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Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell (Scary Children's Books for Kids Age 9 to 12, Ghost Stories for Middle Schoolers)

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Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell is a ghost story collection for middle schoolers. Featuring the only true ghost stories in existence (as the book itself will tell you), readers discover 13 eerie encounters that are perfect for sharing—if they dare. With tales about a finger against the inside of a mirror, a wooded area where the trees look back, and a basement door bl Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell is a ghost story collection for middle schoolers. Featuring the only true ghost stories in existence (as the book itself will tell you), readers discover 13 eerie encounters that are perfect for sharing—if they dare. With tales about a finger against the inside of a mirror, a wooded area where the trees look back, and a basement door blocked by a brick wall so thick it stifles the screams from below, this book is sure to haunt anyone who can't resist a spooky story. • Filled with creepy poems and tales • Features striking, bone-chilling illustrations from Disney-Pixar talent • Book contains all original stories This haunting book will consume your imagination and keep readers of every age up long past their bedtimes. • Great for those who can't get enough of Halloween, ghost stories, scary movies, and all things spooky, as well as librarians and teachers looking for a thrilling read to share with students • The perfect book to read by a campfire or during a slumber party—or alone under the covers in the middle of the night • Add it to the shelf with books like A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Malice by Chris Wooding, and the Serafina series


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Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell is a ghost story collection for middle schoolers. Featuring the only true ghost stories in existence (as the book itself will tell you), readers discover 13 eerie encounters that are perfect for sharing—if they dare. With tales about a finger against the inside of a mirror, a wooded area where the trees look back, and a basement door bl Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell is a ghost story collection for middle schoolers. Featuring the only true ghost stories in existence (as the book itself will tell you), readers discover 13 eerie encounters that are perfect for sharing—if they dare. With tales about a finger against the inside of a mirror, a wooded area where the trees look back, and a basement door blocked by a brick wall so thick it stifles the screams from below, this book is sure to haunt anyone who can't resist a spooky story. • Filled with creepy poems and tales • Features striking, bone-chilling illustrations from Disney-Pixar talent • Book contains all original stories This haunting book will consume your imagination and keep readers of every age up long past their bedtimes. • Great for those who can't get enough of Halloween, ghost stories, scary movies, and all things spooky, as well as librarians and teachers looking for a thrilling read to share with students • The perfect book to read by a campfire or during a slumber party—or alone under the covers in the middle of the night • Add it to the shelf with books like A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Malice by Chris Wooding, and the Serafina series

