Guest Author - Siobhain M Cullen
Creepy short stories for teens are usually very high on the young adult popularity A list, so these cityscape chillers from the Spiders In The Hairdo short stories collection should do well.
With short scary stories ranging from vanishing hitch-hikers to the popular urban myth of sewer-dwelling city alligators, they may be particularly well suited to vacation and fall term reading. My review this week includes both my personal responses to these weird stories and some ideas for using them with teen students.
Older teen readers are starting to look critically at the world around them, and to analyse information they are given in a more detached way than they were children. Off-the-wall ideas and possibilities interest them and so often they are drawn to at least investigate the plausibility of new ideas such as conspiracy theories, extra terrestrials, cover-ups and paranormal events.
It helps if short scary stories written around these issues are also funny – and David Holt’s stories are! These short stories for teens and young adults can also be educational.
Because these short scary stories vary in length and complexity, there are some here to suit all abilities. For example, some of the very short ones may present learning opportunities for those students who have English as a second language or who have reading challenges.
One or two urban legends take the form of elongated jokes and many of the stories are written in a conversational, minimal and simple style. More able students will find plenty here to prompt them and inspire the composition of some modern urban legends of their own during creative writing classes.
Creative writing themes and prompts for older writers could arise from stories about ‘breaking down in a brand new sports car on a lonely highway...that’s oh so very lonely...’ or ‘finding a car driver slumped over a steering wheel’ or ‘a crazed lorry-driver in charge of a lorry-load of cement.’
Further inspiring story-starters in these short stories for teens might be ‘unusual crawling, dragging noises coming form the sewers in a deserted street at sunset’ or ‘a weird crunching feeling upon starting into a bag of tacos...’
Not for faint-hearted younger teens or even adults of a nervous disposition, Spiders In The Hairdo should go down a storm among more street-wise young adults who are walking modern urban legends in their own right!