July 12, 2015

The Challenge Continues . . . Buckeye Book Award Reading Challenge 1987

And the reading challenge continues!  As stated in a previous post, my librarian friend Ashley Lambacher of the Book Talker and I are hosting the Buckeye Book Award Reading Challenge.  Our goal is to read all the past winners from the children’s book category in chronological order from 1982 to the present.  I will read the K-2 picture book winners and Ashley will read the 4-8/3-5 chapter book winners.  Because 1986 was skipped, today I continue my challenge by reading the winner of the K-2 Buckeye Book Award in 1987, In a Dark Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz and illustrations by Dirk Zimmer.

 In a Dark, Dark Room is a collection eight scary stories creepy enough to give young readers the chills.  “The Green Ribbon” tells of a woman’s severed head being tied on with a ribbon around her neck.  In “The Night it Rained” a man discovered the young boy he picked up as a hitch hiker was actually a ghost, the boy had died years ago.  Told in simple prose, this book is perfect for beginning readers looking for something scary to read.  Zimmer’s illustrations are dark and add a chilling element to Schwartz’s haunting stories.  Scary stories rarely become dated – in fact, older stories seem more thrilling!  While this book was published over 30 years ago, these retold folklores remain as scary as ever.  Today’s students still enjoy In a Dark Dark Room, making it a fitting winner of the 1987 Buckeye Book Award.

Ashley, your upcoming 1987 and 1989 Buckeye Book Award reads are also written by Alvin Swartz (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Even More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark).    I know you’re not a fan of spooky tales, so best of luck.  Can’t wait to hear your take on these collections of scary stories.
Would you like to join Ashley and I as we read through Ohio’s award winning books?  We welcome any and all who are interested in participating in this fun reading challenge.  For more information, click here.


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  2. Yes, I am not looking forward to reading a few of these scary books! But I do remember In a Dark Dark Room -- specifically the story of "The Green Ribbon." I never remember the others, but I always remember the ribbon one I think because I didn't find it scary, but more of a plot twist instead. The illustrations are very distinctive, too.

    I actually have used this book before for a library campfire read to elementary kiddos. They usually complain about wanting something scarier (haha).