Tag: children

7 Nostalgic Spooky Stories to Put You in the Halloween Mood

One of the major themes of books and movies this year seems to be nostalgia. Everyone is constantly looking for a hint of that childhood magic and mystery, and with Halloween coming up, it’s a perfect time to revisit some of our favorite scary stories reminiscent of elementary and middle school Halloween parties. Here’s a list of seven of our favorite childhood spooks.

 

1. The Black cat by edgar allan poe

 

theblackcatcadabrabanner1200x627 - Exclusive: Cadabra Records is Back With Edgar Allan Poe's THE BLACK CAT

Image via dreadcentral

 

There are so many perfectly disturbing Poe stories that are suitable for Halloween, most of which feature themes of delusion, madness, and all-around creepy vibes. The Black Cat is one such story about a normally docile man who lashes out at his pet cat in a fit of rage while under the influence of alcohol. Poe describes the man cutting out his cat’s eye in horrific detail, and after the man comes back to his senses, a combination of alcoholism and guilt continue to drive him to madness. The man finally snaps and attacks his cat once again, but his actions lead to an even more gruesome, unexpected death. In typical Poe fashion, the man tries to bury his guilt until it returns to him in the form of the supernatural. This one’s sure to send shivers down your spine and may have traumatized you as a kid. It’s definitely not for cat fans!

 

2. The Monkey’s paw by w.w. jacobs

 

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image via comingsoon.net

 

If you remember The Monkey’s Paw from elementary or middle school, you probably remember being seriously spooked. The monkey’s paw is a charm from India that has the ability to grant three wishes to three different people. It had two other owners, the first of which used his final wish to take his own life before it ended up in Mr. White’s hands. But every time the White family makes a wish on the monkey’s paw, there’s a horrible catch. Their first wish for money results in the death of their son, Herbert, and the White family receives money as compensation for his death. In the midst of her grief, Mrs. White demands that her husband wish her son back to life. Just after he does, there’s an ominous knocking at the Whites’ door. This creepy story reawakens our childhood imagination and teaches us the ultimate lesson: Be careful what you wish for.

 

3. The Legend of sleepy hollow by Washington Irving

 

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image via fantasy & world music by the fiechters

 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a classic short story that tells the tale of Ichabod, a teacher living in smalltown Sleepy Hollow. Hoping to win the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter of one of the richest farmers in Sleepy Hollow, he goes to her father’s farm to win her over. But Brom Van Brunt, one of Katrina’s other potential suitors, is known for physically imitating anyone who tries to woo Katrina. Brom plays pranks on Ichabod until he gets frustrated, and as he’s heading home he runs into a creature far more terrifying than Brom. A dark figure riding a horse begins to follow Ichabod on his path home, and Ichabod notices—with utter horror—that the man’s head is detached from his body. The Headless Horseman throws his detached head at Ichabod, knocking him off his horse. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is spooky in a comforting kind of way. The world can’t be all bad as long as we have Sleepy Hollows with legends of Headless Horsemen. Or middle school legends of Bloody Mary hiding in the bathroom.

 

4. In a dark, dark room and other scary stories by Alvin Schwartz

 

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image via the paris review

 

In A Dark, Dark Room is a book to be read and chanted aloud, classroom-style. In the title story, things just keep getting darker and darker and spookier and spookier. Another memorable story in this collection is The Green Ribbon. It’s about a little girl named Jenny who always wears a green ribbon around her neck. When she grows older, her husband, Alfred, asks about the ribbon but she refuses to tell him. Once Jenny had grown old and was nearing her death, she removed the green ribbon and her head fell off. Jenny and her green ribbon are absolute proof that we pretended to be the bravest children ever (even though most of us were probably terrified.)

 

 

5. High beamS (Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark by Alvin Schwartz)

 

High Beams

image via scaryforkids

 

Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark is possibly the most nostalgic collection of spooky short stories of all. The movie was released this past month, but it’s worth revisiting the short stories and the movie in celebration of Halloween. There are three stories in the collection that are particularly terrifying, one of which is “High Beams,” a story about a woman driving home and paranoid about a man following her and flashing his headlights behind her. Once the woman gets home and runs inside calling for her dad, the man who had been following her explains he was trying to warn her about the person hiding in her backseat and holding a knife. This story is definitely shiver-inducing for anyone who’s ever driven alone in the dark.

 

6. “The red spot” (Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark)

 

 

“The Red Spot” is serious children’s—or adults’—body horror. In it, a girl gets a red boil on her face that turns out to be a bunch of spider eggs that hatch. Anyone will arachnophobia or a general disgust of eight-legged creatures has to shudder at that one, not to mention the horror movie-level illustration included with it.

 

7. “Harold” (Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark)

 

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image via refinery29

 

Finally, we have “Harold,” which might be the creepiest of all. It’s about two cowherds who hate a particular farmer and create a scarecrow imitation of him to taunt and spit at only to find that the scarecrow comes to life at night. One of the cowherds goes missing and when the other goes looking for him, he sees a giant version of Harold stretching out the bloody human skin of his friend. Serious childhood trauma right there.

 

 

Featured image via Dread Central

The Deepest Children’s Book Guaranteed to Make You Emotional

Though children’s books can be simple in context, the messages they leave behind are often times quite powerful. When we read them as children, they usually have no deeper meaning to us, because at that stage in our life our emotions have not blossomed. There are a few books, however, that resonate so deeply as we take a step into adulthood. In fact, the sheer truth that lies within them can prove to be quite depressing. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is a pure example.

