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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

( 54 )

Overview

Are you brave enough for Scary Stories?

Some boys and girls were at a party one night. There was a graveyard down the street, and they were talking about how scary it was.

"Don't ever stand on a grave after dark," one of the boys said. "The person inside will grab you."

"A grave doesn't scare me," said one of the girls. "I'll do it right now. . . ."

Welcome to the macabre world of Scary Stories. Inside, you'll find alarming tales of horror, ...

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Overview

Are you brave enough for Scary Stories?

Some boys and girls were at a party one night. There was a graveyard down the street, and they were talking about how scary it was.

"Don't ever stand on a grave after dark," one of the boys said. "The person inside will grab you."

"A grave doesn't scare me," said one of the girls. "I'll do it right now. . . ."

Welcome to the macabre world of Scary Stories. Inside, you'll find alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and the supernatural, with spine-tingling illustrations by renowned artist Brett Helquist.

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

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book Magazine
“This new edition is handsome and accessible; now young readers have a choice of how scared they want to be—just a little, or a whole lot. ”
New York Public Library
A fine collection of short tales to chill the bones of young and old with interesting notes for folktale buffs.
Children's Literature
Divided into five sections, this collection of American folklore has a little of everything—but not enough of anything. The opening chapter, "'jump stories' to make friends JUMP with fright," is varied but uninspired. In the opening tale, a big toe is discovered, brought home, cooked, and eaten. Are you entertained so far? The allegedly scary bit is when the storyteller accuses a listener of possessing said toe. The best offering is "A Man Who Lived in Leeds," a creepy, catchy rhyme of nonsense . . . or is it? The second section's theme is ghosts. The first selection involves two friends chased by a skeleton; a year later, one of the friends dies . . . and "looked just like the skeleton." The following story, "Cold as Clay," is a strong, spine-tingling one. The rest range from pointless to gruesome: "the flesh was dropping off her face . . . She had no eyeballs . . . and no nose." Chapter three is particularly rife with nightmarish, disturbing images. Chapter four consists of stories that "young people tell about dangers we face in our lives today." The only outstanding entry is "High Beams," in which a teenage girl is stalked by a car. It turns out that the bad guy is already in her car and the "stalker" was trying to warn her! The final chapter is devoted to tales meant to amuse rather than frighten. Only the first two succeed. The black-and-white illustrations by Caldecott winner Gammell are outstanding; next to them, the stories, not the readers, pale. A twenty-fifth anniversary edition. 2006 (orig. 1981), HarperCollins, and Ages 10 to 14.
—Naomi Milliner <%ISBN%>0397319266
Children's Literature - Elizabeth D. Schafer
Ghosts, monsters, and creepy creatures beckon for readers' attention and stretch their imaginations in this folklore collection that offers a satisfying smorgasbord of stories which will startle, repulse, and bemuse, causing people to squirm, with their spookiness and grotesqueness. Adapted from folktales, some which have been told and revised by generations of storytellers, stories contain familiar horror archetypes, particularly vanishing hitchhikers and hooks clinging to car doors. Illustrations capture ghastly imagery, complementing the text. The introduction emphasizes the importance of sharing eerie tales aloud, referring to advice in William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale how to lure listeners closer while telling frightening stories. The first chapter, "Aaaaaaaaaaah!," features six jump stories which incorporate sudden exclamatory endings intended to alarm people so much they physically react. "The Big Toe" and "What Do You Come For?" involve malevolent body parts. Ghosts haunt five tales in the second chapter, "He Heard Footsteps Coming up the Cellar Stairs..."Vengeance motivates "The White Wolf" ghost. Another ghost promises to reward a preacher who assures her murderer is punished in "The Haunted House." The third section, "They Eat Your Eyes, They Eat Your Nose," describes supernatural animals scaring people in "Alligators" and "A New Horse." Urban folklore inspires four cautionary stories in the fourth chapter, "Other Dangers," addressing courtship hazards and predators in familiar places, including strangers lurking in cars and homes. The final chapter, also titled "Aaaaaaaaaaah!," presents six darkly humorous items. Provides source notes and bibliography. For papers or projects, readers can identify versions of these stories told in their communities or adapt favorite tales for unique retellings. Reviewer: Elizabeth D. Schafer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060835200
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/27/2010
  • Series: Scary Stories Series
  • Pages: 113
  • Sales rank: 42,599
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Alvin Schwartz is known for his more than two dozen books of folklore for young readers that explore everything from wordplay and humor to tales and legends of all kinds. Don't miss his other Scary Stories collections, including More Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Roger, The Jolly Pirate, to the alarming New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, to the cozy E. B. White Read-Aloud Award finalist bedtime for bear. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Something Was Wrong

