Monday, October 11, 2010

Haunted Houses, by Robert San Souci - for kids who want creepy, scary stories (ages 9-12)

My students clamor for really scary stories, especially at this time of the year. They love, love, love Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. If your kids like those creepy stories, but are ready for longer short stories, check out Robert San Souci's Haunted Houses - it definitely got under my skin.
Haunted Houses (Are You Scared Yet?)
by Robert San Souci
illustrated by Kelly Murphy
NY: Henry Holt, 2010
ages 9 – 12
available on Amazon or at your local library
It isn’t often that I recommend a book that I haven’t read in its entirety, but I am – I admit it – a scaredy cat! You see, I started this collection, but I just couldn't finish it. And now, I can’t stop thinking about San Souci's creepy stories.

You’ll find ten tales of haunted houses in this collection by Robert San Souci, one of San Francisco’s great storytellers and folklore collectors. In one story, a boy’s family is vacationing in a house that is taken over by spiders. Now, these aren’t your typical garden spiders. They are spiders who want revenge for the damages done to their forest and homes. Danny starts to get worried when he finds the rabbit cage filled with spider webs, and then realizes that the bundles in the corner are the dead rabbits encased in spider webs. The story proceeds to even creepier, as Danny discovers more ways the spiders have wrecked damage on previous owners of the house. Needless to say, every time I walk into a spider’s web now, I jump even higher.

These stories are not for the faint-hearted or those prone to nightmares, but for kids looking for spine-tingling tales, this is your perfect find.

Robert D. San Souci is the award-winning author of the Short & Shivery series of tales, as well as many picture books based on folktales from around the world. He is also the author of Dare to Be Scared, named a Children's Choice for 2004 by the Children's Book Council.

The review copy came from my local bookstore, Mrs. Dalloway's, in Berkeley. They have a wonderful selection of children's books, and staff who can really help you find the right book for your child.

Please note, if you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this page, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support.

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