The Buckeye Children's Book Award 1989 winner for grades 3-5 was More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark collected by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell (old version) and Brett Helquist (new version).
This is the sequel to the previous winner, and if one win didn't convince someone of the popularity of these scary collections, then two wins is indisputable! The second collection is just as scary as the first, and also contains a brief introduction by the author with tips and information about the stories within. One thing I particularly liked about this collection is that several stories have good historical references within them (for example, historically, how in some cultures people would place coins over the eyes of the dead). Many of these stories are also legends and stories passed down from generations past, and can be used quite well to discuss these types of literature and how it informs us of the past. Schwartz has even included on the title page "collected from folklore and retold." Kids are fascinated with these stories, and it's wonderful how Schwartz tries to call attention to the fact that these stories are a part of our history as people.
This collection also has a few funny stories mixed in with the truly scary. Personally, while the first collection is more memorable (having heard more of those stories as a child), the second collection I find scarier. There's even a page that talks about how to call on Bloody Mary (and other similar ghosts). [shivers!]
Because I'm a huge baby, I read from the newest version which had Hequist's less terrifying illustrations, but I want to point out that Gammell's drawings were in the version that won the Buckeye Children's Book Award. Despite the new illustrations being included in the books published in 2010 and after, whenever I search for information on the internet about the book, 85% of the time people are talking about/using Gammell's version. I love that a huge part of the popularity of this series is due to the illustrations, which is not usually the case with story collections and novel-like books.
What's up next for grades K-2, Jill? Any more scary stories for you? (Thankfully, I get a break with the next 3-5 winner!)
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