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The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural Paperback – January 9, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (January 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679890068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679890065
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

These 10 spine-tinglers range from straight-up ghost stories to eerie narratives. The tales in this winner of the 1993 Coretta Scott King Award depict racism, haunting and vengeance in a manner that can be read out loud around a campfire or savored privately, offering middle readers (fourth through eighth graders) thoughtful exposure to important, though frightening, historical themes. One tale, set in the segregated South of the 1940s, tells of a black man's ghost avenging his murder by a white klansman. McKissack's prose is smooth and understated, and its sense of foreboding is powerfully enhanced by Brian Pinkney's black-and-white scratch board illustrations. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In these stories?"haunting in both senses of the word," said PW's starred review?ghosts exact vengeance for lynchings, and slaves use ancient magic to ensure their freedom; historical backdrops run from the Underground Railroad to 1960s activism. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

I'm planning to buy this book.
Steven Adam Renkovish
The stories are simply told in a very straight-forward narrative.
"reviewer1"
I read this book when I was in sixth grade with my class.
"liki_gyrl"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Debbi on August 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a middle school reading teacher who was given a copy of this book when it was first released. I fell in love with the stories as did my students! Each school year I start by reading "The Chicken Coop Monster" with every emotional fiber in my body. I require my students to write down the 10 rules randomly disclosed in the through out the story. This school year the book is completely worn out and I purchased another! No story will disappoint you in this book. This book leaves my students in awe as I read the stories each year! Equally pleasing is the art work by Brian Pinkney.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "reviewer1" on September 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book received lots of awards and well-deserved them. The stories are simply told in a very straight-forward narrative. They are not spine-tingling, but more likely to make the reader look over his or her shoulder or jump at a sudden sound. Each story is prefaced with a note placing it in historical context. These brief notes contribute greatly to the richness of the tales. Great for Summer evenings, wonderful for Halloween, perfect for long winter nights--these stories open up world of fascination and questioning of the real. Recommended for kids in older grades (middle school and up).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was in middle school, and I haven't forgotten it since! I remember sitting in my living room and being very frightened when I read that book. The most harrowing tale (and the one that kept me up at night) was the one about the gingi from the Nigerian legend. McKissack's uses wonderful imagery and diction to convey stories not soon to be forgotten!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan B. Nelson on June 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read these short stories in Elementary school and I have re-read them every now and then since. The stories, and one long poem, are all top-quality that one remembers long after they have read them. They are haunting, magical and captivating especially "The Gingi" and "Boo Mama."
Not only are the stories imaginative, the unique illustrations add to the mood the tales create so that you will become completey absorbed.
Highly Reccomended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Plume45 on January 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book consists of ten eerie tales of the supernatural--begging to be read Alone on "a dark and stormy night," or retold around a friendly campfire. These tales present Black protagonists from the slave era, throughout American history, right up to the present. The title refers to the half hour of semi-darkness which precedes true nightful--when all tales seem spookier because of the shadows and rustling of nocturnal creatures.
The stories vary greatly in subject and style: slaves atempt to escape rather than be sold off, or they invoke ancient voodoo rituals to punish a cruel master. A callous bus driver gets a ghostly brand of justice; an old pullman porter tries to cheat death aboard the 11:59; a man uses ESP to try to
save his family. A distraught mother encounters a sasquatch; a little girl has an unreasonable terror of a monster in the chicken coop, and more.
My personal favorite presentsa Nigerian legend about the Dark Women who tried to cheat a goddess; they exist solely to trick unwary moderns into inviting them into their homes, where they wreak havoc upon the unsuspecting tenants who naively think they are safe in the 90's. Only the Gingi can protect these hapless souls from such vindictive spirits. Like Dracula lore, which insists that the victim must cross the threshhold of his own free will, the evil visitor must receive an invitation before entering. An entertaining and chilling anthology--for those with a premonition of disaster. There are no references to Halloween, yet this book makes for perfect October reading. Are you brave enough to finish it? BOO!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lucas Nishimoto on April 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
I first read this collection of short stories when I was in 4th grade. Now I'm a college student that's disecting this piece of literature for an M.D. dissertation!

This book is a terrific example of the power of words. The stories manage to be simple enough for a child to understand their deeper meanings, but also manage to cut to the core of any adult reader. The illustrations by Brian Pinkney do an excellent job of complementing the unique writing style of McKissack who does a stellar job at personalizing these supernatural tales.

Every once and a while, we all need to sit down with a cleverly written masterpiece. I strongly urge all of you out there to buy this book and absorb the knowledge it has within it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was in 6th grade with my class. We would read a story every day or week.(whenever we had the time) When it came time t read a story everyone would get real quiet.(which was surpising since I had a real bad class in 6th grade) The stories are spooky and also mysterious. You would start reading and you couldn't put the book down because you would just have to know the ending. This book was great!!!!!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alex Ory on January 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This was one of my favorite books as a child, and continues to be to this day. The lessons it teaches are wrapped in tales so entertaining I latched on to it for my entire life, despite my usual distaste for the genres associated with "Ghost Stories" or "Folk Tales." Finding it again here just reminded me of how much I loved it, and it will be added to the list of books to read to my children, in time.
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