Review Detail

Great selection of creepy stories
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Learning Value
 
5.0
Ghosts are something that middle school students still think might be real; we have a lot of conversations about this when I declare that speculative fiction involves "things that are unlikely to happen in your backyard", and sometimes students try to prove that ghosts are real by citing the fact that books about ghosts, like this one, are in the nonfiction section!

The stories are all very short, and arranged in themed chapters. We are delighted with creepy tales of ghost dogs and cats and ghosts at schools, and go further afield to ghosts in famous places like the White House, ghosts at war, and ghosts on trains and ships. There are even summer tales and holiday tales, and a story from the author's own experiences.

This book has a wide range of ghost stories from around the world. It was great to see this diversity, which ranges from a Missing Hitchhiker Tale from Somalia to a the haunted Music Hall in Cincinnati near the author's (and my) home! The discussion of La Llorona was especially interesting, since she figures largely in Mejia's Paola Santiago and the River of Tears.
Good Points
This was similar to Williams's recent True Hauntings: Deadly Disasters, but the stories were much shorter. I liked this length; the stories packed a creepy punch, and Hollihan gives plenty of tales to up the creep factor! There are even a few illustrations and photographs to add to the feeling that these things really happened! This would be perfect for starting a language arts class, since most of the stories are under two pages long, and would make a great resource for sleepovers or camp outs. Remember to hold that flashlight under your chin for increased spookiness!

This was a very beautifully formatted book; lots of pictures and illustrations, but the use of color is what really made this one pop. I love the use of blue and purple; it gave the book a nicely creepy feel to it. There's also a nice selected bibliography with books as well as online articles.

I'll have to go back and pick up Mummies Exposed!: Creepy and True (2019), especially since Ancient Egypt is in our 6th grade curriculum, (Although this apparently discusses other instances of mummification!) and make sure that I have this great volume on hand for Halloween.
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