By Martin W. Schwartz
It’s fun to be a little bit scared sometimes, isn’t it?
That’s the theory behind monster movies and roller coasters and even some practical jokes.
But while being a little scared can be fun, being the one doing the scaring is even more enjoyable. Remember all those nights sharing ghost stories around a bonfire?
If you’re not ‘fraid of no ghosts, Saint Louis Boo—written by Carolyn Mueller and illustrated by Chris Sharp and Chris Grant—is a great story to share with your little trick or treaters this All Hallows’ Eve. Based on actual ghost stories from the Gateway City, Saint Louis Boo follows the adventures of “The Spirit of St. Louis,” a friendly little ghost who is perhaps not as brave as he pretends to be. From the ghosts who roam West Cabanne Place to Hickhiker Annie, who likes to flag down rides and then disappear, the stories of fabled St. Louis hauntings are presented with cartoon whimsy to engage the imagination of young readers without making them too scared to turn the lights out.
On the other hand, Moms and dads might find themselves having a sleepless night, Googling the ghost tales told and finding out the real story-behind-the-stories. Turns out, there’s a good deal of spectral nightlife to be found on the east side of the state.
This is not the first time author Carolyn Mueller has dipped into real stories for her children’s work. She has also written Bubbles the Dwarf Zebu: A Story About Finding a Home at the Saint Louis Zoo and Lily: A True Story of Courage and the Joplin Tornado. When not writing, Carolyn is a zookeeper at the St. Louis Zoo.
So butter the popcorn, warm the apple cider, and get ready for this just-scary-enough story to cap off your Halloween night.
It’s probably even better when read by flashlight.