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The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural Paperback – January 9, 2001
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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Top customer reviews
Patricia McKissack's The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural (1992, Scholastic Inc.) is filled with creepy, disturbing tales that depict not only the supernatural, but the natural horrors African Americans have faced in the South for centuries. Humans, not the super-human, are the real villains of these tales as racism, hatred, and ignorance fuel violence and anguish. Justice and revenge are themes that crop up over and over again. These tales are dark and gruesome, and may scare some readers with their depiction of lynching and death. The language, too, may offend as the stories offer a historically accurate picture of racism in the South. However, McKissack's slow build of tension and spine tingling twists will pull readers through story after story.
Although The Dark-Thirty doesn't hold quite the charm now that it did for my younger self, it is still a nice read. The stories are sometimes the bland ghost stories that there are far too many of in children's anthologies, but mostly this book has a solid collection of unique and haunting tales. They are also told with historical context in mind, and that gives them an even more engaging context. For younger readers, it is a wonderful collection of ghost stories and folklore, from a perspective that not enough young adult books get to see.