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The Cabinet of Curiosities: 40 Tales Brief & Sinister

The Cabinet of Curiosities: 40 Tales Brief & Sinister - Emma Trevayne, Katherine Catmull, Stefan Bachmann, Claire Legrand This book seriously creeped me out.

Seriously.

I shuddered. I gasped. I laughed (nervously). I grimaced and recoiled. And it was all as it should be.

This is a book of stories that will probably give you nightmares. You'll keep the lights on at night, and flinch at unidentifiable sounds from outside. You'll want to put it down because you just can't handle any more scary, but then you just pick it right back up. I couldn't stop reading! I am not a fan of scary books or movies, but I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't stop going back to those freaky stories! Fans of scary stories will definitely love this book, too!

THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is a curated collection of short stories, and includes perfectly authentic letters from the curators regarding their adventures in acquiring the objects and items behind the stories. These letters give the book a feeling of reality, as if some of these stories may have actually happened somewhere in the world. I mean, child-eating plants and tricky shadow-monsters aren't real. Of course they aren't. But hearing the curators write about their encounters with them, well...that just makes it feel a little less imaginary.

While the book is definitely accessible to all ages, it has a very middle grade feel. All of the short stories are well written and complete on their own, but in order to accomplish that the characters are slightly bland and flat. While necessary to the nature of the stories, it creates some distance between the reader and the characters.

Fans of spooky stories will read this one again and again. It would even be great for read-alouds. Adult fans of children's literature should also pick this one up.

For grades 6 and up.
Literary merit: Excellent
Recommendation: Highly recommended