On the Day I Died


Title of Book: On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming

GoodReads Rating: 3.67


This book was a collection of horror short stories, all based, at least partially, on facts. They were not presented chronologically but instead ranged from the late 1800’s up until present day.

APA Reference of Book:

Fleming, C. (2012). On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave. New York, NY: Schwartz & Wade.

My Impressions: 

Normally, I do not enjoy horror stories. However, I found the history behind these stories to be very interesting. In addition to the “creepy” aspect, the reader also learns quite a bit about the culture of various time periods. For example, one story detailed the gang rilvalry between Al Capone and other gangsters in the 1920’s and 1930’s Chicago. In addition, a different story told about the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Overall, I enjoyed the historical aspect of these stories and the fact that most of them were creepy instead of violent.

Professional Review:

Gr 4-7-Mike is driving home on a stormy night on a winding country road when a dripping wet girl suddenly appears in his headlights. He stops the car and offers her a ride. Inside the car, she removes her saddle shoes and places them on the floorboard. After dropping her off, Mike discovers that her shoes are still in the car. When he attempts to return them, he is met at the door by an elderly lady who tells him this happens every year on the anniversary of her daughter’s death. If he really wants to return the shoes, she says, he must go to the cemetery just up the road. At the gravesite, he discovers a moldering mound of old saddle shoes and soon is encircled by a group of disparate apparitions, all teenagers intent on describing for him the bizarre circumstances of their deaths. So begins the parade of nine other spooky tales (Schwartz & Wade, 2012) by Candace Fleming, each from a different time period from the 1860s to the present, and all of them set in the Chicago area. Mixed in with the more standard fare for this genre are a few truly scary stories and one kitschy piece that’s a takeoff on The Blob. There is a different narrator for each tale, with mixed results. Still, this will make for frightfully good listening.

Frostick, C. (2012). On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave. School Library Journal, 58(10), 65-66.

Library Uses:

High school students are often involved in so many activities before and after school that they do not have time to read novels. Thus, this collection of short stories, along with other genres of short story collections, should be used to create a recommendation list for students in this situation. They can often read one story in one sitting, rather than stopping mid-story in a novel. In addition, horror and mystery are very popular with high school students so they would really enjoy the stories in this collection, especially around Halloween.


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