In my reading of the first three chapters of book one in Julie Kagawa’s newest trilogy, Shadow of the Fox, I knew immediately that I was not from this discourse community.  Many of the Japanese words—such as shinobi, daimyo, oni, and kodama—were beyond my linguistic experience, so their meanings eluded me.  I would have appreciated a glossary, although other terms—such as tetsubo, Jigoku, kami, and yokai were translatable from context clues or were clarified through a character’s explanation, although some of these explanations occurred more than a hundred pages in. Adding to my frustration, I felt like I was reading three separate stories, until theRead More →

Although R.L. Stine’s edited collection of spooky stories for middle-grade readers from American mystery writers, Scream and Scream Again! aren’t exactly horror stories by definition, mystery and imagination play heavily in them as the authors spin the element of fear into every day, ordinary things. In his introduction, Stine promises twenty different stories by twenty different authors, all beginning or ending with a scream and all waiting to give readers the “shivers and shakes.”   Some of the screams come from giddy, gleeful moments like roller-coaster rides while others result from shock at dealing with a morbid or utterly uncanny situation like encountering a zombie orRead More →