Cover image for Moaning bones : African-American ghost stories
Moaning bones : African-American ghost stories
Haskins, James, 1941-2005.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard/Morrow, [1998]

Physical Description:
61 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
More than fifteen tales from the oral tradition probably originally recorded in the 1920s and 1930s such as "The Haunted Stateroom, ""Black Tom, " and "The Ghost in the Back Seat."
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.1.H267 MO 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PZ8.1.H267 MO 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Ghostly dancers waltz in a deserted mansion. A mysterious "thing" leads an orphan child to a jar of coins. A floating woman pleads, "Find my child". An empty rocking chair rocks slowly back and forth all through the night. This collection of traditional African-American ghost stories will send shivers up your spine.

Author Notes

Author Jim Haskins was born in Demopolis, Alabama on September 19, 1941. He received a B.A. from Georgetown University in 1960, a B.S. from Alabama State University in 1962, and a M.A. from the University of New Mexico in 1963. After graduation, he became a special education teacher in a public school in Harlem. His first book, Diary of a Harlem School Teacher, was the result of his experience there. He taught at numerous colleges and universities before becoming an English professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville in 1977.

He wrote more than 100 books during his lifetime, ranging from counting books for children to biographies on Rosa Parks, Hank Aaron and Spike Lee. He won numerous awards for his work including the 1976 Coretta Scott King Award for The Story of Stevie Wonder, the 1984 Coretta Scott King Award for Lena Horne, the 1979 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Scott Joplin: The Man Who Made Ragtime; and the 1994 Washington Post Children's Book Guide Award. He also won the Carter G. Woodson Award for young adult non-fiction for Black Music in America; The March on Washington; and Carter G. Woodson: The Man Who Put "Black" in American History in 1989, 1994, and 2001, respectively. He died from complications of emphysema on July 6, 2005 at the age of 63.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Some stories lose too much of the essence that makes them ghostly or truly scary when they are diluted and abridged for younger readers. This is true for this collection of tales. Haskins acknowledges his sources, and they and others remain the best for this genre. Harry Middleton Hyatt's Hoodoo-Conjuration-Witchcraft-Rootwork (Western, 1970-74; o.p.) and Daryle Dance Cumber's Shuckin' and Jivin' (Indiana Univ., 1978) are adult in tone and flavor; therefore, choosing selections from them for a younger audience requires expurgating certain expressions, dialect, or haunting repetitious chants. Most children know scarier versions of the "Vanishing Hitchhiker" than Haskins's "Ghost in the Backseat." Patricia McKissack's The Dark-Thirty (Knopf, 1992) is an excellent collection of good ghost stories for children to read or storytellers to reference.-Marie Wright, University Library, Indianapolis, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.