Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Spooky Cemeteries

Williams, Dinah. 2008. Spooky Cemeteries. New York: Bearport.

Spooky Cemeteries was the 2009 winner of the Children's Choice Book Awards 3rd and 4th Grade Book of the Year. At the time the awards were announced in May, my library did not own a copy , but I'm pleased to say that we have it now.

According to its opening pages, "in this book, you'll meet a voodoo queen, ghosts who won't rest in peace, an ancient mummy, and other creepy creatures of the night."

Spooky Cemeteries is a compilation of short pieces on 11 of the world's most famously creepy burial grounds, including the Catacombs of France (home to 6 million skeletons and featured in the 39 Clues mystery, Maze of Bones), Tutankhamun's Tomb in Egypt, and Westminster Burying Grounds in Baltimore, Maryland, the final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe (whose 200th anniversary we celebrate this year).
More factual than fantastic, most entries contains the local legend or lore,

She then turns into an ugly monster with long teeth and red eyes before killing
them. She hides in the tall trees and flies through the air. Don't let her get
close! ... Some people think that a Pontianak is nothing more than a large owl.
The faces of these birds can look human when they swoop out of the darkness.

actual photographs of the location, dramatized photos or artwork depicting the ghost or relevant artifacts, and a text box containing interesting facts,

Most cemeteries in New Orleans have tombs where the dead can be buried above
ground. why? About half of the city is below sea level. If coffins were buried
in the soggy ground, they would float up out of their graves.

A table of contents, map, glossary, bibliography, index, and suggested reading round out this scholarly look at an unscholarly topic. Spooky Cemeteries is part of the Scary Places series.

A real kid-pleaser! Not too gory, but just spooky enough!

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