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On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave
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On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,409 Ratings  ·  355 Reviews
"Positively tailor-made for reading—or reading aloud—by flashlight," declares Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.

The phenomenally versatile, award-winning author, Candace Fleming, gives teen and older tween readers ten ghost stories sure to send chills up their spines. Set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago, each story takes place during a different ti
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Schwartz & Wade
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Susan Carlson There is no theme to the book. It is just a fun scary story book. The stories don't have morals. They are just meant to be creepy.
Y Where did it say they were all from and died in different states? The general setting for all or most of their stories was in and around Chicago, I…moreWhere did it say they were all from and died in different states? The general setting for all or most of their stories was in and around Chicago, I believe. Just different time periods.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

This is a creepy love-letter to Chicago, its history and to teens who love to hear things go bump in the night. Though I am slightly too old to be really creeped out by this collection of ten, often vastly different, stories of death and often weirdness (exception: Edgar's story was deceptively creepy and a nice ode to Edgar Allan Poe), I greatly enjoyed this unique frame for short stories. I'm not going to lie, the introduction/the first few pages
Rachel Shedden
Before I start my proper review, I need to point out a little something about this book. On The Day I Died is a collection of short stories within one story. Now, I know that barely makes any sense so I'll try to make what I'm saying a tad clearer. The book starts off with Mike, a teenage boy rushing home late one night as it's past his curfew. After a series of 'events' leads him to a graveyard, he meets a group of ghosts who, one at a time, go on to narrate the story (in first person) behind e ...more
Sharon Tyler
Jul 09, 2012 Sharon Tyler rated it really liked it
On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming is a middle grade and young adult book scheduled for release on July 10 2012. I would recommend it for older children, around eleven through middle and high school students due to the ages of the protagonists and spooky nature. The frame of the story is one teenage boy's drive home. Mike is driving home, too fast and not paying enough attention to the road. A girl on the road brings him to a stop, and despite his mother's repeated phon ...more
Jen V
Feb 19, 2012 Jen V rated it it was amazing
Honestly, Candace Fleming can do now wrong when it comes to writing amazing books! I recently read The One and Only Barnum and had Amelia Lost on my list of books to read, too, when I requested this from NetGalley. I assumed it would be non-fiction but when I started reading, I realized it's a book of ghost stories! I totally wasn't expecting this but the idea behind the telling of the stories was great and all the stories were captivating.

I love that they are all set in or around Chicago. I dr
Jan 23, 2012 Vicky rated it really liked it
Who hasn’t sat around a campfire telling ghost stories? Or under a blanket with a flashlight? We’ve all heard them – the ones like the ghostly hitchhiker or the haunted insane asylum. They are part and parcel of growing up. In this book, Ms. Fleming has taken nine stories, all of which I’m familiar with, and given them a new spin. In this case, all of them have some basis on a factual incident – giving them a ghostly twist worthy of those campfires. They are all tied together by Mike, a characte ...more
Evelyn (devours and digests words)
Highly recommended for fans of the dark.

I read this in a local library for hours on end. I wouldn't go home until dark.

Let me tell you, this book is a piece of work. This is the kind of scary I've been looking for in a horror book.

Stories from the Grave is actually like a collection of short stories narrated by different *dead* people and in different point of views. The setting? An abandoned teenager graveyard!

If you ever pick up this book. Be prepared to face...

Psychopaths who just love ars
Cait S
Dec 30, 2015 Cait S rated it it was amazing
I love stumbling across hidden gems because of challenges! I picked this one up just needing to read a book with a cemetery on the cover and I'm so pleased I did. Each story in this collection is gripping and creepy and well fleshed out in its own right. From beginning to end, every new thread added to the whole picture is unique and would be an interesting story all on its own.

