By Patrick Carman
Scholastic Books, $12.99, 150 pages

The reference to “3:15” means several things. It is a time during the night when things go “bump” and scary stories sound the best. It also stands for ten spooky tales experienced in three parts: an audio introduction found online, several frightening pages of text, and a creepy video conclusion on the Internet… all in 15 minutes or less. Author Patrick Carman has created a unique book that encourages kids to interact with the short stories’ plots. Listen, read and watch. Parents and teachers can utilize this book to help reluctant readers get motivated about reading.

To get started, kids follow directions to the book’s website — www.315stories.com — and enter a code to access the audio introduction. Then there is about ten minutes of reading. At a suspenseful moment, the story pauses and it is time to go back online, enter another access code, and watch the tale’s chilling conclusion. Listening to, reading, and watching these spooky stories make for a fun family activity. It is easy to imagine boys and girls becoming inspired to make their own 3:15-type stories after reading this book. Teachers, make a class story to share with your students’ family and friends. The options are endless. Have fun being scared!


Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin,