A collection of strange-but-true tales features the story of a family caught in a killer blizzard; a little girl who finds a locket and travels back in time; and others.
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Grade 5-8-- The conceits of many of the tales included in this collection are startling, but not all deliver the chill the title promises. The story ``Brothers'' has a staggering theme: foster parents plan to adopt two unrelated boys who match one another in physical size and murder the stronger of them to provide a heart for their favorite, the weaker. The protagonist in ``Sarah's Locket'' is so fascinated by the image of a girl her age in an old locket that she is not only transported to an earlier era whenever she picks up the necklace, but also experiences the tragic fate of that child. And ``The Substitute'' does produce chills when a class at Middle Grove School is led on an impromptu field trip by their substitute teacher, a man plotting to avenge the cruel treatment he received at the hands of his classmates at the same school years back. Many of the other stories, however, plod to predictable conclusions. Although astute readers may guess the endings early on and thus be disappointed, others will profit from the slower pace and accessible vocabulary. What these stories do very well is model the ``what if?'' theme, taking familiar situations and introducing the unfamiliar. Creative writing classes could profit from these examples. --Susan F. Marcus, Pollard Middle School, Needham, MA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A snowed-in, freezing family almost makes the mistake of climbing into the Black Van that stops for them...a locket with an old photograph becomes a slow, deadly trap...a substitute teacher returns to his hometown after many years to take revenge on the children of his tormentors...a seemingly ramshackle house proves to be a gateway to past and future. Readers who enjoyed (if that's the word) the author's Nightwaves: Scary Tales for After Dark (1990) will find these eight simply told stories similar, if somewhat milder, fare. Despite occasional flashes of bone and blood, McDonald relies on irony or shock, rather than explicit grue, for his effects, and not all of these tales have a supernatural element: in ``The Diving Bear,'' Karen watches a sad circus animal escape its captivity with a fatal fall, and Billy drives away his brutal stepfather in ``Deadly Warm'' by putting rattlesnakes in his bed. Plenty of unsubtle shivers. (Short Stories/Fiction. 10-13) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Trophy Pr, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0064404935