Anyone else remember this book? I loved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark as a kid. I used to go into the garage, close the door, and read the stories to friends by flashlight. The book gave you directions on how to read the stories for maximum scare factor, and some of them had a built in scare at the end, where you would do something or yell something to make your friends jump. This, to us, was the height of entertainment.
The stories are gathered from older folklore and modern urban legends, the kind of classic chilling tales that end up being told over and over through generations.
Oddly, this is one of the most frequently challenged books, going back years. The reasons listed vary, but are mostly that the book series mention the occult, satanism, and violence. Basically, the objection seems to be that the scary stories are… scary.
Now, I wouldn’t read these to a kindergarten class. But these stories are aimed at eleven or twelve year olds, and that’s where they’re shelved in the book store. Teachers are reading them to kids of that age. Parents can feel free to make choices based on their knowledge of their own children, and whether they would find the book thrilling or nightmare-inducing.
The thing with banning a book is that no one gets to read it, not just the kids who maybe aren’t ready for it. The kind of book that gets kids to decide on a sunny afternoon that they all want to listen to stories is a book you want kids to have access to.
This is a fantastic book to read aloud around Halloween, or on a night when the power goes out.
Happy (scary) reading!