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The August House Book of Scary Stories: Spooky Tales for Telling Out Loud Hardcover – August 16, 2009


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The August House Book of Scary Stories: Spooky Tales for Telling Out Loud + They're Coming For You: Scary Stories that Scream to be Read
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: August House (August 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874839157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874839159
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,715,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–8—Each of these 20 chilling tales is meant to be told out loud and includes author notes about how to maximize the spooky effect. Middle schoolers will relish reading and sharing these tales, hoping to creep each other out. While some of the stories are spookier than others, this is still a worthwhile addition for fans of Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (HarperCollins, 1986) and Robert D. San Souci's Short and Shivery (Random, 2001). The book also deserves a place in professional storytelling collections.—Esther Keller, I.S. 278, Marine Park, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

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All cultures have stories designed to scare, and most importantly educate children.
Midwest Book Review
While I agree wholeheartedly in these teachings, sometimes all they really want to hear is a good, old-fashioned spooky story.
Water Logged
The collection includes a variety of classic and original tales from an assortment of cultures and time periods.
Margaret Towery

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
All cultures have stories designed to scare, and most importantly educate children. "The August House Book of Scary Stories: Spooky Tales for Telling Out Loud" is a collection of scary stories for young people, drawn from a wide range of sources, ranging from folk tales from traditions around the world to urban legends. Also including the origins of each of its stories, "The August House Book of Scary Stories" is a good source for either those looking for stories or those who want a bit more of the history of the scary story. "The August House Book of Scary Stories" is a top pick.
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By Amanda L. Davis on November 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
These stories would be good to hear told out loud but aren't much fun to read. There's a bit of humor here but they aren't even a bit spooky. They couldn't hold my 7 year old's attention.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I needed some additional spooky tales for a storytelling opportunity and these fit the bill, nicely. I've always enjoyed reading and learning from the resources from the Parkhursts.
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Format: Hardcover
As a middle school language arts teacher, I know "The August House Book of Scary Stories" will be a useful addition to my classroom's shelves. Each story brings something new and unique to the entire collection, leaving the reader wanting more. From an educational viewpoint, I find the language to be appropriate for upper elementary school children. It does not speak down or above their current level(s) of reading.

One of my favorite stories is "Simon and the Magic Catfish". In this story, I could "hear" the beckoning call of the catfish ringing loudly in my ears. Written poetically, I imagine my students would be eager to act it out - from pantomiming catching the fish to subsequently cooking and eating the fish. Also, they would be invited to join in the chorus when it came to the paragraph that begins "Siiiiiiiiiiiimon! Siiiiiiiiiimon!...". I believe this would be a fun (and simple) story to read, even as a novice storyteller.

I enjoyed the story "One Lace Glove" for its eeriness and historical context. Most upper elementary students have heard about the Battle of Gettysburg. If they haven't, this story would make an excellent complement to a history lesson. Many students would perk up to hear about the battleground being haunted to this day. In fact, if I were to read this to the class, I would make sure they heard about the haunted grounds first - just to engage their interest. Then, I would reinforce the eeriness by reading the story.

The plots/themes are eye catching and engaging. The blend of religious ("St Peter and the Devil") and pagan symbolism (All Hallow's Eve) in "Mean John and the Jack O-Lantern" is a clever way to broach the subject of religious differences and beliefs.
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Format: Hardcover
This title is worth purchasing for classroom, family, library, and camp director collections. The physical size of the book and the short length of each tale make it an easy take-along for sleepovers and camping trips. The format is user-friendly--four stories in each of five categories--among them, Ghostly Guardians, Dark Humor, and Just Deserts. Tom Wrenn's artwork on the cover and at the start of each section is engagingly creepy, although the portrayal of a woman would have made more sense at the start of the Fearless Females section. (Happily, there are fearless woman characters in other sections of the book as well, such as Margaret Read MacDonald's "Dauntless Girl") The tales are shivery and often humorous but not gory or truly disturbing. In Kevin Cordi's "Aaron Kelly's Bones," for example, the title character returns from the grave to prevent his girl from finding a new beau, but she recognizes his skeleton only from the wristwatch the old skinflint wore in life. Aaron Kelly's bones end up flying all over the house, but one hits the cat box and sends kitty skittering. Kids will shake--first with fear and then with laughter. There is a justice in these stories that keeps young readers emotionally safe. The collection includes a variety of classic and original tales from an assortment of cultures and time periods. Stories include plenty of dialogue, helping to make these tales engaging to the listener. At my house we passed the book around and read to each other. My son worked on his presentation of Judy Sima's "The Boy Who Drew Cats" until he found just the right combination of voice and gesture. Another favorite was "The Gingerbread Boy," by Mary Hamilton, which began like Cinderella, progressed to a Hansel and Gretel, and ended up a twisted version of the title tale.Read more ›
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