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On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by…
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On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave

by Candace Fleming

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1261795,586 (3.17)7
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Bleh. Maybe I should have known by the childish (yet cute) cover that these ghost stories were going to be lame, but since Halloween is approaching I thought I’d try it out. The story starts with Mike driving home and picking up a girl on the side of the road. Ok, so this has been done a million times because (Surprise! Surprise!), she is a ghost. So Mike finds himself in a graveyard in a section just for teenagers and he has to listen to the story of how each one died.

I made it through the second story before I decided my time could be better spent elsewhere. They were boring camp fire stories with lame characters and not so scary endings for an elementary school student. Maybe it was just me who doesn’t get scared easily, but it seemed like the author wrote a bunch of short ghost stories with teen characters and was looking for a way to get them published, so she combined them with a narrow storyline of Mike having to go into this graveyard. The only interesting thing was the ghost stories took place within the last hundred years and each character lived in a specific time period, 1920’s, 1940’s, etc.

Each teen’s story is read by a different voice actor and this was a good way of differentiating Mike and all the other characters; making each of their stories unique. ☊ ★★★★☆ ( )
  clockwork_serenity | Jan 23, 2016 |
Bleh. Maybe I should have known by the childish (yet cute) cover that these ghost stories were going to be lame, but since Halloween is approaching I thought I’d try it out. The story starts with Mike driving home and picking up a girl on the side of the road. Ok, so this has been done a million times because (Surprise! Surprise!), she is a ghost. So Mike finds himself in a graveyard in a section just for teenagers and he has to listen to the story of how each one died.

I made it through the second story before I decided my time could be better spent elsewhere. They were boring camp fire stories with lame characters and not so scary endings for an elementary school student. Maybe it was just me who doesn’t get scared easily, but it seemed like the author wrote a bunch of short ghost stories with teen characters and was looking for a way to get them published, so she combined them with a narrow storyline of Mike having to go into this graveyard. The only interesting thing was the ghost stories took place within the last hundred years and each character lived in a specific time period, 1920’s, 1940’s, etc.

Each teen’s story is read by a different voice actor and this was a good way of differentiating Mike and all the other characters; making each of their stories unique. ☊ ★★★★☆ ( )
  clockwork_serenity | Jan 23, 2016 |
Bleh. Maybe I should have known by the childish (yet cute) cover that these ghost stories were going to be lame, but since Halloween is approaching I thought I’d try it out. The story starts with Mike driving home and picking up a girl on the side of the road. Ok, so this has been done a million times because (Surprise! Surprise!), she is a ghost. So Mike finds himself in a graveyard in a section just for teenagers and he has to listen to the story of how each one died.

I made it through the second story before I decided my time could be better spent elsewhere. They were boring camp fire stories with lame characters and not so scary endings for an elementary school student. Maybe it was just me who doesn’t get scared easily, but it seemed like the author wrote a bunch of short ghost stories with teen characters and was looking for a way to get them published, so she combined them with a narrow storyline of Mike having to go into this graveyard. The only interesting thing was the ghost stories took place within the last hundred years and each character lived in a specific time period, 1920’s, 1940’s, etc.

Each teen’s story is read by a different voice actor and this was a good way of differentiating Mike and all the other characters; making each of their stories unique. ☊ ★★★★☆ ( )
  clockwork_serenity | Jan 23, 2016 |
I thought the book was okay. It had some good stories in it and I'd suggest it for the Holloween season. It's, as the titles says, stories about the day the characters in the book died. Quick somewhat creepy read. 3.5 out of 5 stars. ( )
  Beammey | Nov 27, 2015 |
Mike Kowalski is just your average high school teen with a midnight curfew. Glancing at his car's dashboard clock, he realizes that he is running late again. Ignoring his ringing cell phone, he steps on the gas. Suddenly his car's headlights spotlight a girl standing directly in his path. Slamming on the brakes, Mike narrowly misses her. That's when things begin to get strange. The pale girl is wet, cold, and needs a ride home. What is Mike to do? He can't just leave her there.

After dropping her off, Mike notices her brand new saddle shoes on the floor of his car. He returns to the girl's house only to be told by her mother that she died many years ago. If Mike wants to return the shoes, he'll have to go to White Cemetery, a place just for young people. When he arrives, the cemetery seems forgotten and abandoned, but soon he realizes he's not alone. One by one the ghosts emerge all around him. Mike is horrified to discover that he cannot leave until he hears their stories...their death stories. Before the night is through, Mike will have heard them all, but will he be allowed to leave or will he become one of them?

The Bottom Line: This collection of short ghost stories takes place in the Chicagoland area; some are even loosely based on well-known urban legends and lore. Since Fleming's characters span different decades from 1853 - 2012, each short story is like a time capsule. While Mike's character is used to bind the stories together, each ghost has a unique voice. Thus, the short stories could easily stand alone; you could even skip a story or two without missing beat.

Although some of these stories are more original than others, all are fun and creepy. This quick read is recommended for kids in middle school who enjoy horror, paranormal, historical, and even science fiction. The characters are almost evenly divided between male and female characters appealing to both boys and girls. And don't forget, short ghost stories are always a hit around Halloween. Also, for those interested in Chicago urban legends, the author includes a notes section.

This review also appears at the Mini Book Bytes Book Review Blog. ( )
  aya.herron | Oct 13, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375867813, Hardcover)

The phenomenally versatile, award-winning author, Candace Fleming, gives teen and older tween readers ten ghost stories sure to send chills up their spines. Set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago, each story takes place during a different time period from the 1860's to the present, and ends with the narrator's death. Some teens die heroically, others ironically, but all due to supernatural causes. Readers will meet walking corpses and witness demonic posession, all against the backdrop of Chicago's rich history—the Great Depression, the World's Fair, Al Capone and his fellow gangsters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:15 -0400)

In a lonely Illinois cemetery one cold October night, teen ghosts recount the stories of their deaths in different time periods, from 1870 to the present, to sixteen-year-old Mike, who unknowingly picked up a phantom hitchhiker.

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