Title: Half Minute Horrors edited by Susan Rich
Half Minute Horrors is a compilation of short stories by over 30 authors including Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket, Libbra Bray and Erin Hunter. The stories alternate from brief one-page tales, to poems and comic style renditions of nightmarish tales. There are tales of monsters under the bed, lurking shadows, kidnappings, and murder.
Truth be told, I was a little disappointed by the book. The tales weren’t really that scary and after a while, they started to feel repetitive. Some were very clever, like Stacey Godiner’s The Pink Bicycle; a tale of premonition. Others felt incomplete or were just plain boring. I did like that many heavy-weight authors participated in this compilation. I was surprised to see Margaret Atwood, James Patterson and Gregory Maguire on the author list, I didn’t think they wrote for kids. Some of my favorite stories were the psychological fears that children felt. These stories are more of parent’s worse nightmare than of a child’s nightmare, particularly those where children disappear into strange houses, or get thrown in the below freezing pond during summer camp. Some gave me chills and made me go “ewww” (The Babysitter by Erin Hunter for those that read the book). I would recommend this for younger kids looking for scary stories, read in small portions the stories can be very frightening.Half Minute Horrors edited by Susan Rich Harper Collins, 2009 ISBN 9780061833793 141 pages