30 review for Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell (Scary Children's Books for Kids Age 9 to 12, Ghost Stories for Middle Schoolers)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    This is kind of an oddball. It looks like a picture book, but the stories inside are aimed squarely at older children. Some of the stories are pretty darned scary, with bad, BAD things happening to the young protagonists. Kids will, I suspect, love it! I enjoyed all the tales, and the delightfully beautiful but creepy accompanying artwork. The art reminded me, just a bit, of the unsanitized versions of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark illustrations. Boo! This is kind of an oddball. It looks like a picture book, but the stories inside are aimed squarely at older children. Some of the stories are pretty darned scary, with bad, BAD things happening to the young protagonists. Kids will, I suspect, love it! I enjoyed all the tales, and the delightfully beautiful but creepy accompanying artwork. The art reminded me, just a bit, of the unsanitized versions of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark illustrations. Boo!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    Middle grade horror and this exact style of artwork is my new favourite thing! There are only thirteen true ghost stories, and all of them are contained here. The Illistratus team have combined together art work, which is equal parts eerie and sublime, with creepy short stories that converge on a variety of supernatural topics. Each tale measures in at only a handful of pages and yet every word inside of them packs a punch, for ultimate emotional appeal. Despite never verging on full-blown horror Middle grade horror and this exact style of artwork is my new favourite thing! There are only thirteen true ghost stories, and all of them are contained here. The Illistratus team have combined together art work, which is equal parts eerie and sublime, with creepy short stories that converge on a variety of supernatural topics. Each tale measures in at only a handful of pages and yet every word inside of them packs a punch, for ultimate emotional appeal. Despite never verging on full-blown horror for me, which I expected given the middle-grade age range this is tagged as and targeted towards, every story here was a chilling and clever creation and I rarely saw coming the concluding twists that most contained. The prologue details how two small boys leave the safety of their log cabins to visit the groundkeeper’s cabin, which resides alone in the heart of the woods. The groundkeeper is a grim figure who strikes fear into the heart of his small, night-time visitors but acquiesces to deliver them the chilling tales that they desire. Twelve tales follow and all are detailed here. One is missing. The epilogue deals with this missing horror tale and left me closing the final page with a sick grin on my face at having been deceived in such a chilling and terrible manner.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Holy shit, this was awesome! I work at a library and it's very hard to recommend horror books to kids who like horror because HEAVEN FORBID WE SCARE THE CHILDREN, AM I RIGHT?! But this was the perfect blend of creepy, disturbing, scary, but definitely appropriate for kids. Before I give my thoughts on each individual story, I want to give praise to certain things that most stories had to keep from sounding repetitive. First off, these stories made use of pictures, words, AND sounds. Rather than j Holy shit, this was awesome! I work at a library and it's very hard to recommend horror books to kids who like horror because HEAVEN FORBID WE SCARE THE CHILDREN, AM I RIGHT?! But this was the perfect blend of creepy, disturbing, scary, but definitely appropriate for kids. Before I give my thoughts on each individual story, I want to give praise to certain things that most stories had to keep from sounding repetitive. First off, these stories made use of pictures, words, AND sounds. Rather than just letting the pictures stand for themselves or saying, "there was a tapping sound," the authors actually put the sound effects in and it definitely enhanced the storytelling. Second, authors made use of all kinds of settings, not just typical haunted houses. Forests, underwater, houses, snowy places, and it was great because it added variety. Third, some of the stories were told in rhyme or had a different writing structure which I LOVED. Anyway, enough rambling, let's talk about these stories! "Prologue & Epilogue"-putting them together since they tell the same story. A great traditional start and creepy end to the collection. Loved it! "Reflection"-despite knowing where this was going from the start, the imagery, atmosphere, and writing made this a chilling and suspenseful read. "The Old Pond"-liked the brief discussion of grief and quick it was, almost as if the story's length was a reference to how quickly a life can be taken. Nice work. "The Doll"-the first poem in verse and rhyme and it was CREEPY AS FUCK. Loved the ending, left it very open-ended and makes you wonder what the REAL purpose of the doll was. "Point Whitney"-probably my least favorite simply because they characters weren't that interesting, but I do appreciate that this and "The Old Pond" were the only two where the protagonist's tried to right their wrongs. Loved the snowy setting, too! "Fred"-second story told in verse and rhyme and this was unsettling for multiple reasons. Won't go into all of them, but let me just say that forests are an underappreciated setting for horror. When they're used properly, like in this story, they can make your skin crawl. "Depth"-love the setting! I LOVE any kind of horror that takes place underwater. There are so many things that can go wrong and you have no clue who or what is lurking down there. This story definitely delivered on both fronts! "The Descent"-this one made me feel like I was in that elevator with them, great use of sound and writing. "Eyes Closed"-I liked how this went with how skeptics often explain away potential supernatural activity in order to remain in control, only for that desire to twist into arrogance, thus sealing their fates. Pride goeth before the fall, folks. "The Library"-Holy shit, I loved the ending! There are many different ways it can be interpreted and I love it! Also, libraries are awesome and terrifying, great setting for a horror story! "The Boy in the Basement"-HOLY FLYING FUCKER FUCK, THAT ENDING FREAKED ME THE FUCK OUT! Holy shit, that ending is easily the most disturbing out of all of them! Holy FUCK! "Widow in Black"-I love me a good bully revenge story, and this one delivered! That's what you get for being assholes, kids! "Green Eyes"-The final story in verse and rhyme. I really liked how it dealt with kids wanting to prove themselves to others and not fully grasping the consequences for those actions. Loved the final verse, though. Those are my thoughts regarding these stories. Really loved this collection and would definitely recommend for others to read, even if you're an adult. A damn good collection, hope I can find more like it!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mehsi