Very short and fast but doesn't lack at all in details and great world building. Honestly nothing bad to say about this
Dec 12, 2015 , rated it really liked it
This book was amazing.
Brandy Painter
Oct 17, 2012 Brandy Painter rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Originally posted at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Everyone knows the story. Teenager in a car on a lonely road stops to pick up a girl alone, shivering, scared, just wanting a ride home. She gets out of the car and leaves something behind. Teenager, in this case a boy named Mike, turns around and takes her belongings (saddle shoes) back to her house. There her mother opens the door and tells him her daughter is dead and has been for years, but every year someone shows up with a pair
Rating 3.5 Stars

I miss reading ghost stories and I didn't realize just how much I missed it until I read this book. When it comes to ghost stories I'm a pretty big fan, despite my low "scary" tolerance. I mean, the last book I read I got creeped out by a 9ft tall serial killing cookie, that's where my bar is set. For me, On the Day I Died was definitely creepy, but in the most refreshing way.

This book is a series of connected short stories that follow Mike, just your average teenage boy, who en
In the end, I'd recommend this book because there's a wide audience for ghost stories. However, I didn't like it much. On the Day I Died contains ten chapters, nine of which are self-contained stories from different ghosts about how they died. It's got a little bit of almost everything (but not the trendy vampires and zombies). And though that might actually be a selling point, for me it was distracting. The first story drew me in because it was fairly realistic and reminded me of some famous Ch ...more
Jul 10, 2012 Nafiza rated it really liked it
In the synopsis, the author is described, amongst other things, as versatile and that is certainly one of the adjectives I would wholeheartedly attach to her. This versatility is especially evident in On the Day I Died. It is quite difficult to develop different and distinct voices in one book and Fleming achieves it about ten different times in the same novel. The collection of stories all have one theme but are populated by teens from various times in history with very different social positio ...more
Jenna Anderson
Jun 06, 2012 Jenna Anderson rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A Unique Collection of Stories

On The Day I Died is a unique and extremely creative collection of death stories. The author does a fantastic job of giving the reader eight distinct tales. I enjoyed the different settings, voices, and delivery of each story.

You may be thinking, “I don’t read short story collections.” Well, you need to pick up this one. The group is joined in a fun way and I zoomed through the entire book quickly. I wanted to find out what they all had to say and also discover wh
Wow!! What a great book for middle graders and teens!! These short stories are weaved together with the overall story of narrator. Such wonderful variety, amazingly all written by the same author.

Each short story is tole in the first person by a different ghost. I loved every story and found myself wishing there were more ghosts to talk. They were all so colorful and inventive. Some stories will harken back to other tales like "The Monkey's Paw" and The Yellow Wallpaper.

I listened to the audio
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Driving home late one night; out past his curfew, teenager Mike Kowalski is in a hurry to get home, when suddenly a girl appears in his headlights. Dripping wet and cold on a deserted road – he can’t just leave her – so he offers her a ride home. Only “home” turns out to be a cemetery and the girl, Carol Anne, has been dead since 1956. Buried in a special section reserved for teens, she is joined by eight other youthful ghosts who gather ‘round to share with Mike the stories of their last day on ...more
Jul 24, 2012 Jess rated it really liked it
Two things made this book extra fun. First was the way the stories, each told by the ghost of a different child or teenager, are linked by the structure. A teen ends up at a graveyard at night, under mysterious circumstances, and ends up hearing the stories of all these ghosts. Each story is distinct, with it's own type of mystery or creepiness, but the stories flow from one to the next in a way that makes sense - Fleming clearly put thought into ordering and structuring her stories to create a ...more
Hannah Hicks
Jan 30, 2015 Hannah Hicks rated it really liked it
In "On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave", Candice Fleming tells about how 16 year old Mike Kolwalski ended up in a grave yard for teenagers. On that night, Mike was told death stories from a group of kids who had felt as if everyone had forgotten about about them. "There was a blare of a horn. . . the squealing of tires. . . Colin shouting, "Drew!" as he shoved his brother out of the way and then. . . a sickening thump." Page 113. I would recommend this book to young adult readers who are ...more
Oct 05, 2012 AdriAnna rated it did not like it
I did not much care for this particular book mainly from the way it jumped genres within the setting. Supernatural, natural, sci-fi, horror.... they just did not blend together very well in this particular presentation. Another detriment was that three of the stories were practically plagarized (Edgar, The Monkey's Paw, and the opening story with the girl in the white dress.)

