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Children's Fiction Horror & Ghost Stories

Tales from Beyond the Brain

by (author) Jeff Szpirglas

illustrated by Steven P. Hughes

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2019
Horror & Ghost Stories, Short Stories, Paranormal
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Imagine walking home from school one day and seeing a brain on the side of the road, a brain that, it turns out, is looking for a new home. Or instead of paying attention to the teacher, you shoot a paper airplane across the room and accidentally rip a hole in the fabric of the universe. And what would you do if you discovered that your class reading group was actually recruiting kids with telekinetic powers? Tales from Beyond the Brain is a collection of thirteen spooky stories that are as outrageous as they are terrifying. It's a throwback to the weird tales of yesteryear, in the vein of Tales from the Crypt and The Twilight Zone, but with contemporary characters and settings. Getting an education has never been more dangerous.

About the authors



JEFF SZPIRGLAS is the author of multiple books in the Countdown to Danger series. In addition to his choose-your-own-path titles, Jeff has written award-nominated non-fiction books and several terrifying novels and horror collections for middle-grade readers, including Tales from the Fringes of Fear and Tales from Beyond the Brain. With his wife, Danielle Saint-Onge, he is the co-author of the Orca Echoes books X Marks the Spot!, Something's Fishy and Messy Miranda. He's worked at CTV Television and was an editor at Chirp, chickaDEE and Owl magazines. He has twin children, two cats (the cats are not twins) and one dog. In his spare time, he teaches elementary school. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario. Visit him online at


Jeff Szpirglas' profile page

Steven P. Hughes is an award-winning Canadian illustrator whose clients include the Globe and Mail, Reader's Digest and Scientific American. He graduated from Sheridan College with a BAA in Illustration. He lives in Bolton, Ontario, with his wife and their two dogs.

Steven P. Hughes' profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Short-listed, SYCRA Diamond Willow

Editorial Reviews

“Szpirglas writes with a casual straightforwardness and has a keen sense of when to embrace terror and, crucially, when it is more effective to cut away...In the main, genuinely scary, achieving Edgar Allan Poe’s ideal ‘single effect’: every element of each story working together to frighten a new generation of children.”

Quill & Quire

"A good choice for middle-grade readers looking for something smart and scary."

Kirkus Reviews

"All around pretty good!...I would recommend this book to people who like spooky stuff."

Canadian Children's Book News, student take-over edition

“Elementary school students looking for something to read after they have exhausted the entire Haunted Canada Series will treasure this, and it is an ideal choice for chapter-book reading children asking for scary books…Also perfect for reluctant readers, and teachers and librarians everywhere will greatly appreciate this addition to the too-small collection of truly scary books for the target age range.”

Resource Links

“Enough twists, freaky turns and bizarre endings to keep young readers engaged and wanting more. Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Each tale quickly builds suspense before closing with a effectively introduce young readers to the pleasures of the genre.”

Publishers Weekly

“Will satisfy young horror enthusiasts. Each tale is brief and segmented and will not overwhelm readers. In addition to the great stories are the graphics. Ominous, black and white sketches are interspersed and add to the engagement and excitement of the tales.”

Must Read Literature: K thru YA

Other titles by Jeff Szpirglas

Other titles by Steven P. Hughes