Living Ghosts & Mischievous Monsters: Chilling American Indian Stories
Living Ghosts & Mischievous Monsters: Chilling American Indian Stories
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Annotation: Perfect for fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! A shiver-inducing collection of short stories to read under the c... more
Genre: [Fairy tales]
Catalog Number: #293778
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Illustrator: Alvitre, Weshoyot,
Pages: 165 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-68160-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-9831-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-68160-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-9831-0
Dewey: 398.20897
LCCN: 2021027244
Dimensions: 23 cm
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
A mix of 32 timeless chillers and personal encounters with the supernatural gathered from Native American storytellers and traditions.Carefully acknowledging his oral, online, and print sources (and appending lists of additional ones), Jones (Ponca) intersperses his own anecdotes and retellings with accounts by others collected in his travels. The generally brief entries are gathered into types, from brushes with ghosts or spirits (the latter distinguished by having “more complex agendas” than the former) to witches and monsters. In them, the tone ranges from mild eeriness—hearing an elder relative on the porch just moments after she died and seeing small footprints appear in wet concrete near the burial ground of an abandoned Oklahoma boarding school—to terrifying glimpses of were-owls, were-otters, a malign walking doll, and a giant water serpent with a “sinister smile.” They all join the more familiar (in children’s books, anyway) likes of Bigfoot and La Llorona. Linked to a broad diversity of traditions spanning the North American continent, the stories, both old—there’s one ascribed to the ancient Mississippian culture—and those given recent, even modern settings, are related in matter-of-fact language that underscores a common sense of how close the natural and supernatural worlds are. In sometimes-intricate ink drawings, Alvitre (Tongva) amps the creepiness by alternating depictions of everyday items with grinning skulls, heaps of bones, and the odd floating head.Valuable both for its broad range and shivery appeal. (introductory notes) (Traditional literature. 8-11)
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up A frightening ride via Native American storytelling. Jones (Ponca) explains that these 32 entries have been handed down from a variety of tribes and storytellers across Indigenous country. This collection is divided into five sectionsghosts, spirits, witches, monsters, and the supernatural. Illustrator Alvitre (Tongva) provides unsettling yet age-appropriate visuals to accompany the selections. While most collections of creepy stories feature fictional tales, this volume is composed of scary reads that come directly from cultural and historical accounts, including the author's own. Each tale is prefaced with a short introduction on how it was shared with permission from tribe members and omits anything that should not be shared among non-Native readers. However, Indigenous students who follow these cultural traditions might still find some of the content to be taboo. VERDICT Reminiscent of Robert San Souci's "Dare to Be Scared" books or the ever-popular Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark , add to your library for a diverse cultural representation of scary stories.Danielle Burbank, Farmington, NM
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A mix of 32 timeless chillers and personal encounters with the supernatural gathered from Native American storytellers and traditions.Carefully acknowledging his oral, online, and print sources (and appending lists of additional ones), Jones (Ponca) intersperses his own anecdotes and retellings with accounts by others collected in his travels. The generally brief entries are gathered into types, from brushes with ghosts or spirits (the latter distinguished by having “more complex agendas” than the former) to witches and monsters. In them, the tone ranges from mild eeriness—hearing an elder relative on the porch just moments after she died and seeing small footprints appear in wet concrete near the burial ground of an abandoned Oklahoma boarding school—to terrifying glimpses of were-owls, were-otters, a malign walking doll, and a giant water serpent with a “sinister smile.” They all join the more familiar (in children’s books, anyway) likes of Bigfoot and La Llorona. Linked to a broad diversity of traditions spanning the North American continent, the stories, both old—there’s one ascribed to the ancient Mississippian culture—and those given recent, even modern settings, are related in matter-of-fact language that underscores a common sense of how close the natural and supernatural worlds are. In sometimes-intricate ink drawings, Alvitre (Tongva) amps the creepiness by alternating depictions of everyday items with grinning skulls, heaps of bones, and the odd floating head.Valuable both for its broad range and shivery appeal. (introductory notes) (Traditional literature. 8-11)
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 164-165).
Word Count: 35,551
Reading Level: 5.5
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.5 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 513578 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 790L

Perfect for fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! A shiver-inducing collection of short stories to read under the covers, from a breadth of American Indian nations.

Dark figures in the night. An owl's cry on the wind. Monsters watching from the edge of the wood.

Some of the creatures in these pages might only have a message for you, but some are the stuff of nightmares. These thirty-two short stories -- from tales passed down for generations to accounts that could have happened yesterday -- are collected from the thriving tradition of ghost stories from American Indian cultures across North America. Prepare for stories of witches and walking dolls, hungry skeletons, La Llorona and Deer Woman, and other supernatural beings ready to chill you to the bone.

Dan SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca Nation) tells of his own encounters and selects his favorite spooky, eerie, surprising, and spine-tingling stories, all paired with haunting art by Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva).

So dim the lights (or maybe turn them all on) and pick up a story...if you dare.


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