Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
A CBC Books Best of 2020 Pick. A spooky, illustrated collection of Atlantic ghost stories for middle-grade readers by the award-winning author of The Ghost Road.
The whole world seemed to tilt at that moment, like a painting on a wall that gets knocked a little crooked. Everything she had known as real up until now was slightly altered, and she seemed to be standing on the edge of a huge, dark, trembling world that was just a little different than it had been one minute before. Ghosts were real.
There is no dark like the Newfoundland dark. These ominous words beckon young readers onward in this spooky collection of ghost stories by celebrated ghost story-teller and award-winning middle-grade author Charis Cotter. Reimagined from family stories told across Newfoundland and passed down over generations, these 10 spine-tingling tales traverse centuries and introduce readers to the Rock's nooks and crannies. From a ghostly blueberry-picker on the barrens to a visit from the notorious Old Hag, from a mysterious ballet troupe in a St. John's mansion to a haunted house in an outport community on the cusp of resettlement, these stories bring the island of Newfoundland to vibrant new life (and death) as the thread of these years-old yarns is unravelled for a whole new generation.
Featuring ghostly black-and-white illustrations from Newfoundland artist Genevieve Simms, as well as an overview of the Newfoundland storytelling tradition, and a Story Behind the Story for each tale including context on the story's history, its original teller, its featured ghost, and setting, along with tips for spooky storytelling and a Glossary of Newfoundland terms, Screech! is equal parts eerie and educational, making it a riveting read as well as a great resource for budding historians and storytellers.
About the authors
A writer and storyteller, Charis Cotter has published several critically acclaimed children's books, including a series of biographies about extraordinary children and a book about international ghosts. Toronto Between the Wars: Life in the City 1919-1939 received the 2005 Heritage Toronto Award of Excellence. Most recently, The Swallow: A Ghost Story won the 2015 IODE Violet Downey Book Award, was named an Honour Book by the Canadian Library Association for 2015, and has been nominated for four 2016 children's choice awards across Canada. She lives in Western Bay, NL.
Sarah Sawler is the author of 100 Things You Don't Know About Nova Scotia. She writes a monthly column for Atlantic Books Today called “Origin Stories,” and her freelance work appears regularly in Halifax Magazine and Atlantic Business Magazine. She lives in Halifax with her partner, two children, one dog, one cat, and one bearded dragon.
"The stories are scary. They are spooky and eerie. They have all the essentials of tales which will keep you on the edge of your seat and cause you to wonder just what unknown and unseen beings might inhabit our world. Cotter uses wonderful stories from previous generations and presents them in a way that current young adult readers will understand and appreciate. Much of the charm of the book is that the stories are not of the horror genre. They are just great spine-tingling tales." —Canadian Review of Materials (Winnipeg, MB)
Other titles by Charis Cotter
Footsteps in Bay de Verde
The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story
The Ghost Road
The Ferryland Visitor
A mysterious tale
The Swallow: A Ghost Story
Born to Write
The Remarkable Lives of Six Famous Authors
Kids Who Rule
The Remarkable Lives of Five Child Monarchs
Toronto Between the Wars
Life in the City 1919-1939