One morning John Sullivan found himself walking along a street downtown. He could not explain what he was doing there, or how he got there, or where he had been earlier. He didn't even know what time it was.

He saw a woman walking toward him and stopped her. "I'm afraid I forgot my watch," he said, and smiled. "Can you tell me the time?" When she saw him, she screamed and ran.

Then John Sullivan noticed that other people were afraid of him. When they saw him coming, they flattened themselves against a building, or ran across the street to stay out of his way.

"There must be something wrong with me," John Sullivan thought. "I'd better go home."

He hailed a taxi, but the driver took one look at him and sped away.

John Sullivan did not understand what was going on, and it scared him. "Maybe somebody at home can come and get me," he thought. He found a telephone and called his wife, but a voice he did not recognize answered.

"Is Mrs. Sullivan there?" he asked.

"No, she is at a funeral," the voice said. "Mr. Sullivan was killed yesterday in an accident downtown."

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Copyright © by Alvin Schwartz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 54 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 14, 2013

    I loved this book! I have the whole collection. I am glad I boug

    I loved this book! I have the whole collection. I am glad I bought them before they changed the outer covers that they sell with today.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    Provides everything but the scare

    Which is not a bad thing! These are some very familiar, in some cases, very OLD, spooky stories of the kinds that kids and grownups have been telling around campfires from time immemorial. The style and tropes of story-telling have changed over the centuries, even over decades, so some of these seem a little pointless, or fall flat, when you just read them out of the book to yourself. But if you get the dramatization right, the timing, the hushing of voice, the expression of your eyes, just right - and the only light flickers just inside your little circle of wide-eyed listeners, with darkness and mystery looming right over your shoulders - some of these stories will have sleeping bags scrunched VERY close together for the rest of the night. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants some great spooky slumber party or campfire stories to scare the bejeezus out of your audience.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    Bought for my grandson who loves scary stories. He loves it and would recommend it to anyone interested in scary stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2011

    SCARY STORIES CHILL MY BONES

    Scary stories chill my bones the one story I loved is called the hook! The main characters are Donald and Sarah. The hook is about a boy and girl who go to the movies and heard some murder was on the loose with a hook for a hand it was very frightening and a real bone chiller. Another one of my favorites is called The Big Toe. It's main Character is a little boy that digs up a big toe and later that night he ate it for dinner. This one is my very favorite of them all It's called Cold as Clay. The main characters are a farmer his daughter and his daughter's love Jim. Now the daughter got sent away and while she was gone he died. I'm not telling any more so read it if you dare.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2011

    Great for older kids!

    I loved this collection when I was in late elementary/early middle school. I remember my 5th grade homeroom teacher letting me read these stories to my class and scaring the snot out of them.

    I've read that these books have been banned in many schools due to the "disturbing artwork" and the fact that the stories are too scary. The bottom line is this: Know your kids. I really don't think they're inappropriate for older kids, such as 4th grade and up, but they would be too intense for younger kids.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Creepy

    Haven't read this in years. The short stories are creepy and some you might recognize. What makes it even more creepy is the drawings. Definitely worth reading, especially on Halloween.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2010

    Are You Scared Yet?