    13 spooky and scary tales to keep you up at night, this was an amazing book! I was definitely in the mood for something spooky and something children/middle grade and I remembered I still had this one on my Kindle to read. I decided to read it and OMG this was just one of the best reads of this year for me. It all starts when 2 boys from a camp nearby head to the gamekeepers hut in the middle of the night to hear 13 scary stories, they know the man living there has the BEST stories and they want 13 spooky and scary tales to keep you up at night, this was an amazing book! I was definitely in the mood for something spooky and something children/middle grade and I remembered I still had this one on my Kindle to read. I decided to read it and OMG this was just one of the best reads of this year for me. It all starts when 2 boys from a camp nearby head to the gamekeepers hut in the middle of the night to hear 13 scary stories, they know the man living there has the BEST stories and they want to bring back some scary tales for their friends at the camp. The tone was really set from the beginning, the vibe was there. Be prepared to be scared. There are 12 stories with the thirteenth one tying it all up. I LOVED the scary tales and also loved that some of them were poetry. My favourites would be the one with the mirror, the fish, the library, and the boy in the basement. The stories were all delightfully spooky and will definitely haunt you long after you finished the story. Some stories just left you to imagine what happened for yourself, others got you face to face with something dead and scary. The ending? Predictable and not that original as I have seen a couple of other children's horror books with it, but I still loved it and squeed in delight because it was a great ending. It did fit very well with the stories we already heard. The book also has very stylish/fancy illustrations, I loved their style and how well they fitted with the book and its stories. I really want to get this book in physical so I can add it to my shelves. This is one book I want to re-read over and over again. I would highly recommend this book to everyone! Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    I have never had more fun. I just spent the last thirteen days reading aloud one story each night to my own upper elementary-aged kids. They enjoyed the stories, the illustrations, and were confounded by a few though as we talked about the clues, they were able to piece each one together. Personally, I am gaga over the illustrations that compliment the stories. It's certainly not a graphic novel, simply an illustrated short story collection of ghost stories with haunting conclusions and some dra I have never had more fun. I just spent the last thirteen days reading aloud one story each night to my own upper elementary-aged kids. They enjoyed the stories, the illustrations, and were confounded by a few though as we talked about the clues, they were able to piece each one together. Personally, I am gaga over the illustrations that compliment the stories. It's certainly not a graphic novel, simply an illustrated short story collection of ghost stories with haunting conclusions and some drawings that freaked my own kids out (forcing them to cover their eyes when I flipped one page in particular!) Of course my favorite was "The Library" for more reasons than that I'm a librarian but because the story was creative. I was also really blown away by "The Reflection" and "The Boy in the Basement" but each one had unique qualities that made them a perfect addition to this collection.

  6. 4 out of 5

    DaNae

    So, so many dead children. Just scary enough. The art is extraordinary. In a quest to find something to scare the pants of my sixth-graders this year, this book came highly recommended. Yes, many of the stories are retreads of standard tropes; the fortunate thing about introducing books to children is their limited exposure. I'm waffling between the spider story, the library one, or the basement. Perhaps each class will get a different one. So, so many dead children. Just scary enough. The art is extraordinary. In a quest to find something to scare the pants of my sixth-graders this year, this book came highly recommended. Yes, many of the stories are retreads of standard tropes; the fortunate thing about introducing books to children is their limited exposure. I'm waffling between the spider story, the library one, or the basement. Perhaps each class will get a different one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Pietro

    If someone told you there are only thirteen true ghost stories in this world would you be curious to hear them. Would you be so curious you wonder deep in the southern marshlands to find Old Man Blackwood’s decaying cabin. Old Man Blackwood with his long grey hair, bristly beard, and his flesh-colored prosthetic arm and hook await the boys to tell his haunting tales of horror. Thirteen haunting tales to tell! The boys sit with freight as Old Man Blackwood delivers his tales. One after another eac If someone told you there are only thirteen true ghost stories in this world would you be curious to hear them. Would you be so curious you wonder deep in the southern marshlands to find Old Man Blackwood’s decaying cabin. Old Man Blackwood with his long grey hair, bristly beard, and his flesh-colored prosthetic arm and hook await the boys to tell his haunting tales of horror. Thirteen haunting tales to tell! The boys sit with freight as Old Man Blackwood delivers his tales. One after another each story more spookier then the last. The opening story Reflections felt like a dreamy fable. The Doll was another outstanding poem. It felt sweet yet evil. My favorite was The Descent. About a young boy trapped in an odd elevator with no buttons. Really well done and gave me goosebumps. Another great read is The Boy in the Basement. A bricked up doorway to nowhere is something you would hate to discover in your new home. Even worse sounds from behind! Finally I fell in love with The Library. Let’s just say rows of leather bound books so beautiful you have to fight the urge to touch them. To add to the menacing narration, the authors have decorated each page with ghoulish illustrations that help paint the scenes so perfectly. Different artists coming together to bring life to this book. Life is what this book needs seeing there is so much death. Death! So now it’s up to you to decided if these are true ghost stories or just someone with a marvelous imagination.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This books is ART! The stories are very fun and dark, but they would be too short on their own. The illustrations take it up to an eleven! I read tons of ghost stories, and I was reading in broad daylight, and still jumped when the phone rang during a dark and creepy story. Some of the stories are told in poem form. Extra credit! I checked it out from the library, but it’s so beautiful, I might need to buy a copy. I recommend this book to fans of Neil Gaiman and even Edgar Allen Poe. Read it!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    The combination of the stories and the the illustrations put this over the top. The type of scary stories that middle grades will love. These would have scared me to death as a kid. Heck they creep me out now--what was that noise I just heard??

