Don't Read This!: And Other Tales of the Unnatural

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Featuring stories by 11 renowned writers from Australia, Israel, Zimbabwe, England, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Canada and Spain, here is an anthology of creepy stories just for children that have never been published in the United States. Illustrations.

An international collection of ghost stories and spooky tales by such authors as Susan Cooper, Roberto Piumini, and Bjarne Reuter.

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Overview

Featuring stories by 11 renowned writers from Australia, Israel, Zimbabwe, England, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Canada and Spain, here is an anthology of creepy stories just for children that have never been published in the United States. Illustrations.

An international collection of ghost stories and spooky tales by such authors as Susan Cooper, Roberto Piumini, and Bjarne Reuter.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Readers with a taste for the eerie should ignore the advice proffered in this book's title. Most of these 11 entries boast suspenseful, usually unpredictable plots and believable characterizations despite the sometimes otherworldly scenarios depicted; taken from 11 different countries, the stories also feature smooth translations. Among the standouts is the title entry, by Italian Robert Piumini, in which the reader, warned repeatedly by the story itself ("Do not read me. Reading me brings bad luck"), is held accountable for three disasters. In Mahy's "Fingers on the Back of the Neck" (from Australia), a boy kills his great-grandmother, who had an annoying habit of stroking his neck, but her arthritic, "knobbly" fingers return to continue that practice forevermore. Bjarne Reuters (Denmark) and Uri Orlev (Israel) also contribute memorable pieces. Illustrated with black-and-white drawings. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Eleven haunted, haunting stories from all over the world written by well know authors such as Margaret Mahy, Susan Cooper and Uri Orlev have been pulled together in this book. These are great tales to be read in either a brightly-lit room or under the covers with a flashlight. As it is said, "Be afraid. Be very afraid." Recommended for those who dare.
VOYA - Randy Brough
Don't Read This! is a solid collection of eerie stories by an international cast of authors. Finger on the Back of the Neck by Margaret Mahy (Australia) is about an unpleasant boy, his great-grandmother, and the consequences of a heinous thing he does to her-very creepy. Uri Orlev's (Israel) The Song of the Whales is a dreamy, moving tale involving another nicer boy, and his odd relationship with his unusually gifted grandfather. The Mirror by Eiko Kadono (Japan) concerns a girl who gets trapped in a mirror by a spectral twin who takes the girl's place in the real world. Jordi Sierra i Fabra's (Spain) Uninvited Guests is an X-Files-ish chiller about the little creatures that take up residence in a boy's head. The title story by Roberto Piumini (Italy) effectively employs the curiosity killed the cat gambit to draw the reader into a series of increasingly horrible revelations. These stories are my favorites, but there are also quality contributions by Susan Cooper (United Kingdom), Bjarne Reuter (Denmark), and Paul Biegel (Netherlands). In fact, while there are no truly remarkable tales among the eleven, all are at least entertaining. And though the book is aimed at a much younger YA audience, I was frankly spooked by much of its contents. S-level readers might like this, but it would require some real pushing for them to pick it up; it is definitely not a Stephen King, V. C. Andrews, or Dean Koontz type of book. These are enjoyable, unsettling tales sans sex and gore-refreshing and recommended. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-An uneven collection of short shiveries from around the world. One of the bright spots is Susan Cooper's "Ghost Story," about the ghost of a teen tennis star trying to even the odds with the father he dislikes. The use of a computer as a ghostly communicating device is a nice touch, as is the teen narrator's sudden awareness that he does not have to follow in the ghost's footsteps. Another is Margaret Mahy's "Fingers on the Back of the Neck," in which a boy wants so badly to go to a posh private school that he murders his great grandmother for her money. What makes this story so chilling is not the way the woman's ghost entraps Ivor in the end, but the way his obsession with money and prestige at the age of 12 turns him into a cold-blooded killer. Kit Pearson's "The Eyes," about a doll who witnessed a horrible death many years ago, also perks up the drab tone of the anthology. The tension ebbs and flows nicely, giving readers a chance to recover before the final horror. Most of these stories would fit well on an episode of The Twilight Zone. They have the same dry, detached tone, and like the television program, they rely more on the normal becoming abnormal for creepiness rather than hokey masks and gore. While some of the stories are slow or stilted in translation, hard-core fans of the genre should find this collection interesting.-Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781886910225
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 11/11/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 213
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.61 (h) x 0.88 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2000

    Jedi Girl Reads the Scary Stuff

    In this book there are many stories. They are all of the supernatural, and contain some violent acts. They range from committing murder for money to a child with creatures in his head. Some of the stories are sad, yet some are frightening. When you read this book be sure that you are ready for that horror that lies written in its pages. I really enjoyed this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat until I finished a story; then when that one was over another one started. My favorite story was 'Don't Read This!' This book puts a spell on you and you are dragged into the pages as the events happen. There is no escape until you have read from cover to cover. Short Stories ***** Reviewed by: Stevie Schlenker

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