cover image Tales from the Spirit World

Tales from the Spirit World

Virginia Hamilton. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $0 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-15-284215-4

In this world-spanning collection of 25 tales about dealings with the spirit world, award-winning author Hamilton presents a close look at readers' deepest fears and most fervent wishes. The anthology includes the myth of Medusa and Perseus, the Russian folktale of ``Baba Yaga, the Terrible,'' the legend of The Flying Dutchman, as well as stories from African, Chinese, American Indian and Norse mythologies and more. Although many of these narratives are hair-raising, Hamilton's smooth, conversational writing makes every shiver bearable,stet comma and highlights the profound affirmation of life and the human experience that lies at the stories' heart. Davis's misty acrylic paintings perfectly capture the otherworldly moods as they propel readers through the action. Explaining her diverse sources, Hamilton's ``comments'' following each story are helpful and intriguing. The Dark Way is a magnificent book, and a worthy companion to The People Could Fly and In the Beginning! Ages 8-up. (Sept.)