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    Chills, thrills, and ghostly moments abound in this beautiful book, which has a high-quality touch along with a good dose of creepiness. Thirteen spooky tales await to be unleashed in this lovely collection. Already the cover had me excited to dive into this one. The book carries a high quality feel, making it appear as one of those books which is kept on the 'special' shelf to be enjoyed for years. And it's not only the cover and binding which shines with that extra something. The illustrations Chills, thrills, and ghostly moments abound in this beautiful book, which has a high-quality touch along with a good dose of creepiness. Thirteen spooky tales await to be unleashed in this lovely collection. Already the cover had me excited to dive into this one. The book carries a high quality feel, making it appear as one of those books which is kept on the 'special' shelf to be enjoyed for years. And it's not only the cover and binding which shines with that extra something. The illustrations are worth flipping through all on their own. Each one is nicely done and will have kids (and adults) thumbing through them time and again. The tales are definitely for ghost story fans. These are not intended for more sensitive readers, but allow horrors and terrors to unfold...with some care, since it isn't intended for adults. Children do die unpleasant deaths, and the reader 'experiences' this with them. There is pooling blood and not just one evil, vengeful ghost. In other words, this is not necessarily a read for all middle graders, and I'd even tend to suggest it to a tween audience or, at least, middle grade readers who are accustom to a little more thrill and chill. I was surprised how nicely put together these tales are. The language doesn't talk down to the audience, but rather might be a little 'high' for some. It has a literary feel, in some ways. Each story is well laid out, creepy, draws in, and grips the reader until the last sentence. The stories vary greatly too not only in plot but in settings, situations and time frames. Each one is different from the last, and each one holds its own type of scare. While some are more predictable than others, these tales do their job and will make small horror fans' hearts beat faster. Readers ages ten and up who love chilling tales are sure to enjoy this book tremendously. I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed snuggling up with chilling tales so much...my kids did manage to wrestle it from me and loved it too...so I'm leaving my honest thoughts.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    I was attracted to this book by the stark, spooky simplicity of the cover art. The art is the high point of this book. It mostly doesn't match the expectations of the cover, but it is very good art. And the stories aren't anything really special. They aren't bad, but most of them are completely predictable from the first paragraph or two and they are the kind of spooky that is only going to work on their target audience of middle school aged children. The morality of horror stories is sort of int I was attracted to this book by the stark, spooky simplicity of the cover art. The art is the high point of this book. It mostly doesn't match the expectations of the cover, but it is very good art. And the stories aren't anything really special. They aren't bad, but most of them are completely predictable from the first paragraph or two and they are the kind of spooky that is only going to work on their target audience of middle school aged children. The morality of horror stories is sort of interesting. In this collection there's about an equal mix of bad supernatural stuff happening as punishment, or bad supernatural stuff happening just because. Though I like the art, it feels a bit weird to me that each story starts by crediting its writer and artist; This is theoretically a good idea, but I just find I can barely tell the two artists apart. They do have subtly different styles, but the shared color pallet and design obscures this fact. Also, the crediting breaks down at the second story, "The Old Pond" which says it was "Written by Blaise Hemingway as told by Scott Turley" as opposed to the usual formula of "Written by X, Illustrated by Y" of the other stories. Given that there are a pair of married Turley's who are central to the creation of the book, I kind of assume that Scott is their son, or maybe some other relation. Either way, when his name is listed in the credits under "Additional Contributors" it is obvious what part he played; but I'm left a bit curious what Carol Manocchi-Verrino contributed to the work.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Adysnewbox

