Saturday, November 10, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Title:  More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Author:  Alvin Schwartz

Artist: Stephen Gammell

Genre: Horror / Short Story

Year Published: 1984

Year Read: 2012

Series: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark #2

Publisher: HarperCollins

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 8+ (Scary Situations and Frightening Imagery)


After reading the first book “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” I just had to read up on the sequel, “More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” which is also written by Alvin Schwartz along with illustrations by Stephen Gammell. “More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is a continuation of the first book and we are introduced to more spine-tingling tales from this fantastic series as you will definitely be sitting on the edge of your seats after you read this collection of scary stories!

Just like the first book, this book basically contains a collection of scary stories to tell in the dark and they include:

One Sunday Morning

A young woman named Ida decided to go to church on Sunday morning and when she made it to the church, she started to realize that the people at the church were not normal as she saw one of her friends, Josephine Kerr, attend the service, even though she died a month ago…

The Little Black Dog

Billy Mansfield was fighting a man named Silas Burton, who was an enemy of his family and when Billy knocked Silas off his horse, he ended up killing Silas along with his black dog when the dog started barking at Billy.  Unfortunately after that incident, Billy starts noticing a strange black dog following him around…

The Bride

A minister’s daughter just got married and after the wedding ceremony, she decided to play hide and seek and she hid inside a trunk in the attic.  Unfortunately, the lid of the trunk dropped on the daughter and locked her inside the trunk and everyone at the wedding ceremony did not even know that she is missing!

Once again, I was blown away by this collection of scary stories from the creative retellings of Alvin Schwartz!  Alvin Schwartz has done a brilliant job at retelling these ancient scary folktales as each story is just as creepy and intense as the last story and the twist endings are enough to make you scream!  I loved the way that Alvin Schwartz provided an eerie atmosphere to each story as it makes the audience feel scare for the characters and the supernatural activities that surround them and it really brought out the creativity of this book.  I also loved the fact that Alvin Schwartz took the time to research the various folktales dealing with horror and I loved the fact that Alvin Schwartz provided a bibliography section at the end of the book so that way you would be able to go back and check the original sources of these tales!  I enjoyed most of the stories in this collection, but my most favorite stories would have to be “The Bride,” “The Little Black Dog,” “One Sunday Morning,” “Wonderful Sausage” and “The Cat in a Shopping Bag.” Stephen Gammell’s illustrations are as usual, eerily and brilliantly done as the artwork is truly frightening to look at and the black and white colorings of the illustrations really bring out the creepy feel to the stories.  There is much creepy imagery in this book, but probably the scariest image in this book was of the skeletal bride in “The Bride.” 

Just like the first book, this book might be too scary for small children since there are stories about characters being killed and haunted by supernatural forces.  Also, what always made this series so scary for small children is the fact that the illustrations are truly scary and small children might not be able to get through this book because of the scary illustration.  As for why I took off half a point from the rating, I felt that this book was using the same structure that was used in the first book such as in stories like “Cemetery Soup” where the character always steal something from the dead and something haunts them at the end.

Overall, “More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is just another addition to your “Horror Books for Children” shelf that you just got to check out!  I would recommend this book to children ages eight and up since the often spooky content in this book is too scary for small children.

REASON FOR BEING BANNED: Unsuited for age group, violence

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