Review: Screech!

Title: Screech!
Author: Charis Cotter, Genevieve Simms (illustrator)
Genre: Middle Grade, Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 31, 2020
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

The whole world seemed to tilt at that moment, like a painting on a wall that gets knocked a little crooked. Everything she had known as real up until now was slightly altered, and she seemed to be standing on the edge of a huge, dark, trembling world that was just a little different than it had been one minute before. Ghosts were real.

There is no dark like the Newfoundland dark. These ominous words beckon young readers onward in this spooky collection of ghost stories by celebrated ghost story-teller and award-winning middle-grade author Charis Cotter. Reimagined from family stories told across Newfoundland and passed down over generations, these 10 spine-tingling tales traverse centuries and introduce readers to the Rock’s nooks and crannies. From a ghostly blueberry-picker on the barrens to a visit from the notorious Old Hag, from a mysterious ballet troupe in a St. John’s mansion to a haunted house in an outport community on the cusp of resettlement, these stories bring the island of Newfoundland to vibrant new life (and death) as the thread of these years-old yarns is unravelled for a whole new generation. 

Featuring ghostly black-and-white illustrations from Newfoundland artist Genevieve Simms, as well as an overview of the Newfoundland storytelling tradition, and a Story Behind the Story for each tale including context on the story’s history, its original teller, its featured ghost, and setting, along with tips for spooky storytelling and a Glossary of Newfoundland terms, Screech! is equal parts eerie and educational, making it a riveting read as well as a great resource for budding historians and storytellers.


This book has a collection of ghost stories from Newfoundland. These stories are based on real events from the last few centuries. Newfoundland has a long history of shipwrecks, illnesses, and hard living conditions. These elements created the atmosphere for ghost stories.

One thing that I loved about these stories was that after each story, there was a description of the origins of the story. The location of the story was described, because every town in Newfoundland has it’s own history and different living conditions. The type of ghost was described, because some were ghost stories that have appeared throughout time, such as a loved one appearing at their time of death. The author also talked about where she heard the story. I loved this historical explanation of the stories.

This is a great collection of ghost stories from Newfoundland!

Thank you Nimbus Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Swallow: A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter

Have you read Screech!? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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