    This was a fun compilation of ghost stories (a few are told in rhyme) that is perfect for middle schoolers or other mature mid-grade readers. The illustrations in the book are beautiful...they are both haunting and cute, if that's possible! I have heard some variations on a few of these ghost stories before, although most of them appear to be unique to this collection. Since this is ostensibly for "kids," none of the stories ever get graphic, although there are definitely a few skin-crawling mom This was a fun compilation of ghost stories (a few are told in rhyme) that is perfect for middle schoolers or other mature mid-grade readers. The illustrations in the book are beautiful...they are both haunting and cute, if that's possible! I have heard some variations on a few of these ghost stories before, although most of them appear to be unique to this collection. Since this is ostensibly for "kids," none of the stories ever get graphic, although there are definitely a few skin-crawling moments (the "Boy Who Lived Downstairs" story and the elevator stories both got to me, and the library story was a good way to scare kids away from libraries, so...good job, authors!! I'm sure each of the stories will have a different appeal to individual readers). I was also impressed (MILD SPOILER) that the "frame story" (which at first felt like a throwaway) ended up being a ghost story of its own. It was the perfect creepy cap on a perfectly creepy little book. If mid-grade readers REALLY want to get scared, they may want to head for the "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" series...but I think "Ghost" is a great "gateway read" into more intense scary stories down the road.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Skeeter and Thomas, two boys who are staying at Camp Champlain, have heard all the stories about Old Man Blackwood, the camp's groundskeeper. They decide to seek out his cabin after everyone else has gone to bed. When they arrive there, they find far more than they reckoned for. As the boys settle into seats in the cabin, the elderly man promises to regale them with thirteen ghost stories. Each one of the tales is scary and a bit creepy, but when he finishes, he has only told twelve stories. As Skeeter and Thomas, two boys who are staying at Camp Champlain, have heard all the stories about Old Man Blackwood, the camp's groundskeeper. They decide to seek out his cabin after everyone else has gone to bed. When they arrive there, they find far more than they reckoned for. As the boys settle into seats in the cabin, the elderly man promises to regale them with thirteen ghost stories. Each one of the tales is scary and a bit creepy, but when he finishes, he has only told twelve stories. As the book concludes, the boys realize that theirs is the thirteenth story, and that they've been reliving all this more than once. I liked all of these stories, and I'm sure middle graders will too. The illustrations are striking and unique and add to the chill factor, making readers' temperatures go down as they read the stories. Many of them are cautionary tales indeed that just make readers decide not to go check out those things that go bump in the night or visit and old man's cabin in the deep of the night.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brian Paquin

    This was a pretty good collection of short ghost stories. It reminds me a bit of Scary Stories To tell In the Dark. The stories are best with the accompanied creepy illustrations, rather than completely on their own. The stand out stories for me were Reflection, The Old Pond, Depth,and The Boy In the Basement. This is great for readers who want a ghost story that is more like a campfire scare story!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I loved this book from cover, to end sheets, to illustrations to stories. This is one of those books that you want to read out-loud in a dimly lit room or at a campfire - but you also want to see the illustrations so the dimly lit room would be better - maybe have some night music playing softly in the background.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    With creepy tales and chilling illustrations, this is perfect for fans of the Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark series (the illustraters here give the original Stephen Gammell illustrations a run for his money). The stories, though written by diffrent authors and illustrated likewise, still feel cohesive, a difficult task for anthologies.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Margaret McGuire

    The illustrations are wild, I hope kids will take their time to look at the shadows and lines and see how they add to the text. Creepy books are in demand at my school right now, and kids will be intrigued by this one. I think it might be best for the 7th grader and up since it's pretty dark and happy endings are nowhere to be found. The illustrations are wild, I hope kids will take their time to look at the shadows and lines and see how they add to the text. Creepy books are in demand at my school right now, and kids will be intrigued by this one. I think it might be best for the 7th grader and up since it's pretty dark and happy endings are nowhere to be found.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dax

    The art in this is uniquely beautiful and sets the creepy tone well for this collection of stories. While none of these stories are worth writing home about the compilation with the art make it a truly fun read!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    I love this book. I love the stories. I love the illustrations. I love the overall feel. There were maybe 2 stories that didn’t resonate with me. The “second to last” one didn’t. But the rest... I think my favourite was Fred. It gives me queer vibes. The illustrations are just 🤚🏻

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    A great combination of short ghost stories and original artwork would make this appealing for middle grade readers in particular. I especially liked the tales told in verse.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lukas Holmes

    Perfect.

  22. 4 out of 5

    H.R.

    Final story was the best.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    Nice collection of short horror stories that everyone can enjoy. Creepy illustrations make them even better.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hali

    Excellent addition to the scary stories in my library. Perfect for middle schoolers or older, illustrations really add to the fear factor. Well done.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Allyson

    So good and spooky! The drawings are a perfect blend of caricature and horror, they go well with the overall scary mood of the stories but are not quite macabre enough to give nightmares.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    As with any anthology, the stories ranged from meh to good. The illustrations, however, were wonderful. I think they’re my favorite part of this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin 🍅Tomato Queen🍅 Theroux

    Illustrations? Beautiful. Content? Creep-town. Would I have read this as a kid? Again and again. Brilliant book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elissa

    This was a fun book to read. I read it aloud with my 10yo niece and she enjoyed the spooky stories.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Sendzimer

    exquisite art

  30. 5 out of 5

    Z

    Nah. Take a pass. Only one, maybe two, are worth the time it takes to read them. The art is nice though.

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