Alvin Schwartz

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

collected by Alvin Schwartz, illustrated by Brett Helquist

Ages 8-11, 96 pages

Yesterday’s post had a scary book banned within an Arthur book. Today, I’m highlighting an actual scary book that was banned. This is a collection of very short stories. I thought it was scary and fun, because the stories tell you how you should read them such as jump, scream, or talk quietly. These stories are a collection of folklore and scary tales told from around the world. There’s also More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3.

“What do you come for?” she asked in a small voice that shivered and shook.

“What do I come for?” he said. “I come – for YOU!”

(As you shout the last words, stamp your foot and jump at someone nearby.)

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, page 13

A boy was digging at the edge of the garden when he saw a big toe. He tried to pick it up, but it was stuck to something. So he gave it a good hard jerk, and it came off his hand. Then he heard something groan and scamper away.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, page 7

Reasons for being challenged:

The American Library Association listed Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark as the number one challenged book during the 1990s. Most of the reasons were that children would experience a lack of appetite, nightmares, sickness, and unhealthy questions about death. Another challenge stated that the book encouraged violence and cruelty. Many individuals concluded that children could separate reality from folklore and these books are mild compared to television.

Reference: Banned in the U.S.A.:Reference Guide to Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries (page 159 – 161)

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