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On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  890 ratings  ·  259 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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I think I would have enjoyed this collection of short and allegedly “eerie, tragic or horrifying” tales of Dead Teenagers Killed In Various Mysterious Ways more if I hadn’t been super warped as a child by reading LEGITIMATELY scary stories.

I mean, these were okay? The narrators’ voices were sometimes a little all over the place, but the idea behind each story wasn’t bad. A girl gets sucked into a cursed mirror… a boy gets crushed by a mail-order monster… a girl is burned alive by her pyromaniac
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
Sharon Tyler
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
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
Jen V
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
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
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
Jenna Anderson
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
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
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
On the Day I Died felt like a throwback to some of the books I really enjoyed as a kid, specifically Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories series. This book is a series of short stories set in a framework of a living boy hearing the death stories of other teenagers whose lives were cut short. That in itself isn’t very remarkable, but many of the stories are based in the history of Chicago or in folklore. There is a story that retells “The Monkey’s Paw”, we meet the vanishing hitchhiker, and there are r ...more
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
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
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".
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,
Jul 19, 2014 Amy added it
Shelves: ya-paranormal, 2014
Whaaat?!? This was so good! I'm impressed that Candace Fleming excels at writing both fiction AND non-fiction -- seems like authors generally show a proclivity for one or the other. Although her stories in this book all contain some factual historical details, so I guess it's really a blend of both kinds of writing. I LOVED all of the details about Chicago history, not only because I love Chicago, but also because "The best ghost stories...should always include a kernel of truth." This has long ...more
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.
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.
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.
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.
Turn down the lights. Light some candles. Gather your favorite teens, if you are afraid to listen to a Young Adult novel alone. This audio book may be recommended for listeners ages 11 to 14, but adults will find it spookily entertaining as well. While it starts off with the typical ghost-in-the-road-needs-a-ride-home-but-really-she-lives-in-the-cemetery theme, from there on it is quite innovative. Superbly performed by a cast of characters, you may want to plan on listening to it in one go. But ...more
harlequin {Stephanie}
Very Similar to goosebumps stories. Only not nearly as creepy as it claims. One or two I really enjoyed.
Christen Oliver
This was a pretty good book. The middle started to get a bit boring, like "oh, another dead story". However, it did end with a bang. The last story with the dead heads around a table. I seriously almost threw up reading that. The other thing I did like about this book is the message it gave at the end as a warning about death, but more importantly the message of a story and its need to be told. One great quote from the book "It's freaky weird, but totally true," said Tracy. "Once you hear a stor ...more
Madison Warner
Mar 25, 2014 Madison Warner is currently reading it
On the Day I Died: Stories from the GraveCandace Fleming

This book is about teenage kids that died and came back to life to tell their death stories. Their are many teenagers that died and came back to life in ghost form to tell their stories. Every chapter is a different story on how they lost their life.

Creepy! I enjoyed this book a lot! There was only one story that I didn't like that much, but it was mostly because of its theme, not because of how it was written. The author is very skilled at creating dark, gothic atmosphere and interesting characters in a short time. And that's quite handy when you write a short-story collection.

At the end of the book the author talks about her inspiration and background for each story. She mentions The Alfred Hitchcoc
Brandy Painter
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
Alyssa (Books Take You Places)
Originally reviewed here.

I am not a huge fan of short stories but I am definitely a huge fan of GHOST STORIES! I was so excited to receive this advance copy from Netgalley because it looked and sounded extremely creepy and I was not disappointed!

The story opens with a boy named Mike who is racing to get home by curfew. As he is coming to the bridge he sees a mysterious looking girl standing in the middle of the road (sound familiar, anyone?) he becomes intrigued and decides to give her a ride ho
Ms. Yingling
Mike is hurrying down a country road trying to make curfew when a girl appears in the road, dripping wet, and asked to be taken home. When he drops her off at her house, she forgets her shoes in the car, but when he knocks on the door, an older lady answers. Every year on the same date, someone shows up with Carol Anne's shoes, because she died in a canoeing accident. The woman tells Mike to take the shoes to the cemetery, and when he does, he sees 55 pairs of weathered saddle shoes about, and i ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Fournier
*This is actually 3.5 stars, but I rounded down. It was on the lower side of 3.5 lol.

This was a great collection of stories of how each of these characters died. I liked how it was set up though. It wasn't like a typical anthology would be with just having the short stories in it. The short stories are being told to Mike who stumbles into this cemetery due to an event that happens. Each ghost is telling the story of the day that they died. After each story we are brought back to the present whe
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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.” 11 likes
“Once you hear a story, it becomes part of you. It can't die.” 5 likes
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