Reviews for Scream and Scream Again!: Spooky Stories from Mystery Writers of America, by Daniel Palmer, Wendy Corsi Staub, R.L. Stine, Tonya Hurley, James Preller, Steve Hockensmith, Robin Wasserman, Megan Abbott, Almarie Guerra, Ray Daniel, Ramón de Ocampo, Chris Grabenstein, Bruce Hale, P.J. Ochlan, Heather Graham, Dan Poblocki, Peter Lerangis, Emmy Laybourne, Beth Fantaskey, Lisa Morton
Overall this book was MEH. It wasn't particularly spooky, but I suppose the short stories just have to start and end with screams. It was more content for elementary kids--not so much middle school, and I think most of the stories were about 10-12 year olds. But, I mean I read a lot of RL Stine and Christopher Pike in middle school, then transitioned to Stephen King in 8th grade... Maybe it will be scary to kids!
The audiobook has an assortment of narrators who switch each chapter, giving some chapters guys who can't narrate for women, which is always cringey.
Summaries and Thoughts
Revenge: A pair of twins is bullied by two brothers who ruin their belongings and try to kill the twins. Their father refuses the twins whenever they ask to seek revenge on the bullies, but after one extreme attempt, the twins finally find out what happens when they take revenge.
Haunted House: A pair of twins create their own haunted house each year [for how many years?? seems like at least two or three], but their nearby neighbor has a much cooler house each year. He's got really good at showing them up... but recently he's been absent.
Skateboarder: Jamal and his friend find out the factory where they skateboard is going to be torn down, so they decide to take one last ride late at night. Jamal gets a brick thrown through his window, and assumes it is from his friend. But when he gets to the factory no one is there. Until he sees the ghost. It's the same age as him and wearing old clothing. The ghost leads him down to the basement, at the same time two construction workers show up to find money that had been hidden there decades before. The ghost leads to Jamal to where the money is and soon he's uncovered a prohibition era storage space. But the two construction workers find him and make their own plans.
Note: I liked this one and would read more!
Ring and Run: Three siblings go trick-or-treating in a new town, but it's rainy and no one else is out. When Dan demands to go to one last street, there's only one house with lights on. His younger brother, Connor, gets over his fear and does something that surprises his siblings.
Note: I love that they get the most disgusting candy from a scarecrow.
Unknown Patriot: A trip to Williamsburg takes a different path... or century. After a long bus ride, Carter enters a "staff only bathroom" only to come out in a different time. He gets an exciting tour of colonial Williamsburg.
Summer of Sharks: During her sister's quinceanera, Mickey sees a coyote that feels oddly familiar--who is it? After dating a new guy, there are several shark attacks on females, and it seems like her older sister might be in danger. Are these things related?
Rule Seven: A father/son duo love scaring each other. The son takes a bet with his father to scare the dad for a donut. But when they can't find his dad, he and his friend get freaked out.
Cat Got Your Tongue: Casey just moved across the US with her dad, and into her aunt's house after her mother died. The neighbor girl screamed one night, but no one knows why and she won't talk anymore. Casey and her cousin hear screams occasionally, but they're reassured it's from a bobcat. When Cassie notices the neighbor girl next door staring up the hill at a strange house, Casey is surprised by what she finds.
The Ice Cream Truck: New in town, three siblings make friends when they're playing in an open field. But one night they hear ice cream truck music that just plays "ice cream" on repeat. Though a boy tries to warn the siblings about the truck, the siblings chase after it. Once they find it they notice no one else is around them in the dark night, and the ice cream truck is parked and off. But a man gets out he tells them they can have as much ice cream as they want because it's all going to be melted in the morning. When they start gaining weight, they find out the town's secret.
Note: This felt like an urban legend for kids.
The Witch of Byron's Bayou: New in town, two siblings venture into a graveyard with their friends. They learn about a witch and an escaped death row convict, which makes their night extra spooky.
Bloodstone: A boy's babysitter is being followed by a murderer.
Area Code 666: Julia's dad just got her a cell phone. Her first text is a picture of an old doll, but she had no idea who sent it from the strange area code. When she falls asleep every night she thinks about her mother's death, and the doll pictures keep coming.
The Trouble with Squirrels: There are SO many squirrels in the neighborhood. In fact, when Duncan is walking through hoards of squirrels, he finds an old house with squirrel feeders. Inside, the elderly couple is hiding so much more than a fondness for squirrels.
The Necklace and the Monster: Timmy's cousin has just moved in with him and his mom, Mina. Aunt Mina bought a necklace to help calm her anger and make her creative. But now, all her stories for Timmy are coming true.
The Only Child: Jake went on an amusement ride that he'd been wanting to for a long time. His parents were supposed to wait for him, but they weren't there when he finished the ride. When Jake sees his parents with another kid, he gets freaked out. Then a strange girl tells him about the "only child" monster...
Kamikaze Iguana: New in town, she is working on an assignment to find non-native species in Florida. She sees the school jerk and his friends trying to cook an iguana, but she saves it. Then she has to make the decision to save her bully. Would you?
The Nightmare Express: Nicodemus, or Nick, has a mother who is obsessed with time. She always gets Nick to the train early, but when she's sick and Nick has to get to the station himself, he misses it. There's a second train though, and when he gets on it, things are worse than missing school.
Note: Narrator trying to do a Boston accent--not so great.
The Girl in the Window: There's a new mannequin in the small, dying town, and apparently she's so cool that any dress displayed on her gets fawned over. The main character is obsessed with the mannequin and goes to see her. She’s like, really really obsessed. Like, she calls it her friend.
Note: She says frock... I'm pretty sure the youths don't say that. Anyway, it's pretty clear what happens in this one, but I do like the ending. Another Twilight Zone episode.
Feed the Birds: It’s 1872, and we find an orphan living with aunt and uncle ten miles from town. His uncle tells him NOT to feed the birds, and that there was nothing in the forest. But obviously the kid doesn't listen.
The Platform: Justin is waiting for a NYC subway train, but when he tries to save a girl who fell into the tracks things start getting weird.