Ghosts: The Truth Behind History's Spookiest Spirits

9781491442494. ea vol: 32p. (Monster Handbooks). further reading. glossary. index. maps. websites. Capstone. 2015. lib. ed. $27.32.
Gr 3–6—Through four chapters of straightforward description, these volumes demystify the fearsome qualities of each well-known monster. A bit of preface is followed by information on ancient beliefs in assorted countries, medieval folklore from Europe, tactics supposedly used for hunting and killing the cursed creatures, and continuing appeal of these subjects in popular media. Grisly details, both on the part of the monsters and of the fearful citizens, are provided matter-of-factly, and widely selected illustrations include quaint and fairly tame images, as well as a few that are gory. Highlighted words that appear in the closing glossary are also defined right within the chapter. The vampire and werewolf volumes each include a crude worldwide map locating different beliefs, and all the books have a nice chart of related film, TV, novel, and game titles. The three books in each bibliography are small samples of the many available on these popular subjects.
VERDICT Any or all of these will be useful for libraries needing more titles.
In somewhat sensationalized text, each book traces portrayals of the featured creature through history, from ancient belief to modern pop culture. As the titles indicate, both books up the scare-factor by muddying the distinctions of folklore and fact (Zombies to somewhat a lesser extent). Stock photos, historical art, horror movie/TV stills, and cheesy original illustrations accompany the brief chapters. Reading list. Glos., ind. Review covers these Edge Books: Monster Handbooks titles: Zombies and Werewolves.

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