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Monday, 5 April 2010

Bites! Scary Stories to Sink Your Teeth Into - Edited by Lois Metzger

Bites Scary
Stories to Sink Your Teeth Into

Edited by Lois Metzger

Scholastic
ISBN 9780545158909

This collection of seven short stories is all about the creatures of the night, from vampires, to werewolves to Ghosts or at least spirits. It is at times funny and at times frightening. It presents the creatures of the night in many new lights. This will entertain and surprise and maybe just cause you to reflect on the stereotypes you hold about creatures, though different from still creatures with feelings and their own outlook on life, afterlife or undead depending on how you look at them. The contributors are:

Neal Shusterman
Terry Black
Ellen Wittlinger
Christopher Paul Curtis
Douglas Rees
Kevin Emerson
Joshua Gee
Peter Lerangis

And now for a look at each of these morsels to give you a sampling of the flavor of these Bites.

Perpetual Pest
Neal Shusterman and Terry Black
Neal is an award winning author of more than 30 books for young adults. This is his first collaborative effort with Terry. Terry writes books, movies, TV and cartoons. He won an award for his work on Tales from the Crypt. Neil is best known for his novels Unwind, Full Tilt and The Shadow Club. In this tale two brothers break into the Perpetual Rest Cemetery to rob graves of their riches. But they find something they had not been expecting.

Ghost Dog
Ellen Wittlinger
Sometimes things are not always what they appear to be. In this wonderfully crafted tale, Jack had to move to the middle of nowhere after his parents divorce, and being summer break, he has met few people. The one friend he has tells him a story about a ghost dog. But maybe that isn't the only ghost in the story. Ellen has published 14 novels and won the Michael L. Printz Honor Award. Her most popular works included Sandpiper, Blind Faith, Parrotfish and Love and Lies.

Going Old School In The Age of Obama
Christopher Paul Curtis
Christopher, a former auto worker from Flint Michigan, has both a Newbery Honor and Medal book in The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Bud, Not Buddy. He has written numerous books for young adults. In the Age of Obama the vampires have come out of the woodwork and are accepted. They are the double hyphens - Vamp-Afro-American is the tag our hero wears. Maurice is a nice young vampire; he gets his blood from the bank, and would never imagine biting someone's throat … or that is until he has a vision from his grant grandpa.

Anasazi Breakdown
Douglas Rees
You are on a road trip with your mother after your father passes away. His dying wish was for you and your mom to make the trip the three of you had always planned. When in an Anasazi ruins, you see a piece of pottery, and even though you know you shouldn't, you snatch it up. But that is just the beginning of your problems - soon you twist your knee and the car breaks down. Is it all related? Douglas is a man of many talents, most known for his Vampire High, Smoking Mirror and Uncle Pirate. He has wanted to be a writer since he was 12 but it took him until he was 50 to publish his first novel. Both his Biography and his alternative biography are worth a read.

The Coffin Deliveries
Kevin Emerson (blog)
As the author of the immensely popular Oliver Nocturne, Kevin is no stranger to writing about the supernatural. You have witnessed 5 coffins being delivered to a house on your way to school. Pets are missing from all over the neighborhood. What would ever cause you to check out the back of the house? Could you end up becoming a guest of honor at a vampire dinner?

Where Wolves Never Wander
Joshua Gee (blog)
Joshua is the author of the award-winning book Encyclopedia Horrifica: The Terrifying TRUTH About Vampires, Ghosts, Monsters and More. This is a horror story told by wolves to young wolves to protect them and help them avoid a fate worse than death. Read and find out what the wolves are afraid of.

I, Blooder
Peter Lerangis
This was a fantastic story, about a young vampire who is different from all the others. First he is pink not pale white, second he does not have the powers the others have, but he also has strength they do not. He can tolerate the sun, and he can stay awake during the day. Written in part as a story and in part as a research paper with extensive footnotes, this was a great tale and could be worked into an excellent novel. Peter is an award-winning author with more than 160 books to his credit, including 2 of the 10 books in the immensely popular 39 Clues series.

All in all this was a fun collection presenting some very new twists on old tales and legends. Each author presented a convincing piece that was enjoyable to read. Usually when I read an anthology or collection like this one, there is often one that sticks out as the strongest or the weakest. That was not the case this time around. That would be a credit to Lois Metzger's editing.

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