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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Collected from American Folklore Paperback – July 9, 1986

3.7 out of 5 stars 344 customer reviews

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fine collection of short tales to chill the bones of young and old with interesting notes for folktale buffs." -- -- Children's Books 1981 (NY Public Library).

"A fine collection of short tales to chill the bones of young and old with interesting notes for folktale buffs." -- -- Children's Books 1981 (NY Public Library).

"[Includes] traditional ghost tales, contemporary folklore, and chilling stories with surprise endings. . . .Superb illustrations." -- -- H.

About 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.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Series: Scary Stories
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (July 9, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064401707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064401708
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (344 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,191,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was extremely disappointed when I found out about a reprinting of Scary Stories with a new illustrator. Like many adults I grew up reading these books by myself and with friends. The best part of reading these stories was turning the page to see what sick illustration was next. They creeped you out and I know I am not alone when I say that as an adult, they still creep me out. That's what is so fun about them to this day. I lament that this generation of readers will read a version of Scary Stories with watered down illustrations because uptight and squeamish parents have tried to ban these books from libraries. I have the originals and I will keep them for posterity.
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Format: Hardcover
PLEASE READ!

This collection of folklore is absolutely wonderful. Alvin Schwartz writes in a style that is both easy to read and has a lasting effect that tells the story in a unique way for readers of all ages.

But...

I am VERY disappointed in the artwork. I have the original copies that were printed in the early 90's with illustrations by Steven Gammell. If you wish to see a some examples of his works, here are some links:

[...]

I'm not knocking Brett Helquist; his style is well suited for "Series of Unfortunate Events" but not Alvin Schwartz' "Scary Stories" collection. Some reviewers wrote that this collection was not scary at all; I beg to differ....

The reason the stories are scary is because of the ART! There's the overused saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" ... that sums up Steven Gammell. I first read these books in third grade and they stuck with me ever since, simply because of the terribly gruesome and disturbing imagery. The stories by themselves are uninteresting and honestly, Brett Helquist's illustrations do not give this book series justice whatsoever!!

I also realize that the older copies that have Steven Gammell's illustrations are hard to find here on Amazon. This saddens me... If you happen to find the originals, PLEASE buy them. You won't regret it.

See for yourself. You make the judgement call.
4 Comments 207 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I'm sure the editors at HarperCollins thought by changing the powerful (and controversial) imagery of this book, they'd sell more copies. Nothing like compromising art and expression to sell out.

1/5 stars for this homogenized shadow of the original book.
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Format: Hardcover
Shame on Harper Collins for re-releasing these books without Stephen Gammell's artwork! These "new" drawings are awful and ridiculous. Buy The Scary Stories Treasury instead, as it has all the original books intact.
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Format: Hardcover
Alvin Schwartz's stories always played second fiddle to Stephen Gammell's art. Without it, this book is not worth anyone's time or money. Avoid it and seek the originals.
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Format: Paperback
This version does not include the gruesome illustrations of the original that still haunt me every once in a while. The book has been controversial because of the uncensored gore and terrifying images. This version is compromised fluffy camping-trip stories.
2 Comments 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
How dare they censor the original?? The Stephen Gammel illustrations were incredible! The art was what made these books great! The writing is still good, but the new drawings are just nowhere near as good as the old ones! Skip this one and buy the old version(s)!!
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Format: Hardcover
Without Stephen Gammell's artwork, these are pretty close to worthless.

Why would they EVER replace the original, incredible artwork? The reality is, Harper Collins, that Stephen Gammell's artwork MADE these classics.

The artwork now is unoriginal, not the least bit frightening (or artful), and does nothing to complement the stories.

Huge mistake. Someone should be fired. At least five people should be fired... and blacklisted.

This is an atrocity.

Prospective buyers: go buy the other versions! Oh, that's right, they're extremely expensive. I wonder why, Harper Collins? You fools.

And again for good measure: you fools.
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