________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 10 . . . .January 20, 2006


Strange and Spooky Stories: A Haunted Canada Book.

Pat Hancock. Illustrated by Andrej Krystoforski.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2005.
122 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-95206-9.

Subject Headings:
Horror tales, Canadian (English).
Ghost stories, Canadian (English).
Children’s stories, Canadian (English).

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Georgie Perigny.

*** /4



As he passed under the archway, he couldn’t resist taking a last peek at the bird. What he saw stopped him in his tracks.

It was no longer staring at him. Its eyes were shifting from side to side, its wings were quivering, and its beak was opening and closing, as if it were trying to speak.

“Miss O’Toole, look,” Cito croaked, pointing at the raven.

“What?” Is someone else back there? Where?”

“There,” Cito pointed.

“Oh, Cito, this is no time to worry about the bird. Come on, let’s go.”

As Miss O’Toole nudged him toward the exit, he heard it – a low squawking sound. Again and again all the way to the door, it echoed faintly above the din. It was the bird’s voice, of that he was certain, and it kept squawking what sounded like one word – “Nevermore.”


Strange and Spooky Stories: A Haunted Canada Book, written by best-selling Canadian author Pat Hancock, consists of nine bizarre non-fictional tales that will send shivers up the reader’s spine. From a bone-chilling story about a haunting raven to a shivering tale about a ghoulish monster oozing with green slime, this book has a way of captivating readers and leaving them in suspense.

     The nine horror stories are between 15-20 pages in length and are written in chapter form. A table of contents allows readers to locate the stories more readily and provides them with choices in selecting the stories to read. A black and white drawing is found in each eerie story. These illustrations are visually appealing and enhance the haunting stories. Strange and Spooky Stories is a well-organized book that captures readers’ attention with its terrifying stories and haunting front cover. The language and pace of the book are appropriate for the intended audience, and the book is written in such a manner that both girls and boys would enjoy it.

     In Strange and Spooky Stories, Hancock masterfully intertwines creativity and imagination in such a manner that the reader is left contemplating whether or not the tales could have indeed taken place. It is artistically and convincingly written and is sure to spook even the bravest of readers. Hancock engrosses readers and keeps them entranced in a book that is hauntingly entertaining. Those who enjoy getting scared will definitely take pleasure in reading this book. However, be prepared… once one begins reading the spooky tales, a powerful force will take over and prevent the reader from putting the book down. Each strange and scary story haunts the audience. The creepy and frightening stories are perfect to share around a late night campfire or at a late night sleep over. Strange and Spooky Stories is highly recommended for those who dare!

Highly Recommended.

Georgie Perigny, a substitute teacher, now resides in Olds, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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