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Banned Book Review: Scary Stories

October 10, 2005

1. Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz

Reason:  Considered too morbid for children

You know those stories that kids tell around the campfire?  That the older kids use to creep out the younger kids and get them to stay in bed?  This is a whole collected series of them.  The Amazon.com listing has them as appropriate for 9-12 year olds, but I think that really depends on your 9 year old.  My junior high speech and debate class told these stories to the 6th graders on Halloween and they were always a big hit.  Yes, some of them are gross.  Yes, some of them are scary.  The pictures creeped me out more than anything else.  The text is well written, accessible to younger kids, and the narrative is written in much the same way that a campfire storyteller would speak.  If your child is the quiet type or easily frightened, I wouldn’t recommend this book until he or she is a little older.  I would, however, recommend reading it with them at some point, as the stories are taken from a range of basic folk tales which serve the same purpose as the average fairy tale.  Grimm’s, not Disney.

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