Too special to release into the wild.

Journal Entry 20 by daydee on Thursday, May 05, 2005
"The Anything Box" is on it`s way back to the USA to Sunshinedreem.

Journal Entry 21 by sunshinedreem from Frederick, Maryland USA on Monday, May 16, 2005
Received as part of a trade from Daydee, thanks! I'm amazed at how quickly these got here, I can't wait to start reading them!!

Journal Entry 22 by sunshinedreem from Frederick, Maryland USA on Saturday, March 25, 2006
I finally got around to reading this little book and I loved it! The author has a way of telling a story that totally draws you in. I only wish some of the stories were a little bit longer because they left me wanting to know more.

I think I'll hold on to this one for awhile and pass it on to another member so it will continue to be enjoyed.

Journal Entry 23 by AgathaMars from Arden Hills, Minnesota USA on Thursday, April 13, 2006
The Easter Bunny arrived early for me, as I received 'The Anything Box' from Sunshinedreem. It'll be a while before I'll get a chance to read it, however I have started the first chapter/story.

Journal Entry 24 by AgathaMars from Arden Hills, Minnesota USA on Wednesday, June 28, 2006
This was a great collection of stories.

When I started reading 'The Anything Box', I felt I had found a long lost friend. Also, I am so 'hung-up' on Harry Potter for the moment, I couldn't help but think that this character of Sue-Lynn is a model for Luna Lovegood. I think my two favorites are the title story and 'The Substitute'.

This also had me longing for Rod Sterling's 'The Twilight Zone'--the black & white version. :)

This book has traveled with me from MN to Boston, MA; to western MN; and from MN to Reston, VA.


Mailed to Thursday 5. I hope you enjoy the stories as much as we all have.

Journal Entry 26 by Thursday5 from Columbus, Ohio USA on Monday, July 24, 2006
What a treat to find this book in the mail when I got home from a trip. What an interesting journey this book has been on! It has had such interesting journal entries that I know I will enjoy reading it. Thanks so much AgathaMars.

Journal Entry 27 by Thursday5 from Columbus, Ohio USA on Thursday, August 03, 2006
This book traveled with me to the mountains of Colorado while on vacation and then back to Ohio via Houston, Texas. What a treasure this book is!!! I teach young gifted children and and the book awoke in me a renewed appreciation of their imagination. Like AgathaMars, I commented to several people while reading the book that it reminded me of Rod Sterling's TV show 'The Twilight Zone' which I loved as a child. Reserved for my daughter who is a science fiction aficionado.

Journal Entry 28 by Thursday5 from Columbus, Ohio USA on Monday, September 04, 2006
Sent to Singapore.

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