Cover image for Familiar and haunting : collected stories
Familiar and haunting : collected stories
Pearce, Philippa.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
392 pages ; 24 cm
A collection of thirty-seven stories previously published in magazines or books, including tales of animals, ghosts, and everyday life.
Part I: The stories. The rope -- Early transparent -- The fir cone -- Nutmeg -- Bluebag -- The nest egg -- Inside her head -- What the neighbors did -- Black eyes -- In the middle of the night -- The tree in the meadow -- Fresh -- Who's afraid? -- Still Jim and Silent Jim -- The great blackberry pick -- Lucky boy -- Return to air ; Part II: The haunting stories. The shadow cage -- Miss Mountain -- Guess -- At the river gates -- Her father's attic -- The running companion -- Beckoned -- The dear little man with his hands in his pockets -- The dog got them -- Mrs. Chamberlain's reunion -- The strange illness of Mr. Arthur Cook -- A Christmas pudding improves with keeping -- Samantha and the ghost -- A prince in another place -- The road it went by -- Auntie -- His loving sister -- Mr. Hurrel's tallboy -- The hirn -- The yellow ball.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order




Here are stories of everyday life, as familiar as a piece of rope and

... as haunting as fear: Mike knows that he can't swing over the river on the knotted rope, but with everyone watching him, he has to try. ... as haunting as a stranger: Who is the frightened-looking girl stealing plums from Nicky's grandparents' precious tree?

... as haunting as cruelty: How can Joe escape from his mean cousin Dicky during a family reunion?


And here are stories with a supernatural twist, as haunting as the eerie whistling from the hill above Burnt House in the middle of the night and

... as familiar as guilt: A boy forgets the mysterious bottle his cousin loaned him, but when he sneaks out at night to retrieve it, the shadowy whistlers close in on him.

... as familiar as loneliness: A ghost who's unbearably lonesome makes his neighbors suffer until a girl with a sense of the absurd shows him how things could be different.

... as familiar as love: The ghost of a boy comes back to save his father from dying in a ferocious storm.

Peopled with vivid, unforgettable characters, this collection of thirty-seven stories is by turns mysterious, humorous, strange, and sad, but it is always familiar, always haunting, and always surprising.

Author Notes

Ann Philippa Pearce was born in Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire, England on January 23, 1920. She studied English and history at Girton College at Cambridge University. After graduating, she worked for the Board of Trade, then the Ministry of Information, before moving to the BBC to write scripts for the Schools Broadcasting Department. In 1958, she left the BBC to work as an editor for the Clarendon Press before becoming a children's book editor at Andre Deutsch two years later. She became a full-time author in the mid-1960s.

She wrote more than 30 books including Minnow on the Say, A Dog So Small, The Children of the House, The Elm Street Lot, The Squirrel Wife, The Way to Sattin Shore, Emily's Own Elephant, Freddy, Old Belle's Summer Holiday, Here Comes Tod, and The Little Gentleman. She received the Carnegie Medal for Tom's Midnight Garden in 1958 and the Whitbread Prize for Bubble and Squeak in 1978. Tom's Midnight Garden was adapted for radio, theater, television, and film. She was appointed to the Order of the British Empire in 1997 for her service to children's literature. She died after suffering a stroke on December 21, 2006 at the age of 86.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fans of Philippa Pearce will savor each of the 37 tales in Familiar and Haunting: Collected Stories. The volume brings together entries from The Rope and Other Stories, published in Great Britain in 2001; and from three books previously published in the U.S. as well: What the Neighbors Did and Other Stories (1973); The Shadow Cage and Other Tales of the Supernatural (1977); and Who's Afraid? and Other Strange Stories (1987). (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8 An aptly named collection by one of England's most accomplished writers for young people. The stories will be familiar to some readers because many of them were published in the U.S. in What the Neighbors Did and Other Stories (1973; o.p.), The Shadow-Cage and Other Tales of the Supernatural (1977, both Crowell), and Who's Afraid and Other Strange Stories (Greenwillow, 1987). But another kind of familiarity, that of emotion, pervades these tales. The selections are filled with many characters, ordinary everyday youngsters, often alone, who are careful watchers of the world around them. Pearce's superb writing brings into sharp focus their perceptions and feelings, so that readers sense that they have been there before, experienced the sensation, been overcome with the same emotion. The supernatural stories are clever and mildly unsettling, often containing a strange twist or an eccentric touch-a child imprisoned in a cage of shadows, a dog who rids a house of rats that inhabit a boy's dreams, even a ghost sitting at the top of an apple tree. The realistic tales are haunting, too, in their own way because the characters and situations linger long after the book is closed. This delightful collection is one that readers will return to again and again. -Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.