Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Short Stories

Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness & Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Death and Dementia

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Gris Grimly is the perfect illustrator for Edgar Allan Poe’s dark and creepy stories. The pictures range from somewhat silly to very grotesque, but they always perfect in bringing the words to life. And how wonderful Poe is with words! His terrifying tales are meant for reading aloud. Listeners are sure to get chills from the classics “The Tell-Tale Heart” in Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Death and Dementia and “Black Cat” in Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness.  Both books are totally twisted!

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Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and Other Wily Characters by Patricia McKissack

syndetics-lcGather ‘round the front porch for the sights, sounds, and tastes of a summer evening in the South, with “whippoorwills, lightning bugs, homemade peach ice cream,” and a “porch lie” or two. The amusing tellers and tales told in Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and Other Wily Characters by Patricia McKissack are cleverly larger-than-life, with the right amount of mystery to keep you wondering just who you should believe.  The charming (or is it scheming?) Pete Bruce flatters a baker out of a coconut cream pie and a pint of milk.  Mingo Cass may or may not have a 100-dollar bill in his pocket.  And Mr. Cake Norris wakes up dead one day–again.  These and other tricksters, slicksters, and outlaws seem to be winking, or maybe poking fun, at us foolish readers.  But, as wise Aunt Gran slyly told Frank and Jesse James, some folk believe these stories, some don’t.  You decide for yourself.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Program Coordinator