Monday, August 18, 2014

Creepy Children's Books That Every Kid Should Read (Of The Day)

When I was a kid I read a few pages of my sister's copy of Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret? NIGHTMARES.

From Flavorwire:
"Amazon’s editors released their picks for “100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime” recently . While no one’s knocking Babar or Harry Potter, the list felt like it was missing some of our favorite strain of children’s lit: the creepy kind. Although a few notable exceptions — Coraline, Where the Wild Things Are — certainly raise the hair on young readers’ necks, we were nonetheless inspired to put together our favorite children’s lit that’s more macabre than Mr. Popper’s Penguins." 

The Graveyard Book follows Nobody “Bod” Owens, whose parents are brutally murdered by a member of a society called the “Jacks of All Trades” when he’s an infant. Bod grows up in a graveyard instead, raised by its ghosts and given the ability to pass through physical objects like a ghost. Despite its violent beginnings, the book plays out as a touching coming-of-age story.

Sendak’s best-known work is actually the middle installment of a trilogy meant to represent the emotional development of a child. With that bit of trivia out of the way, let’s focus on In the Night Kitchen, the “predecessor” to Where the Wild Things Are (though it was published seven years later). It’s the story of a toddler named Mickey’s dream journey through a bakery, complete with the bread-plane pictured on the cover. There’s also nudity involved, and a narrow escape from being baked alive.

A 13-year-old boy grows to gradually accept his mother’s terminal illness via late-night conversations with a monster made out of branches and leaves. Written based on an idea from a cancer patient, A Monster Calls is the sort of fantasy book that derives its power from being deeply realistic.

All of Roald Dahl’s humor veers towards the black; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘s appeal comes as much from our schadenfreude at the other brats’ fitting punishments as from pure-hearted Charlie’s eventual victory. But few of Dahl’s works are as delightfully, consistently spiteful as The Twits, a vastly underrated story of the world’s worst people in the world’s worst marriage. Animal abuse and shrinking diseases play a prominent role.

(More here)

1 comment:

  1. Great list! Some of Roald Dahl's were definitely bizarre. I agree with "In the Night Kitchen" too. My sons loved those Goosebumps books, but I hated them. We still have a whole collection of them. Ugh. Some I read when I was young that creeped me out were the Brothers Grimm fairy tales--many of them were really gruesome--and the Alice in Wonderland books with the Queen of Hearts running around saying "Off with their heads," and all the other crazy characters like the Caterpillar and his Hookah and his magic mushrooms, and the disappearing and reappearing Cheshire Cat.



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