    Are you scared yet.? That's just one of the many horrifying lines that Alvin Schwartz writes. Each story makes you want to scream like my favorite story. Its about these 3 brothers. They are home alone with there baby sitter, when the phone rings and everything goes dark. Theres footsteps slowly creeping down the steps when out of no where..

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  • Posted November 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my favorite scary books.

    This book is so scary that kids and parents will like it to. Now what I really wanted to say is that this book is great.

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    love this book!!

    When I was about nine I found this book in my school library. I absolutely loved it. That was sixteen years ago and I still enjoy it. I'm a childrens lead at Barnes and Noble and I always recommend this book to the older kids if there looking for a scary book.

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  • Posted April 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Scary Book

    The Book is gruesome, filled with many stories. Stories that make you laugh and be afraid. Amazing drawings and story (or multiple stories), but i dont know if getting scared is a good lesson? Or not? The book is very short and can probably be read in an hour and a half, with normal-big size writing.

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  • Posted March 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Still Love it!

    I absolutely love all the books in this collection. I first read these books when I was 9 years old. That was almost 20 years ago. They stayed in my collection throughout the years because these stories stayed with me. I am actually writing this review because I'm buying the series for my daughter. I can't even pick a favorite because I love them all, they are some of the spookiest stories I have ever read, and let me tell you, I have read a lot of spooky books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 16, 2009

    BOOK REVIEW FOR SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK- ALVIN SCHWARTZ (DON'T READ)

    I read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. I would give this book a three out of 5 star rating. I give it this rating because the book was a good idea mainly because of the fact that it involves the reader(s) participation other than just picking it up and reading it, what I mean is that at the end of a story or when the story reaches a climax, the book tells you to scream at the audience or something like that. It is also full of poems and songs along with stories and "creepy" tales. I gave it the second star because it was somewhat creepy. but Alvin Schwartz definately could've written the stories with more detail.
    For that reason, I didn't like the book. It made for an extremely boring read because it was like a 5th grader wrote it. It was probably meant for 4th graders, but that doesn't mean that it can't be written less boringly if that's a word.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2009

    This collection never gets old!

    i remember reading these in elementary school just to scare the crap out of all my friends. Today reading these stories i am still creeped out but i love it! This collection of books will never get old. Its a great book for people of all ages.

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  • Posted January 24, 2009

    Creepy and Love It

    This book kept me on the edge of my seat. The book has a few scary and mystery stories. My favorite scary story is " There Is Room For One More". My favorite mystery story is "The Babysitter". I think kids ages 7 and up should read this. This is the best book ever!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2009

    Scary Story Review

    The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was awful; and I¿ll tell you why. One of the stories is about screaming, bloody heads dropping from a fireplace. Another is about a boy who finds a hairy toe in the ground, and it¿s not connected to a body! The rest of the stories have the same affect on me; they all were terrifying to me! It¿s fine to read the book, if you want to sleep with one eye open for a month! Keep this book away from little children! Reading this book left me wanting to burn it on a cold day! DON¿T READ IT!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Spooky Tales Indeed

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Collected from American Folklore was the first horror short stories that I've ever read. And it totally scared the crap out of me. I loved reading it during Halloween time. These tales are wicked great spine chills.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

    dsfsd

    sdfsdf

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    very scary

    short stories that are really scary and give you chills.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2008

    KAYLA

    I love love love this book...I used to read this book to my little cousins about 10yrs ago... they still to this day talk about how fun it was when they slept over and i would read this book to them in the dark with a flashlight! This book helped to created some really fun memories! Now i have a daughter who gets a kick out of being scared, so i will pass down the fun to her:)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Collected from American Folklore

    It was fun to read, and there were a lot of stories to read. The stories were ok. One of the stories was about a boy who found a toe in the garden, and ate it for dinner. Then the ghost haunted him one night.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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