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A World Full of Ghosts

by Charis Cotter
illustrated by Marc Mongeau

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folklore & mythology, curiosities & wonders
list price: $19.95
also available: Paperback
published: 2009
publisher: Annick Press
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Meet skeleton spirits in Alaska -- the Dancing Ahkiyyini -- and gliding ghosts overseas, like Japan's Legless Yurei. Witness groups of ghosts at Mexico's Day of the Dead and the solitary Ibambo on their own in Africa. Of course, each ghost has its own personality. Some like to stay up all night partying. Others, it is said, emerge from the spilled blood of murdered souls. Others still may tidy up your house at night -- but only if they like you. Where can such spooks be found? A World Full of Ghosts takes you around the world to find out. Each fun and frightening profile captures the enduring allure of the supernatural in cultures far and near. Interspersed throughout are first-person accounts of spectral sightings. Meanwhile, a scariness scale rates each tale for younger readers.

Featuring 25 phantoms, a not-too-scary storytelling style and suitably luminous -- and spooky -- artwork, A World Full of Ghosts is a glimpse into a world of imagination.


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The Day of the Dead

The cemetery is lit up with candles and torches. Picnic baskets overflow with delicious food, arches of bright marigolds tower over the gravestones, grinning toy skulls and skeletons are propped up against photographs of dead people. Children play tag and grown-ups laugh and sing. It's party time in the cemetery, Mexico's favorite holiday: Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

On this one day of the year, death is something to laugh at and no one is afraid. People come to the cemetery to celebrate life and death with their favorite ghosts. The children eat sugar skulls and Bread of the Dead. The sounds of their merrymaking rise up and float in the air. The pain of death is forgotten and everyone is happy.


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Contributor notes

Charis Cotter is an award-winning author of books for adults and young readers, including Kids Who Rule and Wonder Kids. She lives in Toronto and Newfoundland.

Marc Mongeau has illustrated more than 25 books for children. His work also appears in magazines and newspapers, such as Newsweek and the New York Times. He lives in Bedford, Quebec.


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Editorial Reviews

The cartoon illustrations add a surreal quality to the book, and the warning to readers in the beginning will draw them in.

— School Library Journal

Do you have students constantly asking where the scary books are located? If so, this is the book for you. A World Full of Ghosts describes ghosts from China to England to Africa. Each ghost is described in detail from what they look like to what each means and does. A drawing of each ghost is also included. A map of the world includes the page numbers from the book for the ghosts described. The table of contents provides a guide so students can turn quickly to the ghost they would like to learn about. In addition to descriptions of ghosts from around the world, there are also true ghost stories told from the point of view of people who have seen ghosts themselves. This book won't stay on your shelves long; students are sure to love it and use it. Recommended.

— Library Media Connection

The stories are a great read...lots of potential for lively discussion and the book would be suitable for many grades.

— Professionally Speaking

The stories are a great read...lot of potential for lively discussion and the book would be suitable for many grades.

— Ontario College of Teachers
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About the Authors

Charis Cotter

Charis Cotter grew up beside a cemetery and has been living with ghosts ever since. She studied English in university and went to drama school in London, England. Her spooky, suspenseful novels—The Swallow, The Painting, and The Ghost Road—have won numerous awards and captivated readers of all ages. Charis has worked extensively in schools and her performances of Newfoundland ghost stories have thrilled audiences coast to coast. She lives in one of the most haunted parts of Newfoundland.
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Marc Mongeau

MARC MONGEAU is an award-winning graphic artist and illustrator.
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