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Half-Minute Horrors Hardcover – August 25, 2009
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How scared can you get in only 30 seconds? Dare to find out with Half-Minute Horrors, a collection of deliciously terrifying short short tales and creepy illustrations by an exceptional selection of writers and illustrators, including bestselling talents Lemony Snicket, James Patterson, Neil Gaiman, R.L.Stine, Faye Kellerman, Holly Black, Melissa Marr, Margaret Atwood, Jon Scieszka, Brett Helquist, and many more. With royalties benefiting First Book, a not-for-profit organization that brings books to children in need, this is an anthology worth devouring. So grab a flashlight, set the timer, and get ready for instant chills!Excerpts from Half-Minute Horrors
From School Library Journal
Grade 4–8—This thrilling addition to the shiver-inducing arsenal will appeal to even the most reluctant of readers. The book contains dozens of short (most are one to three pages long) tales that range from silly (Adam Rex's one-page graphic comic) to grotesque (M. T. Anderson's "An Easy Gig") to morbid (Faye Kellerman's "Deep Six"). Unlike many short-story collections, this anthology forms a cohesive unit based on its purpose—scaring children silly. It possesses that delicious campfire quality of urban legends and lame jokes told late at night when everyone wants to be entertained. Youngsters may choose to read it straight through or to browse the stories, folktales, poems, and illustrations that make up this eclectic yet unified volume. Chock-full of selections by notable contributors such as Lane Smith, Neil Gaiman, Kenneth Oppel, Jack Gantos, James Patterson, and R. L. Stine, Half-Minute Horrors is the perfect choice for that smirking child who disdains fiction starring happy puppies or home-run heroes.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT
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I grew up on those scary story books and don't remember being too horrified (I was properly horrified, not too horrified).
Some of these stories went over my head a bit, I admit. There were at least two I read and felt like I'd failed figuring out the puzzle. Why is Tiger Kitty so scary, for example? It's a cute cat that gets lost and, I assume, has a really really bad few days and comes back a changed feline (who wouldn't?) but that's as far as I could get my mind to go.
Overall this was quite a chilling compilation. I kept wondering to myself if I would ever let my children read them. I, personally, would probably be much more comfortable letting my (future) teens read something like this than my 8 year olds and I would be more likely to order this book for my YA collection and not the children's.
Parents of youngins should definitely give this book a read on their own first to test the waters. *grin* Dare you to read it at night.
This book was pure entertainment. I had a lot of fun reading it, not putting it down (Except for dinner) until I was finished. Some of the short stories were creepy, some hilarious, some you had to think about it for a while before you understood it's creepiness or hilarity. After the book was finished, I would keep going back to read a story here and there that I couldn't get out of my head. And after I returned it to the library, there were certain stories that I kept thinking that would have been so good in novel form.
A lot of my favorite authors contributed to this book. Joseph Delaney, Lemony Snicket, Pseudonymous Bosch, Jon Scieszka. It was a lot of fun a read things that weren't related to their other works (with the exception of Mr. Delaney) and that were sometimes written in complete different styles as their novels.
I greatly liked this book and, in case you guys haven't noticed yet, I obviously have a better opinion in books then anyone else here (Yeah, I know, I'm pretty awesome) so follow my advice. Read this book. It's pretty good.
Read it or I will eat your friggen' soul.
This book is perfect.
It has great writing and the stories are short -- really short. The longest ones are three pages.