Scary schmary

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It's October and Halloween candy has been in the stores for several weeks now, so I suppose it's not too early to start talking about scary stories.

Author David Lubar offers up a third volume in his "Warped and Creepy Tales" series. lists The Curse of the Campfire Weenies: And Other Warped and Creepy Tales as appropriate for children age 9-12, but I'd go a little younger than that, especially if you have a first- or second-grader at an advanced reading level...

The Curse of the Campfire Weenies

And don't worry about them getting too scared. I read a half dozen of these stories, and even though I'm not a kid anymore (at least in age!), I can remember reading much creepier tales — and I was a kid that was easily scared.

The stories are short, which is another reason these stories can be good for younger kids who might otherwise get easily distracted.

If Lubar wants to get truly scary and maybe aim for that older audience, he ought to flesh out the tales a bit because in every tale, just when you expect something really scary to happen, everything is back to normal, or the story ends and you realize you never got scared.

In "Mr. Hoohaa!" for example, a kid creeped out by clowns doesn't want to help his mom with his little brother's birthday party. Well, Mr. Hoohaa doesn't exactly do anything creepy; all he does is honk a horn and pull a long handkerchief out of his sleeve, yet "Half the kids started crying. One tried to crawl under the couch."

In "The Unforgiving Tree," a tree branch reaches into a boy's bedroom to get back at him from trying to cut the tree down years earlier. But again, nothing happens to the kid, and then the tree gets cut down because its roots are causing damage under the house.

Maybe this is one of those books parents can read with their kids and encourage them to use their imaginations to suppose what else might happen in each story.

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Thanks for that one. My 8 year old son and I were at a local book store looking for something for him to read and we picked that up. We put it back down in favor of something else, but it was on my list. Thanks for the heads up.


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This page contains a single entry by Teresa Budasi published on October 9, 2007 7:30 AM.

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