Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories #1) by Alvin Schwartz
First published by Scholastic, Inc. in 1981, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a collection of folklore from several countries, passed down from generations, and retold by Alvin Schwartz. Knowing that how you tell a story is just as important as the story itself, Schwartz includes instruction on where to pause, when to lower your voice, and when to shout and jump to create the maximum effect when telling the short vignettes. The chapters are categorized by “jump stories,” “returning ghosts,” “humorous stories,” and more, to make sure you pick a tale that fits the mood of your listeners.
Despite being banned in some school districts across America and replacing Stephen Gammell’s original illustrations to make it less frightening, these stories would not scare the recommended age group of 9 and up in today’s society. It is, however, a nostalgic collection of classic tales that are a rite of passage that all children should read. –(Low) Buy it.
The 1968 period piece follows a group of teenagers who find their town’s forgotten specter, Sarah Bellows’, book of scary stories. The stories’ creatures (whose designs were clearly influenced by producer Guillermo Del Toro) come to life and terrorize the people of Mill Valley.
The characters don’t go beyond the stereotypical archetypes of the nerdy outcast, quirky friends, bully jock, and mystical-magical-negro, which creates an overall lackluster performance that only Zoe Colletti, the main protagonist, seemed able to rise above.