Reviews for Dare to Be Scared : Thirteen Stories to Chill and Thrill


Booklist Reviews 2003 October #1
Gr. 4-8. With crisp, straightforward delivery and some intriguing endings, these 13 tales are great fun for young readers who like to be spooked. Some stories tread traditional ghostly ground: nightmares that turn out to be reality, children who take up a dare to visit haunted places, teens pretending to do incantations in the woods on Halloween. Yet the scariest tales use ordinary small things, such as ubiquitous ants or an incessantly ringing cell phone, to thrilling effect. The characters are diverse in race, culture, and personality, and their age range will invite both elementary and middle-grade readers to enjoy the chills. Although never heavy-handed, several tales provide a moral, which makes this a good find for reading aloud and discussing, especially at Halloween gatherings and summer camp, where some stories take place. One black-and-white illustration per story helps heighten the horror, which is never too tense or graphic for the intended audience. ((Reviewed October 1, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall
Peter investigates a haunted house. Lindsay gets phone calls from a deceased aunt. The driver of Mark's bus may be a space alien. These thirteen original stories--some containing elements from traditional tales--are well suited for telling around the campfire. Though the characterizations are minimal, the stories are well paced and most end with a clever or shocking twist. The illustrations are appropriately dark and atmospheric. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2003 June #1
Some kids better watch out. That's the ultimate, dark message in the majority of these stories in which nasty brats get their comeuppance in a variety of unpleasant, eerie ways. The good kids-well, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The tales range in scare level from amusingly macabre to downright spooky, and some seem to have bolted straight out of The Twilight Zone. What's not to like-fanglike teeth, alien commuter buses, killer ants, relatives who return from the dead, becoming one's own ancestor, deathly amusement-park rides, and legendary (yet, alas, all too real) monsters? Readers will relate-maybe at their peril-to the culturally diverse middle-grade boys and girls who people these strange accounts. Ouimet's black-and-white etchings are fittingly bizarre. (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 July #1
Robert D. San Souci pens a collection of fantastic, frightful stories in Dare to Be Scared: Thirteen Stories to Chill and Thrill, illus. by David Ouimet. Selections range from short tales like "Nighttown," in which a boy's vacation in the Caribbean goes horribly awry, to longer entries like "Hungry Ghosts," in which a restless spirit swallows a boy's soul. All provide a suspenseful atmosphere and plenty of dark doings, complemented by Ouimet's eerie b&w artwork. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2003 September
Gr 4-7-From a horrible dream a boy can't wake up from to an alien-driven bus to an eerie house with an alarming inhabitant, these stories cover the gamut of scary themes. Some are barely shiver inducing, while others, like the Halloween tale of a mean big sister who attracts an evil spirit, are deliciously horrifying. Although they are all original, many of these stories feature themes and plots that are the staples of folklore, making them natural candidates for reading or telling aloud, preferably around a campfire or at midnight during a sleepover. While kids may shrug at the tamer stories, they will marvel at the poignant twist in "Smoke" and shudder at the ominous "Bakotahl." The hilarious and spooky tale of an aunt who contacts her rude niece by cell phone from beyond the grave is destined to be told at summer camps throughout the land. The dark, black-and-white, pen-and-ink drawings add an appropriately menacing touch to the stories.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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