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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, Paranormal, Short Stories
  • 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 has written several award-nominated non-fiction books and two terrifying novels for middle-grade readers, Evil Eye and Dentures of Doom. With his wife, Danielle Saint-Onge, he is the co-author of the Orca Echoes 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 and two cats (the cats are not twins). In his spare time, he teaches second grade. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario.


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


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

Editorial Reviews

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

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“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

“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

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

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

“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

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

Kirkus Reviews

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

Publishers Weekly

Other titles by Jeff Szpirglas

Other titles by Steven P. Hughes