Sunday, February 10, 2013

On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave

Fleming, Candace. 2012. ON THE DAY I DIED: STORIES FROM THE GRAVE. New York: Schwartz and Wade. 9780375867811 [Suggested Grade Levels 6 – 9]

Fleming provides readers with a collection of related ghost stories, all loosely based on true events occurring in or near Chicago during the past 150 years. 

Mike, the narrator, is speeding home one night when he happens upon a soaking wet teen needing a ride home. She leaves her shoes in his car, and when he returns to the girl’s home to deliver the shoes, the girl's elderly mother informs Mike the girl is dead and requests that he deliver the shoes to the near-by cemetery, where only teens are buried. Ten teenage ghosts then share their death stories with Mike, each in his/her own chapter.

This fun and spooky collection of ghost stories will appeal to readers seeking not-too-scary horror stories. Each chapter is best read within the context of Mike’s visit to the cemetery, but each chapter could be read in isolation as a separate ghost story, thereby being enjoyed by reluctant or struggling readers. Fleming includes a “Notes” section at the conclusion of the book explaining the true history of each character’s experience.

This novel makes for a fun read-aloud during October, when young readers crave spooky stories. Readers can also practice creative writing skills by developing short stories based on true events.  

Other collections of scary stories:
San Souci, Robert D. SHORT AND SHIVERY. ISBN 9780440418047
Schwartz, Alvin. SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK. ISBN 9780060835200

By Jennifer E. M. Richey

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