Review Blog

May 26 2010

Short and Scary, edited by Karen Tayleur

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Black Dog Books, 2010. ISBN 9781742031330.
Middle school. A short story collection sub titled, 'a whole lot of creepy stories and other chilling stuff' is sure to be a draw card with upper primary people looking for a good scare and teachers looking for a collection of diverse short stories to read with their classes. The stories range in this collection will be attractive to both sets of readers. Each of the stories and poems are short enough to use as a template for students' own stories. With poems, very short stories, longer stories and several drawings, and a graphic story by Andy Griffiths, this is a short story collection that will be borrowed from every school library. From its cute size and the scary fingers creeping around the door, the book begs to be picked up.
Amongst the nearly 50 stories are several by younger authors, Kelsey Murphy and Ella Sexton, for example, and students will enjoy seeing something from people their own age. Some are by well known authors, including James Roy, Lili Wilkinson, Sally Odgers and Gabrielle Wang, while many are by people with minor publications to their credit. A list at the end of the book outlines the credentials of each of the contributors.
A companion piece to black dog book's earlier short story collection, Short, these books have been published with mentorship in mind. Published authors have mentored newer and or younger writers to produce a book where the profits are returned to a mentoring programme. Outstanding stories include, The Hunt (Heather Gallagher), The Moth-er (Lili Wilkinson) and Tooth Fairy (Dianne Touchell).
Fran Knight

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