Monday, February 23, 2009

NonFiction Monday: Are You Afraid Yet?

Dewey: 001.994

Are You Afraid Yet?: The Science behind Scary Stuff written by Stephen James O'Meara, illustrated by Jeremy Kaposy, Kids Can Press, 2008

I have to issue a disclaimer right off the bat, I do not really do "horror-scary" stories very often. I'm not opposed to them, I just don't enjoy them. I have never read a Stephen King novel. I do know that the number one most frequently searched term in my school library OPAC was "scary." So, anticipating how much this book might thrill young readers I eagerly opened it.

Then I shrieked!

Yes, this book made me scream.

The author's introduction to the physiology of fear, "Have a SAFE Fright" was reassuring, almost comforting knowing my amygdala was on alert! I looked through the parts on mummies, UFOs, vampires, and mad scientists with interest. Then I read "Keeping you Head" concerning the guillotine, followed by "The Staring Eyes" and I shrieked, screamed, hollered, dropped the book and shuddered.

Good job, Stephen James O'Meara. Mission accomplished.

O'Meara entwines stories from history along with scientific "Freaky Facts" which leave the reader to ponder the nature of skeletons, oxygen deprivation, werewolves and maggots.

Jeremy Kaposy's artwork evokes the old Marvel Comics Strange Tales. Although, the black and white drawings offer some distance from some of the grisley subjects, that image of "the staring eyes" which is also the cover art, has [shivers] stayed with me.


Anonymous said...

Cool! I'm sure the kids at my library would LOVE this book - thanks for posting the review.

Ladytink_534 said...

You've never read a Stephen King novel?! Wow! Oh I love him and not all of his stuff is scary either. He wrote the short story that the movie Stand By Me is based on and The Shawshank Redemption too. Most of his stuff his labeled as horror though.

Ooh *shudder*, can't do maggots so I'll have to pass but it does sound like an interesting book!

BookMoot said...

BibLauragraphy--There is plenty of Ewwww and shriek to engage the kids but the illustrations keep it "distant."

Ladytink--It is odd, sort of a cultural and literary void in my life to have missed Stephen King. Maggots are ugghh. I wish I could get the severed head facts out of my brain.