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The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural

The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural

4.3 8
by Patricia C. McKissack, Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)

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This Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award Winner from beloved author Patricia McKissack offers a “stellar collection” of “ten original stories, all with a foundation in African-American history or culture” (School Library Journal).
In that special half-hour of twilight—the dark-thirty—there


This Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award Winner from beloved author Patricia McKissack offers a “stellar collection” of “ten original stories, all with a foundation in African-American history or culture” (School Library Journal).
In that special half-hour of twilight—the dark-thirty—there are stories to be told. Mesmerizing and breathtakingly original, these tales are inspired by African American history and range from the time of slavery to the civil rights era. With her extraordinary gift for suspense, Patricia C. McKissack has created a heart-stopping collection of lasting value, a book not quickly forgotten.
An ALA Notable Children’s Book
An NCSS-CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
An IRA Teachers’ Choice

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a stellar collection..."--School Library Journal, starred review

"These original, short and ghostly stories, which come with brief historical introductions placing them in the American South, are grand for reading aloud."--The New York Times Book Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When I was growing up in the South, writes McKissack, we called the half hour just before nightfall the dark-thirty. Her nine stories and one poem, however, are far too good to be reserved for that special time when it is neither day nor night and when shapes and shadows play tricks on the mind. These short works-haunting in both senses of the word-explore aspects of the African American experience in the South, from slavery to the Underground Railroad and emancipation, from the era of Pullman cars to the desegregation of buses, from the terror of the Ku Klux Klan to '60s activism. Here, African Americans' historical lack of political power finds its counterbalance in a display of supernatural power: ghosts exact vengeance for lynchings; slaves use ancient magic to enforce their master's promise of emancipation. As carefully executed as McKissack's writings, Pinkney's black-and-white scratchboard illustrations enhance the book's atmosphere, at once clearly regional in setting and otherworldly in tone. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
This 1992 Newbery Award runner-up has a somber quality. It also won the 1993 Coretta Scott King Author Award. Most of the stories have undercurrents of racial prejudice, which give a super-special spine-tingle. Stories include backdrops such as the Montgomery bus boycott and the KKK of the thirties. McKissack skillfully blends history, story and truth to profoundly affect readers eight and up.
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
This collection contains ten original ghost stories with African American themes ranging from the time of Slavery to the Civil Rights Era. Keeping with the oral storytelling tradition, these tales should be told at a special time called the dark-thirty--the half hour before sunset--when ghosts seem all too believable and shadows play tricks on the mind. Suspenseful, heart-stopping stories such as "Boo Mama," "The Chicken-Coop Monster," and "The Woman in the Snow" are accompanied by eerie black and white scratch-board illustrations.
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-- Ten original stories, all with a foundation in African-American history or culture. Some are straight ghost stories, many of which are wonderfully spooky and all of which have well-woven narratives. There is a tale from slavery times; a story set among the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; and one from the 1940s segregated South, in which a black man's ghost brings revenge upon the white klansman who murdered him. Strong characterizations are superbly drawn in a few words. The atmosphere of each selection is skillfully developed and sustained to the very end. Pinkney's stark scratch-board illustrations evoke an eerie mood, which heightens the suspense of each tale. This is a stellar collection for both public and school libraries looking for absorbing books to hook young readers. Storytellers also will find it a goldmine. --Kay McPherson, Central Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, GA

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.63(h) x 0.38(d)
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Patricia C. McKissack lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
Brian Pinkney lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Dark-thirty : Southern Tales of the Supernatural 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book as a child. I cant wait to share it with my children and students!I hope it will spark their fire and cause a thirst for reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book a few years ago and there was a story called Boo Mama that caught my eye and for 2 years i couldnt get that story out of my head i searched everywhere for it but couldnt remember the title of this book! Thanks to the internet i have once again found a wonderful story that has been in my head for a few years i <3 u internet!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of those books that I put off reading, in part because it looked somewhat juvenile. What a delightful surprise! This is a collection of ten folk stories that focus on stories that are sometimes frightening, but all connected to the supernatural as well as the African American experience. The Author¿s Note sets the tone for what the reader is about to encounter, and each story has a short paragraph that provides background or context. The voice is very much that of a storyteller, making these stories ideal for teachers who are teaching storytelling or folk tales. The subject matter is infused with history that can provide a basis for discussion about race, civil rights, and other social issues. As with any anthology or collection, readers will pick and choose favorite stories. All of the selections are so well written, it will be difficult for readers to choose. The format looks as though this is a book more suitable for younger children, but the adage, ¿Don¿t judge a book by its cover,¿ definitely applies. The illustrations look like wood etchings (lending a more artsy feel), the font is large and well spaced. In spite of that, some of the stories raised the hair on the back of my neck, and I¿m not easily impressed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿The Dark Thirty¿ is a wonderful spine tingling book. It contains 9 different thrilling stories and 1 fantastic poem that will all make you feel the chills. This book is an excellent choice for Halloween or all year round! It has some large words so I would recommend it for ages 10 and up. These stories are not only thrilling but they have a lot of facts in them as well. The facts are about slavery and life around the 1980¿s. There is also some about a bus boycott and the Ku Klux Klan. The stories are great too. Some of the titles are called ¿Boo Mama¿ and ¿The women in the snow.¿ One story is about a young girl who goes to visit a magic woman and wishes to have a brother. She wakes up the next morning and her whole life is changed until one summer day he disappears and the magic lady is gone too! You will have to read the book to find out more! Well I rate this as a 5 star book. It¿s great and really exciting! So add one to your library today! And enjoy reading these spine tingling tales! They are great to read and then reread over and over. So... Keep reading!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book will have you scared for days, this collection of tales is very horrific, and is a must read book. I highly recomend you read and buy it.