 

Image Via Medium

The book follows a female apple tree and a boy, who develop a relationship with each other. The tree is very “giving” and the boy evolves from a naive kid who merely wants to play, into a “taking” teenager, man, then elderly man.

 

the stages of life

Image Via VIPA

 

Through each stage of the boy’s life, he takes more and more from the tree to support his life, from her branches, to her apples, and finally her trunk. Throughout each stage she remains happy, despite losing so much, because she is sacrificing for the happiness of the boy.

 

 

This story is the embodiment of unconditional love. The tree was happy without her leaves, without her branches and even without her trunk. It did not matter what the boy did, as long as she could still give and make him happy, she would remain happy. His selfishness did not affect her, she was only made happy by her ability to provide him what he wanted or needed. Like a parent, the tree is happy to help in any way she can because she always sees him as her kid, or her “boy”.

 

Grandparents and children

Image Via New York Post

 

I actually believe that this story is more suitable for adults, who need to be reminded of greed and selfishness. It teaches us not to take anything for granted, and to be aware of everyone’s worth. It is a beautiful book that you absolutely need to revisit.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Desiring God

This Bookmobile Encourages Reading by Bringing the Party to You!

Twice a summer for the past ten years, the bookmobile has partnered with Ballenger Creek Elementary School to encourage reading for children in Frederick County, Ohio.

 

Bookmobile
Image Via Bookmobile | Washington County Free Library
 

Brought to people around Frederick County, the ‘bookmobile’ has been around since 1965. Eight vehicles have held the title of ‘bookmobile’. There are two on the road today, and boy, do they get around!

A single bookmobile can carry about “11,300 items, roughly half that of a small library branch“.

The idea of a library on wheels might seem old-fashioned, but they’ve been around for fifty years, bringing books to adults and children around the County. Considering the operating costs is about $185,165 or 1.4% of the county libraries budget, it seems like they have been well worth it.

 

 

Ten years ago Sally Marin, an English Language instructor at Ballenger Creek, noticed a problem in her school.

A lot of our EL families have never been to the library, and they maybe don’t have library cards or don’t understand how the whole thing works.

 

Inside the Bookmobile
Image Via Frederick News-Post
 

Hoping the bridge the gap, Marin launched the partnership whit bookmobile. Given that the public library is closed during the summer, this program has helped kids continue reading during the summer break.

If kids read four or five books over the summer, they can maintain the reading gains that they made that school year…It’s just like an athletic skill. You can’t expect that you’re going to maintain a certain skill level in any sport if you don’t practice. The same is true for reading

Now it’s summer the bookmobile comes along to offer its services while hosting an ice cream party!

 

 
Adults inside the Boomobile
Image Via Frederick News-Post
 
Books can be checked out, returned, and put on hold and people can sign up for library cards right on board. Who would want to get their first library card from this amazing station?

Plus, with about 3,000 items inside, ranging from books to DVDs to magazines, there are many options to keep children engages while they eat their ice cream and Popsicle during the hot summer days.

Looks like this van is going to get children on the road to reading!

 

 

Featured Image Via Bookmobile | Washington County Free Library

Metallica Will Be Publishing Their Own Book…For Children!

It seems like everyone is publishing books for children. They are the future after all, but most wouldn’t expect a children’s book from heavy metal band Metallica.

Heavy metal band Metallica has held a reputation of toxic rivalries, substance misuse and songs with the most morbid of titles – Disposable Heroes (1986), Nothing Else Matters (1991), My Friend Of Misery (1991). If anyone were to guess who would be the next to publish a children’s book, they would most likely be more toward the bottom of that list.

 

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Metal is a serious business. No smiling here. | Image via Woodbury Bulletin

 

Alas, the world can be a surprising place. Yesterday the plans to publish their book The ABCs Of Metallica was announced on their official website. The book promises to highlight historical moments from the band’s career through rhyme and the alphabet.

 

 

Including rhymes and illustrations, The ABCs of Metallica looks back at the history of the band from, duh, A to Z! Each letter of the alphabet highlights a moment along our journey from Garage Days to Master of Puppets to fun facts about us.

 

Image via Amazon

 

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Metallica’s charity foundation All Within My Hands, supporting workforce education and the fight against hunger.

 

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Metallica’s 2nd Annual All Within My Hand Foundation Event – Collecting Caned Foods | Image via 98kupd

 

Putting their band’s reputation aside, the members of Metallica are people, some of them married with children, so I think it’s safe to say that they do have experience with kids that will be brought into creating this new book. We’ll just have to see how it comes out in the end when the book is released this November 26th. You can pre-order through Amazon now.

 

 

Featured Image via Tweed Daily News

School Considers Removing 200 ‘Sexist’ Books From Library

Purging libraries of books considered harmful to children isn’t anything new. It can be for violent content, sexual themes or even due to being written by a controversial author. One group in Barcelona is considering purging books for another big reason: sexism.

The Guardian reported that the Associació Espai i Lleure has reviewed close to 600 books in The Taber School in Barcelona as part of their Library and Gender project, which aims to highlight the hidden sexist content found in most children’s books.

The group found that around 200 of the books at the school’s library contained hidden sexist themes. As a result, the books is considering removing from the library. Some of the removed books include Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty.

The group said that the purpose of this review was not to target specific books, but to address the larger issue of sexism in children’s books. There have been studies conducted about gender bias in children’s books, in which males are more likely to be the protagonist of a children’s story and get more speaking roles than female characters. Espai i Lleure hopes to shine a light on the casual sexism in certain stories in order for children to learn these earlier in life in order to counter sexism when they are older.

You can read for about the group’s efforts here.

Do you agree with what Espai i Lleure is doing?

 

 

Featured Image Via Pacific Standard