Audrey's Reviews > On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave

On the Day I Died by Candace Fleming
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Jul 21, 12

bookshelves: 2012_publish, arc, netgalley, ghost_stories, audrey-s-2012-books
Read from July 09 to 12, 2012

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 references to “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Poe’s “Berenice.” Fleming also incorporates the Chicago gangsters, the State Asylum, and the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893.

The stories move quite quickly, and this will be a short read for many. I’d feel fine giving this to an advanced older elementary-aged reader, because that’s the age I think it would have had the most resonance with me. The stories aren’t entirely spooky, either; there’s a bit of humor thrown in, so I never thought that the book got bogged down in horror. What I enjoyed best of all, though, were Fleming’s notes at the end of the book, much like Schwartz used to have. I really enjoy seeing the historical and folkloric explanations of the stories, and hope that young readers will be curious enough to seek out more information on anything they found interesting.
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