ON THE DAY I DIED by Candace Fleming
Kirkus Star

ON THE DAY I DIED

Stories from the Grave
Age Range: 10 - 13
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Nine creepy tales told by dead teens and positively tailor-made for reading—or reading aloud—by flashlight.

Fleming uses a version of “The Vanishing Hitchhiker” as a frame story and draws inspiration from several classic horror shorts, monster movies and actual locales and incidents. Within this frame, she sends a teenager into a remote cemetery where ghostly young people regale him with the ghastly circumstances of their demises. These range from being sucked into a magical mirror to being partially eaten by a mutant rubber ducky, from being brained by a falling stone gargoyle at an abandoned asylum to drowning in a car driven by a demonic hood ornament. Tasty elements include a malign monkey’s paw purchased at a flea market, a spider crawling out of a corpse’s mouth and a crazed florist who collects the heads of famous gangsters. Amid these, the author tucks in period details, offers one story written in the style of Edgar Allan Poe (“As I pondered the wallpaper, its patterns seemed to crawl deep inside me, revealing dark secrets… No!”) and caps the collection with perceptive comments on her themes and sources.

Light on explicit grue but well endowed with macabre detail and leavening dashes of humor. (Horror/short stories. 10-13)

Pub Date: July 10th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-86781-1
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2012




BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF 2012: FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION:

ChildrenSPLENDORS AND GLOOMS by Laura Amy Schlitz
by Laura Amy Schlitz
ChildrenA GREYHOUND OF A GIRL by Roddy Doyle
by Roddy Doyle
ChildrenTHE VENGEKEEP PROPHECIES by Brian Farrey
by Brian Farrey
ChildrenIN A GLASS GRIMMLY by Adam Gidwitz
by Adam Gidwitz

MORE BY CANDACE FLEMING

ChildrenBULLDOZER'S BIG DAY by Candace Fleming
by Candace Fleming
ChildrenPAPA'S MECHANICAL FISH by Candace Fleming
by Candace Fleming

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenHAUNTED HOUSES by Robert D. San Souci
by Robert D. San Souci
ChildrenMOTHMAN'S CURSE by Christine Hayes
by Christine Hayes
ChildrenTHE NORTHERN FRIGHTS by Derek the Ghost
by Derek the Ghost