The Headless Haunt and Other African-American Ghost Stories

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9780060229948: The Headless Haunt and Other African-American Ghost Stories

African-American folklore includes a rich tradition of ghost stories. Noted author James Haskins has gathered more than 20 of the most spine-tingling tales in this haunting collection. Chilling personal accounts of ghostly encounters are also included. Rounding out the book are extensive source notes and historical background.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-7-An important, interesting collection of African American ghost stories, some of which are traditional, while others are attributed to specific storytellers as they were told to and recorded by members of the Georgia Writers' Project of the 1930s. Passed from grandparent to grandchild, from parent to child, from great-aunts to nieces and nephews, on porches and in darkened living rooms, these selections have chilled the blood and scared the living daylights out of many a listener. They are part African, remembered and retold by slaves newly stolen from Africa, and part American, heard here by black people as they made their way in this new land. In the end, they are African American, a mixture of both cultures. Readers can almost hear the storytellers' voices and, if they allow it, can be transported to a porch in Georgia to be scared silly by the rousing tales. There are several kinds of ghosts here: male, female, animal, and plat-eye; friendly and protective; or evil and harmful. A fascinating book to expand or build a collection on African American culture.
Carol Jones Collins, Montclair Kimberley Academy, NJ
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 4-8. Ghost stories are always popular, and Haskins' collection of African American tales will please discriminating fans as well as teachers looking for multicultural stories for the classroom. In his introduction, Haskins explains the "mixed heritage" of African American tales. Each section of the book is devoted to a particular kind of ghostly spirit (plat-eyes, jack-o'-lanterns) or a particular type of tale and includes at least one or two attributed anecdotes and a brief introductory note providing valuable background information. Readers may find it interesting to compare African American protections against ghosts (or even the tales themselves) with the charms and protections of other ethnic groups. Haskins supplies source notes and a bibliography of adult and young adult stories and resources. Ben Otero's appropriately gruesome cover illustration of a haunt carrying a glowing lantern in one hand and its own red-eyed head in the other is sure to attract plenty of browsers. Chris Sherman

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