Spirits: Dark and Light (2006) - August House Publishing
"Maybe it looks like a pile of leaves lying on the ground. Better not step on it, it might have fangs." Choctaw storyteller Tingle tells 25 deliciously scary tales collected from the five major Native American tribes of the southeastern U.S.--the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. The stories tell of frightful shape-shifting spirits, witches, slithering snakes, and owls as messengers and bringers of death. There are tales about healers, too, as well as stories of love and grief, but the monsters
American Indians in Children's Literature
In Spirits Dark and Light, Tingle seamlessly weaves elements from traditional stories of the Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole peoples into tellings that are eerie, gruesome, frightening, poignant-and just plain satisfying. In these stories in which the world of the spirits and the natural world come together, terrible witches and conjurers stalk the careless, the dead offer advice to the living, greed is properly punished, and heroism takes many forms.
Sometimes lessons are directly stated; sometimes they are inferred; sometimes a reader will have to look pretty hard to find them. And sometimes, as Tingle tells the reader, there may not be any. “Now I am not claiming this tale to have any moral attached to it,” he says. “But if it did, it might be this: if you pull a sticker burr out of your foot, a hard sticker burr that hurts bad, once you get that sticker burr out, don’t turn right around and poke it back in.”
Tingle is a master storyteller; his flow and timing are superb. Young readers will feel like he’s talking directly to them. The stories in Spirits Dark and Light are wonderful for reading aloud at a campfire or in a darkened room.-Beverly Slapin
From August House, this volume is a collection of twenty-five supernatural stories from the Choctaws, Cherokees, Seminoles, Creeks, and Chickasaws. Stories of shape-shifters, witches, ghosts, and returning spirits reveal much about the culture and traditional beliefs of these southeastern Indian peoples, both in the past and in modern times.
2007 Winner - Best Short Story for Adults (The Lady Who Changed) - Storytelling World Magazine
steal the show, as in the Seminole story "Hungry for Meat," in which disturbing a gravesite awakens the dead. For each tribe, Tingle begins with background on history, culture, and folklore. The language is clear and informal, and the dialogue is immediate. Give this to readers who enjoyed Joan Aiken's A Fit of Shivers: Tales for Late at Night (1992) and Vivian Vande Velde's All Hallows Eve (2006). This will be great for sharing, especially at Halloween. --Hazel Rochman
School Library Journal
At once eerie and compelling, sometimes gruesome and always satisfying, this highly readable collection effectively conveys the connection between the natural world and the world of the spirit common in Native American lore. Drawing on stories from the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles, an expert storyteller entrances readers with vivid language that conjures up all manner of supernatural creatures, from shape-shifters and tricksters to talking animals and witches. A brief introduction to each tribe prefaces their stories, providing both a historical and spiritual context for the tales, which are rich in imagery as well as emotion. The authenticity of the storyteller's voice makes this collection distinctive and a wonderful choice for reading aloud or savoring by a campfire.-Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library