Portable Childhoods

by Ellen Klages

Portable Childhoods offers a tantalizing glimpse of what lies hidden just beyond the ordinary. Described by reviewers as timeless, delightful, chilling, and beautiful, this is short fiction at its best, emerging from a distinctive, powerful voice.


“This collection will linger in the memory long after reading and should help garner a larger audience for Klages’s forthcoming second novel.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Klages’ stories contain marvels—small, strange things lurking on the edges of normal life […] Klages creates wonder-filled and beautiful worlds in her short stories, making this a tremendously satisfying collection.”


“Klages knows that if you can get inside a child’s perspective, it’s all the fantasy you need, and she does it beautifully.”


“Klages’ superb first story collection […] strong emotional stories.”

Denver Post

“Consistently well written and emotionally stimulating, the book is one of the loveliest you’ll find.”

School Library Journal Online

“Highly recommended. I enjoyed each and every story in the collection.”


“Ellen Klages’s work seems as transparent as spring water, but this is a woman who knows that clarity and simplicity can pierce the heart.”

Peter Straub, World Fantasy Award-winning author of A Dark Matter and The Talisman (with Stephen King)

“Ellen Klages writes about childhood in brilliant, primary colors. Like Ray Bradbury, her nostalgic stories are like myths.”

Maureen McHugh, Hugo Award-winning author of China Mountain Zhang

“This delightful collection showcases the best of Klages. Her protagonists are lovable, her prose natural, and her charm evident throughout.”

Karen Joy Fowler, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Jane Austen Book Club

Awards & Accolades


2008 World Fantasy Award Finalist: “Best Collection”


Locus Award Nominee: “Best Collection”


“Flying Over Water” — 2001 Nebula Award Winner


“Basement Magic” — 2008 World Fantasy Award and Crawford Award nominee


“Time Gypsy” — 1999 Nebula and Hugo Award nominee