CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 41 . . . . June 22, 2018
De de de… This is the tone that prevails throughout the "Haunted Canada" series: dark, creeping and filled with goosebumps. In this newest collection of stories, Sutherland finds more locales across Canada that feature hauntings in their past or present. The 23 stories range from a few pages to 10 pages, giving a nice mix of length for all levels of readers. The language is straightforward but does have some advanced vocabulary mixed in to add depth and challenge. The stories are high interest and generally fast-paced, although some focus more on history which slows down the pacing. Each story is unique in its spookiness, from possessed dolls, to spectres in the night, to poltergeists scratching on the walls. There is something for everyone in this book. Like Sutherland says in the introduction, "That's part of the fun of spooky stories. Fear is subjective. What scares me might not scare you, and vice versa."
The only downfall of this book is its similarity to the others in the series. Admittedly, it would be hard to differentiate collections of ghost stories, but it still comes across as same-old. Having said that, the thrill of coming across a story set in a town you know dispels any such ennui and you once again get sucked in by the chill on your skin. Overall, Haunted Canada 8 is a fun collection of stories that make great read-alouds, provides great hooks for reluctant readers, and, of course, is simply a great read for kids that love getting lost in the dark and being terrified.
Stephanie Johnson is a graduate of the Master of Library and Information Studies Program from the University of Alberta and is the Director of Devon Public Library.
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