A Whisper in the Night: Tales of Terror and Suspense


Book: A Whisper in the Night: Tales of Terror and Suspense

Author: Joan Aiken

Jacket Illustrator: Mark Gerber

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, republished 1984

ISBN-13: 978-0385293440 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0385293445 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0006721338 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0006721338 Paperback

Language level:  3

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 12-15

Rating: **** 4 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: Short stories

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

     Aiken,Joan.  A Whisper in the Night: Tales of Terror and Suspense (Published in 1981 by Delacorte Press, 1 Dag Hammerskjold Plaza, New York City, NY  10017).  I picked this book up from the free table of our local library because of the writer’s name.  Joan Aiken was the author of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Bridle the Wind, both of which I enjoyed reading immensely.  However, Whisper in the Night is not a novel but a collection of thirteen tales blending the commonplace and the bizarre which focus on the encounters of young people with the supernatural, as in “Homer’s Whistle,” the tale of an unpopular student who masters the powers of a ghostly artifact to seek refuge in a happier time.

     Along with “Homer’s Whistle,” the stories in this collection include “Lob’s Girl” in which a stray dog adopts a family and is loyal to his mistress beyond death; “Finders Keepers” where an unpopular schoolboy finds that some lost things should stay lost; and “Two Races” about a detective who is unable to save the victims of a tragic local ritual.  Besides some common euphemisms (e.g., gosh), the words “God” and “Lord” are used as interjections, and there is a reference to drinking beer.  These “strange” stories are identified as “terror” and are probably best for older readers but in my estimation are fairly tame, more spooky than true horror.  Aiken’s idea is to create weird situations and then leave things open at the end.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s