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In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories (1984)

by Alvin Schwartz

Other authors: Dirk Zimmer (Illustrator)

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1,3511212,288 (4.03)9
Seven scary stories to tell at night in front of a fire or in the dark, based on traditional stories and folktales from various countries.

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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Creak ... Crash ... BOO! Shivering skeletons, ghostly pirates, chattering corpses, and haunted graveyards ... all to chill your bones! Share these seven spine-tingling stories in a dark, dark room.
  BLTSbraille | Sep 2, 2021 |
That story about Jenny's green ribbon still haunts me ( )
  Faith_Murri | Dec 9, 2019 |
Loved this! Good for reluctant readers as this is a compilation of short horror stories but not too scary! ( )
  YukiNatsuo | Oct 27, 2019 |
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories is an early reader book of retold traditional scary folktales. For adult readers sharing the experience with a juvenile, it will bring back fond memories of slumber party and campfire scares or perhaps the exhilaration of reading terrifying tales by flashlight under the covers. It's a great read for Halloween, a stormy night, or maybe daytime for those more prone to nightmares.

For all that the stories are great and the art is wonderful, I can't give this book more than two stars for two reasons. First, traditional or no, the second story, "In the Graveyard" is fat-shaming. We know far too much now about the impact media has on young minds to justify putting a story in front of kids that centers around the idea that being undead is better than being fat.

Second, I read the 2017 reillustrated edition. There is absolutely no excuse in 2017 for HarperCollins to put out a kid's book with art that has nothing but white folks in it. There are obviously times and places where characters need to be a specific race or ethnicity due to the story; this is not one of those. Kids of every race like scary stories and there is simply no justifiable reason for them not to see themselves represented in this book. It's especially shameful because the whole reason publishers put reillustrated editions out is to catch the artwork up to modern times.

This book is appropriate for ages old enough to have a frank if simple discussion about racism and body positivity. If you're the kind of adult that's up for that, you have at with this anthology. Or better yet, grab some blankets and a flashlight, and spend some quality time terrifying your children yourself. But still have those discussions anyway!

(I'm so irate right now that a perfectly good story collection has been spoiled white supremacy. Seriously, HarperCollins, what were you thinking?) ( )
1 vote Zoes_Human | Apr 17, 2019 |
That story about Jenny's green ribbon still haunts me ( )
  Faith_Murri | Jan 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alvin Schwartzprimary authorall editionscalculated
Zimmer, DirkIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Seven scary stories to tell at night in front of a fire or in the dark, based on traditional stories and folktales from various countries.

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