I did enjoy some of the individual stories, such as the one about the twins and the mirror, and the grow-your-own-aliens,
Seba Elmquist
Jan 24, 2016 Seba Elmquist rated it liked it

This book was good, the ideas behind each story weren't really that bad. My only problem was that the stories were told by pre mentioned characters, and since it says in the book that they were dead, I already knew what to expect later on. I really liked how the author took ideas from already known stories and has given them a new spin. This book is a collection of short stories, and because of that it didn't get boring. The
Solid creepy fun. Originally started reading this thinking it would make a good booktalk for middle schoolers, but it took me too long to get through the talking book. Since it's short stories, there's no narrative throughline to pull you along. And reads a little like a sampler of "I can write historical fiction!" "I can write sci-fi!" "I can write romance!" All with a creepy twist. Good enough I finished it, though. And the hook is pretty awesome.
Richard Denney
Jul 24, 2012 Richard Denney rated it did not like it
This is YA but it should be considered Middle-Grade.
The first 5 pages were great but when the ghosts began telling their stories
everything went to crap. The stories were so boring... I.... just can't.
I wouldn't recommend this... I was so close to slamming it on the ground... I haven't been this pissed at a book since "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer".

Jul 13, 2014 Traci rated it liked it
Found this in our Young Adult section at work, thought it looked interesting. It was OK. Many of the stories have factual tidbits as the author set the book in and around Chicago. However, many of the tales sounded just like hundreds of other ghost stories I've read over the years.

Nice nod to some literary works, though, specifically Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper".
Feb 11, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing
LOVED IT! Every last page of it! Based on true stories, these ghost stories and creepy and chilling. The idea of tying all these stories together through retelling them to 'Mike' in the dark cemetery was pure genius! Kids are going to eat this one up for sure!

I read the ebook arc that was generously provided to me by Random House through NetGalley.
Kids who haven't read many horror stories might enjoy this more than I did. Since so many of the stories were based on previously told horror stories, they were familiar to me and so I really didn't get much out of them. I enjoyed more reading the last two pages where the author told about the Chicago history and geography that she based these short stories on than the stories themselves.
Jul 10, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it
I have noticed that many stories in this book closely resemble episodes from "The Twilight Zone". A pact with the devil, vengeance-seeking corpses, mobsters, wish-granting monkey paws, etc. Despite all of this, I really enjoyed this book.
I liked how the books was a collection of many stories inside of a larger one. Though I personally didn't find the book scary, maybe children would. It was an interesting read.
harlequin {Stephanie}
Very Similar to goosebumps stories. Only not nearly as creepy as it claims. One or two I really enjoyed.
☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎
I thought it was a cute story for a middle school kid looking for something spooky.
Sep 15, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it
“Four Stars: A creepy set of ghost stories perfect for tweens and teens!

Mike scrunches down the gas pedal, his phone ringing in the seat next to him. It is late, and he knows his mother is on the other end of that call, ready to unleash a torrent of frustration at his inability to observe his curfew. His car zooms down the darkened road, as he rushes to get home and avoid her wrath. A figure unexpectedly looms out of the blackness right in the middle of the road. Mike swerves and just barely mis
Jul 04, 2012 Heidi rated it liked it
Originally reviewed here.

On the Day I Died is a sometimes cheesy, sometimes chilling, but always fun collection of short stories recounting the deaths of teens throughout the past two centuries in the Chicago area. I very much like this type of set-up in a short story collection, where there is a frame story that gives a reason for and ties together all of the other stories in the collection. In this case it is Mike (which I blurb below) coming to the graveyard to listen to the tales of the dece
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I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale. And I told them all the time. As a preschooler, I told my neighbors all about my three-legged cat named Spot. In kindergarten, I told my classmates about the ghost that lived in my attic. And in first grade I told my teacher, Miss Harbart, all about my family's trip to Paris, France.

I told such a good st
More about Candace Fleming...

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“We may just be specters in this world, but our stories, if they are remembered and retold, become real and solid and alive... Once you hear a story, it becomes part of you. It can't die.” 12 likes
“Once you hear a story, it becomes part of you. It can't die.” 6 likes
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