The Banshee
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The Banshee

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3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  26 reviews
“SCREE . . . SCREE . . .”

Terry is half asleep when he hears the wailing, rising and falling like the waves of the sea. He wishes it were a dream, but he knows it isn’t. It isn’t an owl screeching, either. Or the Flannerys’ old cat. Could it be the Banshee—the ghostly figure of Irish legend who wails outside a house when death is near?

Why would she come here?

In spite of...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 14th 2009 by Clarion Books
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Kathryn
This story was scary!!! with both supernatural fears and the very real fear of the possible death of an ill child/sibling in this family's house. In Irish hfolklore, the banshee is said to cry around the house of one who will die--so the older brother in this story is very worried when he hears a "scree! scree!" outside because his brother is not well and he is afraid it means he will die--and because banshees are really scary looking and he doesn't want one around! His mother won't believe that...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A creepy story about a young Irish lad who thinks he hears a banshee wailing in the night. It turns out to be something else entirely...or is it? And why is the lad holding a peacock feather in his hand on the cover? Read on and find out, preferably on Halloween night! Well told, and atmospherically illustrated. It seems to be based on something the author's father claimed happened to him when he was a boy. A great choice for a Halloween readaloud.
Cheryl in CC NV
Very scary. Very Irish, too, contemporary not mythology or old-timey at all. I'd love to share it with a classroom of 6-7 year olds as Halloween approaches. I *love* how the boy dealt with his fright.
babyhippoface
Lying in bed on a cold and windy Ireland night, Terry is frightened by the screeing of a banshee outside in the yard. Is it coming for him? For Liam, his sickly brother? Or for Ma or Pa? Ma says banshees are just superstition, but Terry's friend Colin saw one once, so Terry's not sure who to believe. This book is spooky enough in tone to keep kids listening but not so scary they'll abandon it in fright, and the reassuring ending will be welcomed by many nervous children. McCully's watercolors in...more
Dolly
Mar 17, 2014 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderfully haunting tale that is just the right amount of creepy without being over-the-top or giving a child a nightmare. The Irish lore incorporated into the tale is terrific and I love the concern the boy has for his brother. Overall, it's a great book to read aloud, especially at Halloween. We really enjoyed reading this book together.
Amanda Lyons
This is well written but I think it might be better for older kids than my son. At 5 he found this pretty scary. It plays off the creepiness very well especially with the art style.
paula
Not a bad ghost story. In fact, such a not-bad ghost story that I wouldn't hand this to anybody under 3rd grade.
*Queen Diva*
What I love the most about living in a large metro area and having these big huge libraries to choose books from is I often find books I'm surprised to find as picture books. To me, I honestly don't care. I know even small children all have different tastes and I think there should be a variety of books out there for them. But I know most adults, especially parents, think otherwise and feel as if they know everything about what is best for all children of the world, and therefore when a story li...more
Mike Romesburg
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nielson
This would make a great Halloween read-a-loud! My heart was pounding the whole time. Terry, who lives in Ireland, is asleep when he is awoken by a "Scree....Scree....." sound. He thinks its the Banshee, a ghost figure of a woman who wails when there may be death near. Terrified, he deals with it the only way he knows how...by courageously going outside to confront the Banshee.
This is a pretty scary book and the fact that it is written in first person makes it seem even more real. The dark pictu...more
Karen Arendt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luann
Sep 23, 2010 Luann rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Luann by: JLG
Shelves: 2010, picture-books
I'm considering using this one in my Halloween storytime with my fifth and sixth grade classes. It's a nice blend of scary yet not too scary while giving the chance to introduce some Irish folklore. The illustrations by Emily Arnold McCully really add to the scariness of the story. I think my students will identify with Terry, the boy narrating the story. He's brave! I also really like how the story ends. I'll add more to this review about student reactions if I end up using the book. 3.5 stars.
Mirranda Rhea
What I would say about this book is I probbaly wouldn't read this to my children, if I had any. The book explains first that the banshee is an Irish superstition. The book is about a boy thinking that a bnashee is outside his window. Like any child, he is scared to death of it. To me this book is a scary book for chidlren, one of those books that could take it as a scary story for children.
Allison
Terry wonders if the legendary banshee is outside his house in Ireland, coming to get his delicate younger brother. Courage, bravery, self--sacrifice.

Eve Bunting made me practically pee my pants with fear when I was six, and honestly not much has changed.
Nick
Really creepy, actually. It gave me shivers and goosebumps. And the illustrations really actually make it scary. It's really intense and freaky which is what I liked about it even though it was a kid's picture book, kind of.
Gobnait
This is a great Children's book filled with tension and suspense. I do not ever remember reading one that held my interest as much as this one. It's dark and a little spooky. It's a fun read.
Sarah
Moody and atmospheric, potentially scary to some kids, but Malcolm asks for this book in all seasons, and asks for it incessantly with the approach of Halloween.
Kris DeLabio
The Irish legend of the Banshee is was scares the little boy in his bed late at night. Is it coming for someone in his house or is it some other sound out side?
Sam Bloom
Great, creepy illustrations from Emily Arnold McCully make this feel sort of like a picture book version of one of Susan Cooper's books.
Lesley
I like scary stories, so I liked this story and the accompanying illustrations a lot! It would be a good Halloween read-aloud.
Amy!
My review here
Valerie
Illustrations too dark to carry for a storytime - beter used as a lap read or one-on-one scary tale time
Nancy
I love this book but words like, "linoleum" will be difficult for younger kids...it was for me!
John
It was pretty good I kept waiting for something scary to happen but itnever did.
Jennifer
Not sure I'd read this to my kids.... a wee bit scary.
Rachel
cute read about irish supersticion
Amanda Funnell
Amanda Funnell marked it as to-read
May 27, 2014
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19126
Eve Bunting is an author with more than 250 books. Her books are diverse in age groups, from picture books to chapter books, and topic, ranging from Thanksgiving to riots in Los Angeles. Eve Bunting has won several awards for her works.

Bunting went to school in Ireland and grew up with storytelling. In Ireland, “There used to be Shanachies… the shanachie was a storyteller who went from house to ho...more
More about Eve Bunting...
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