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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin…

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (edition 2010)

by Alvin Schwartz, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

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1,455None5,125 (3.88)41
Title:Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Authors:Alvin Schwartz
Other authors:Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2010), Edition: Ill, Hardcover, 128 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:non-fiction, folk lore, scary, Halloween, campfires, pj, er

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz


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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Schwartz's collection of folk tales is scary but wonderful. A childhood wouldn't be complete without Gammell's chilling illustrations and the creepy folk tales, songs and stories that Schwartz presents. The book features big toes for supper, rotted flesh and bloody heads falling from the chimney, wolves that tear throats, and skeletal corpses that chase men in the night. The stories aren't inappropriate however, some of the stories are lighthearted and meant for campfires and sleepovers. Most children enjoy being scared through the safety of a book, and the details in the stories are never too graphic for the age of the audience. The text is meant to be read aloud and is large and well spaced, and the vocabulary is easy as well. Hearse songs, haunts and wendigos are among the reasons so many people have challenged this book, but these stories are based on traditional folktales and urban legends that have been told to children for over a century in some cases, and they are deeply rooted in our culture. The book is ensuring that they will be passed along to the next generation. ( )
  Honanb | Mar 17, 2014 |
I really liked this book even thought it might not be appropriate for all children because of the scary nature of the stories. Each story was told in a very entertaining way and the text even wrote notes for the reader to do while reading this story to other people. For example, in one story, the text is written like a poem and towards the end of the story there is a not for the reader telling him to "Jump at your friends and scream: AAAHHHH!" I really thought this was a great way to get the reader and the audience involved and engaged in the stories that were being told. I also really enjoyed the different type of writing styles that were throughout this book. While some stories were written in the traditional story format other were in poem format or were written in verses of songs. The different types of writing styles that were in this collection of stories really made it interesting for the reader and also when they were reading the stores to their friends. The illustrations that were throughout each story were really well done and added a lot to the 'creepiness' of each story while also giving readers a little help if they had trouble picturing something that the story was talking about such as zombies. Although this book did not have an overall message because it was a collection of different folktales, the theme of the book was all scary stories that were intended to make children be more careful when doing this like walking through the woods or meeting strangers like some of the stories suggested in the book. I really enjoyed reading this book and thought that this would be a very enjoyable book for children to read if they were not afraid of scary things. ( )
  ramber1 | Feb 26, 2014 |
"That person is calling from a telephone upstairs." she said. "You'd better leave. I'll get the police."

If those lines are familiar to you, you've got a pretty good idea of how scary you can expect Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz to be. A collection of urban legends, scary stories, and miscellany, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and its sequels were the most frequently challenged books during the nineties, according to the American Library Association.

If the stories aren’t so scary (and most of them aren’t), then why would people want to remove them from libraries so badly? I can’t speak for those who’d censor books, but I’d like to point out one of the book’s illustrations, drawn by Stephen Gammell.

(The illustration may be viewed on my blog.)

For a children’s book, that’s downright terrifying. I was definitely frightened by these illustrations as a kid. In fact, they’re still pretty unsettling.

It’s fortunate that the stories are much less frightening. The book consists of five sections, each containing several stories, along with a few sections of notes, at the end.

The first section, “Aaaaaaaaaaah!”, contains “jump stories.” These are stories which are to be concluded by the storyteller screaming and lunging at the audience. They’re not particularly scary, relying, I suppose, more on the storyteller’s screaming than the story itself. “Me Tie Dough-ty Walker!” is pretty memorable, though.

The second section, “He Heard Footsteps Coming Up the Cellar Stairs…”, includes some more traditional ghost stories, including “The Haunted House”, which the above illustration belongs to.

The third section, “They Eat Your Eyes, They Eat Your Nose”, contains some less common stories, like “The Wendigo”, and also “The Dead Man’s Brains”, the game where you pass around things and claim they’re something frightening or disgusting, such as saying that cold spaghetti is worms, or that peeled grapes are a dead man’s eyes.

The fourth section, “Other Dangers”, contains urban legends, such as “The Babysitter”, quoted earlier.

The fifth section, called “Aaaaaaaaaaah!”, like the first, contains stories meant to be funny, rather than scary. These sound like they’re going to be scary stories, and then have a twist to make you laugh.

After the stories, you’ll find a detailed notes and sources for the stories, along with a bibliography for those interested in further reading. It’s pretty unusual: the stories are written at a level that even children in elementary school can understand, but the end notes are quite detailed, as though Scary Stories were intended for people with a serious interest in folklore. It is quite interesting to read about the variations in the stories, and how they were collected, but I’m not sure I thought so when I read it for the first time, in elementary school.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark had two sequels, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones.

I think everyone ought to read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, for the illustrations if not for the stories. You've got to be careful, though--there's a new version with illustrations by Brett Helquist, but it's just not the same. ( )
  Sopoforic | Feb 6, 2014 |
I remember reading these stories to each other as a young girl and being scared not only of the stories themselves but also the creepy pictures within the covers. This book lead to many a sleepless night in my youth! ( )
  JEB5 | Oct 30, 2013 |
I'm 30-years-old and the illustrations in this book still creep me the hell out. ( )
  OstensiblyA1 | Sep 20, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Schwartz, Alvinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gammell, StephenIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064401707, Paperback)

This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz's popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright.

There is a story here for everyone -- skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney.

Stephen Gammell's splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories -- and even scary songs -- all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.

If You Dare!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:50 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Stories of ghosts and witches, "jump" stories, scary songs, and modern-day scary stories.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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