Tag Archives: classic horror

I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost

Happy Halloween! I love this time of year. Horror movies. Creepy stories. As someone who likes a good fabricated scare…I’m in my element. So, for those of you who are like me, and like a good creepy story, I’ve got two new books for you.

20151030_090251I read The Nest by Kenneth Oppel in about an hour. Because I couldn’t put it down. Because if I did, my heart my have exploded from the suspense and anxiety. I could hardly breathe while reading this story. The story is about a boy named Steve who has been working on dealing with his severe anxiety. Then his little brother is born with serious health issues that have his parents constantly worried. Steve has always had nightmares. But suddenly, his dreams are more calming and soothing. Until they’re not. There are some illustrations in the book by Jon Klassen who does adorable children’s books like This Is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back. His illustrations for this book. Terrifying. I may never be able to give a child one of his books again.

20151030_090218The second book is probably more for the high schoolers. The blurb on the cover of Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics says, “Imagine Stephen King writing Little House on the Pairie” (Cat Winters). I really can’t add anything beyond that except that I finished this book before going to be and had to pick up a light and funny book to calm myself enough to go to sleep.

And, if you’re like me, and enjoy creepy things, try looking up the singer Jonathan Coulton and his song “Creepy Doll.”

Happy Halloween. And if anyone wants to share their Reese’s Cups on Monday, you know where I am.

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New Book Wednesday – Digital Citizenship Continued

We got a bunch of new novels in the library related to techy things, just in time for Digital Citizenship Week. Today’s book gives you a real reason not to use Wikipedia…it could kill you!

wickedIf you’ve been through my class, you’ve heard the story about the school where the 10th grade edited Wikipedia to mess with the 9th grade. For those of you who don’t know it, here’s a short version: At this one particular school every year the 9th graders have to do a paper on the American Revolution and they are told, of course, not to use Wikipedia. Now the 10th graders, having done this project, know that the 9th graders are going to use Wikipedia anyway. So they go in to the relevant articles and start changing names of the military players…to the names of teachers in the school. When the 9th graders turn in their papers, they get caught having used Wikipedia and the 10th graders are caught messing with the 9th graders.

The reason for retelling that story (aside from the fact that I love it!) is that is very similar to the beginning premise of a new book, Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten. Cole and his buddy Gavin enjoy editing Wikipedia articles and then hearing their classmates embarrass themselves when they present ridiculous informaiton like Genghis Kahn, first astronaut on Jupiter. Cole takes this to the next level when someone steals his girlfriend. He creates a Wikipedia article on the culprit and includes a date of death. Which is funny, until the kid actually dies.

Now someone is continuing this twisted tradition and classmates are dying in horrible ways. Eventually, Cole finds an article on someone important to him, and has just 7 days to find out who is behind all of this before that person meets a potentially grisly end.

I haven’t read this book yet, but it sounds like fun. I will finish this post with a caveat: according to reviews on Goodreads, the blurb on the back of the book (which I used to write this post) isn’t quite right. And that ticked some people off. No one explained what was wrong about it, but I think the general gist is there.

All Hallow’s Read – Day 3

Today I’m focusing on classic scary stories.

On this date in 1938, Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre group performed a radio drama based on H.G. Wells’s novel The War of the Worlds. Just a few months before this, radio news for the first time interrupted a broadcast to report on a breaking news story. The broadcast started out as a musical performance, when Welles and his actors broke into the performance with a story of aliens invading the US. Some listeners truly believed that the invasion was happening and panicked. Needless to say, when they learned it was a hoax, they were none too happy.

If you haven’t read this book, you can download a free copy of the ebook from Project Guttenberg. It’s a fascinating story considering how long ago it was written.

You can also try another Wells classic, The Invisible Man, about a scientist who figures out how to achieve invisibility, but goes mad trying to find a way to reverse the process. This is also available as a free ebook.

Another classic horror story is one of my favorites, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. If you have never read this book, you will probably find lots o things you weren’t expecting…. Let’s start with the fact that Mary Shelley published this when she was just 21. The story behind the story is that she, her husband-to-be Percy Shelley, and Lord Byron were hanging out together one weekend and got to talking about horror. They decided to have a little friendly competition, everyone going to their own space to write, and when they got back together, they would see who had written the scariest story. Mary beat the boys with this story.

Frankenstein, despite how he is portrayed in popular culture, is not the creature. He is the scientist who experiments with reanimation. The creature speaks French, because he runs away and hides on a French farm and learns to speak by listening to the family. It’s a fantastic story. We have both the book and the audio in the library and it is also in the public domain, so you can download the ebook from Project Guttenberg as well.

Finally, a discussion of classic horror is incomplete without the mention of good ol’ Edgar Allan Poe. In the library we have a fabulous collection of his Tales of Mystery and Madness illustrated by Gris Grimly that is just fantastic.

Happy horror reading!