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On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave

On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave is a middle grade/YA collection of short stories featuring the supernatural, ghostly, and occasionally humorous by Candace Fleming.

When Mike Kowalski is hurrying home, driving a bit faster than he should, he has good reason.

He really doesn’t want to be chewed out by his Mom – again.

But when a girl about his age suddenly appears in his headlights, Mike has to offer her a ride home. She’s wet and shivering – and seems confused. Or at least, she’s confusing him.

What he doesn’t know yet is that she will lead him to a Chicago cemetery with only the young dead as its residents.

Tonight he will hear their stories – ranging from the turn of the century era to modern times.

Whether he likes it or not, he’ll probably be late for curfew…

This is a really amusing, sharp story assortment – a send up to classic horror stories. Initially it sounds pretty grim – a bunch of teenagers are dead? Fun, right? But actually – yes!

Some of the tales, such as Gina’s (1949 – 1964) is cautionary and tragic – a bit of a “the boy who cries wolf” edge involved. Others, such as David’s (1943 – 1958) has monster outlandishness to it that is awesomely bordering on kitschy. And then there’s the more creepy type of story, like Tracy (1959 – 1974) and Scott’s (1995 – 2012) that take on typically goose bump inducing premises of mysterious recluses and insane asylums.

Essentially there’s a little bit of everything here, and Candace Fleming lays out her inspirations in the last few pages, which is great. You get nine stories told inside of one overall story, and they are all pretty strong! Personally, I think it’s readable by either boys or girls and great for light horror/ghost story fans.

On the Day I Died
is gleefully morbid, spooky, witty, clever and entertaining. Each tale has its own distinctive time periods and characters to make for a fast, delightful read!


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