Half-Minute Horrors

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Half-Minute Horrors Book Poster Image
Clever, scary collection with big-name authors.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value
Positive Messages

It's hard to pinpoint a message in a book of horror stories, except there are some stories that serve as a cautionary tale against misbehaving.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both positive and negative role models pepper the different stories, however they are so short the audience never really gets to know characters before it's on to the next one.


All the basics of good horror stories are here: creepy, scary scenarios, threats and instances of murder, unexplained disappearances, etc. There are some sightings of blood, but nothing truly gory.


Some mild name calling like "jerk," "stupid" and  "monster."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a book designed to creep kids out, but stays clear of adult content (bad language, sex, etc.). While there's no gore, stories are at times scary and unnerving and sometimes involve murder or the attempted murder of people.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old January 1, 2018

Creepy and Cool

I love scary stories and these ones were a blast! I shared them with my friends and we interpreted messages out of them. They weren't very scary, but still... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old November 10, 2009

What's the story?

Bumps in the night, playthings made real, bad friendships, wicked babysitters -- it all comes to life in this collection of wicked works by a variety of authors and illustrators. Ever wonder if your babysitter is in cahoots with the monsters under your bed? Ever have the sneaking suspicion someone is watching you? If you didn't before, you may after reading this book.

Is it any good?

HALF-MINUTE HORRORS is spooky, creepy, disturbing, and hilarious. The book is filled with quick stories and drawings whipped up to scare the pants off of every kid, and a few parents, that have the courage to open it. Readers will be hooked from the first story by Lemony Snicket and will not find a dull moment throughout the book. Each story is so quick that often the brevity is what is scary and startling. Many stories leave readers wondering what happened and it is those lingering questions that will contribute to their uneasiness.

The book does a fantastic job of keeping the fright and tension high. There is no time for the audience to recover from one frightening story before another quickly pops up to inflict more damage. Kids who love creepiness and thrive on wild tales will love this one, kids who are a bit sensitive might do well to avoid. The fast pace and easy to read style makes it a great book for brave reluctant readers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why people like being scared sometimes. What excites you about hearing and sharing scary ghost stories?

  • What's the scariest story in the book? Why is does that story scare you the most?

  • How does violence play a role in some of the stories? Do you think violence on TV, in movies and video games affect you? How?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror and humor

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