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Tell Me a Scary Story--But Not Too Scary!

Last updated Saturday, May 15, 2021

Author: Carl Reiner
Illustrator: James Bennett
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0316833290
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2004

Synopsis: Something with red beams of light shooting from its eyes was coming down the basement stairs. It came closer and closer... The hair on the back of my neck was sticking straight out. I finally saw it--and it was alive!

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  How do you act when you're feeling scared?
•  What kinds of things are scary to you? Why are strange people and places scary?
•  Try limiting the picture walk to just a few pages, and perhaps flash the scary image on pp. 16-17 for just a second and say, "I hope there's nothing TOO scary for you in here!"

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What should you do when you're scared?
•  Was the young Carl right to sneak into the neighbor's house? How would you have acted in that situation?
•  How would you pronounce your name spelled backwards?

Craft ideas:
•  Assemble a scary monster mask with features (e.g., eyes, nose, ears, hair, etc.) that have been cut out separately.
•  Make a scary jack-o-lantern out of construction paper.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!