The Ghostly Guide to Alcatraz

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Pub Date 15 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 22 Feb 2024

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In the waters of San Francisco Bay stands a small, rocky island called Alcatraz. Nicknamed “The Rock,” Alcatraz was the site of a Civil War fortress, a federal prison, and an occupation by American Indian activists. Now a National Historic Landmark, Alcatraz Island is rumored to be haunted! In this fascinating book, readers will learn all there is to see and do at Alcatraz. They’ll discover its long, bloody history and meet notorious inmates of the prison including Al Capone and Robert “Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud. A thrilling mix of fact, fable, and fun, this high-interest book is paired with accessible language that appeals to struggling readers.

In the waters of San Francisco Bay stands a small, rocky island called Alcatraz. Nicknamed “The Rock,” Alcatraz was the site of a Civil War fortress, a federal prison, and an occupation by American...

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ISBN 9781538291870
PRICE $28.27 (USD)

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Average rating from 32 members

Featured Reviews

When I requested this book, I didn't realize it was a children's book, but I'm glad I asked for it anyway. It was a great book that should inspire a lot of curiosity in young readers.

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“The Ghostly Guide to Alcatraz” is part of the Eerie Expeditions Around the World Series. Readers are taken on a quick tour of the island, the prison, and its history. Interspersed are suggestions of hauntings, strange sounds, and general creepiness.

The overview of the island and its prison is good, but there is only a suggestion of eeriness (well, except for cell 14-D. That one is well done with the text and photo hitting just the right level of creepiness).

The photographs of Alcatraz are great. They give a clear picture of what the site looks like today. Photos of several inmates are of high quality as well.

This book is great for kids who want to learn about historic landmarks or about creepy places. It’s not very scary and none of the tales of hauntings go into any depth. “The Ghostly Guide to Alcatraz” would make a great gift for a kid who will be visiting Alcatraz in the near future.

I received an advance review copy for free from NetGalley and Gareth Stevens Publishing, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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A great guide and introduction for younger readers to Alcatraz and its history. There are lots of interesting facts sprinkled throughout but, for a Ghostly Guide, I didn’t feel like there were enough tales of ghosts on the island. There was mention of one definite and a few that could possibly be there but no actual stories of sightings, which was what I was expecting. This is probably better for those more timid children but if I were trying to get excited about a visit there and using this as a way to increase my interest, it falls a little short on the ghost stories.

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The ghost reference is an attention getter but the history and photos held the interest in a place I've not visited in person. Lots of photos and well researched info probably supplied by the National Park Service. I enjoyed the tour and the questions of possible ghost activity. These questions and more are explored with words and photos and there is even a glossary and a suggested reading list!
Well suited for reading WITH someone of any age including ESL, and great for gifting to anyone, but especially to a school or your public library!
I requested and received a free temporary e-book on Adobe Digital Editions from Capstone/Capstone Press via NetGalley. Thank you!

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I didn't read the blurb on this before I requested it from Netgalley, so had no idea that it was a children's book. It's a very short 32 pages, but it admittedly does hold some interesting information about Alcatraz, it's surroundings and some of its past residents.

Part of the 'Eerie Expeditions Around The World' series, the book is aimed primarily at the 9-12yr age bracket. It's illustrated throughout with sketches and pbotographs.

I was hoping hoping for some proper spooky ghost stories, but they seemed to be few and far began.

Otherwise an interesting little read that filled a gap.

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I'm taking a point off because it wasn't ghostly enough, but I loved this book. The pictures were clear and descriptive, and I felt like I learned a lot about the area. The stories were really interesting, too, with the people who tried to escape including some who were never found.
I would recommend this for middle school kids who want to learn about an interesting place with a history that started way before it was turned into a prison.
Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this.

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I received a free ARC, and this review is voluntary

As an introductory piece of literature on the subject for a younger demographic, it does a good job in highlighting a few key aspects of the former prison. Those range from specific events, to particular inmates of interest. Also included are little excerpts, or spooky tales, that can help keep the reader engaged.

The illustrations between pages, in addition to the pictures of Alcatraz throughout the years, were beautiful in presentation. Despite the subject matter being heavy, it is written in a direct, but less formal way. Shorter sentences, and to-the-point.

Whether it's for the marketed demographic, or the average Joe, this is a good starter book for the material.

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As a simple guide to Alcatraz, this book does a great job. The pictures are amazing. I learned a few new things. The spooky stories were sometimes additional facts - not scary noises or ghostly sightings. I think older children would enjoy the book but they would probably want to know more about the ghosts and evil spirits.

Thank you Netgalley and Gareth Stevens Publishing for an early copy

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As a children’s book it is very good. The information is short and snappy, enough to piqué the interest of the younger readers.

However, my daughter and myself didn’t see this as ‘spooky’ or ‘ghostly’ in any way, it was more of a very brief history then ghostly, with very few mentions of supernatural events

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I have always been interested in the history of Alcatraz so I was really excited to read a supernatural / ghostly history Alcatraz.

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This is from the children’s nonfiction collection called Erie Expeditions Around The World and this one is called A Ghostly Guide To Alcatraz. Even if you and your child don’t believe in ghost they still have many stories that will spark your child’s imagination from ghost playing The banjo to the three inmates thought to have survived a dangerous attempt to escape the bird expert who although in prison came up with medicine to cure birds of an in curable disease and much much more. A great book is always a steppingstone to another great book and this one is definitely that one I would absolutely let my children read. They even have links to websites that will help them learn more and the more you learn the more you grow. I believe this book would be good for even very young children because the stories are in no way in attempt to scare but to educate I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it to young readers. I want to think Rosen publishing group in NetGalley for my free arc copy please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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I read this book with my 9 year old. She’s been interested in Alcatraz for a while so it was perfect to give her a little glimpse inside.

We are looking forward to reading more from this series

Thankyou to NetGalley for the arc

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I enjoyed this short read! Full of great info, and some fun stories. Young readers who enjoy history (or you want to get them to enjoy some history), will like this one.

Super fun :)

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As an avid fan of Alcatraz and the history, I found this book thoroughly entertaining and educational. It was well written and interesting.

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The Ghostly Guide to Alcatraz is a good non-fiction kids book to introduce kids to Alcatraz Island. I definitely recommend it for those kids who love spooky stuff. II is a book series and I’d love to read the one about Edinburgh Castle and The White House. Alcatraz is definitely on my bucket list of places to visit.

Thanks to the author and publisher for the NetGalley e-arc I received.

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The Ghostly Guide to Alcatraz by Theresa Emminizer was received directly from the publisher and I chose to review it. I had not realized it was a children's book but I read it anyway. I have never been to the island but after this book, I kind of feel my familiarity is much better. While the title is Ghostly Guide, it was not scary and I would gladly let my granddaughter read it when she gets old enough. Actually this entire series I will look further into as a possible gift for her.

4 Stars

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A delightfully creepy look into one of the scariest places in the US. I went there a few years ago and it was phenomenal! So to revisit with little glimpses at the attempts and escapes was so much fun. This is perfect for kids who want to dip their toes into the waters of creepy places without being scared out of their skin!

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Even though I had some knowledge of Alcatraz, there was some I just learned about in the book. Its a fast read and its very interesting. Just.wish.there.was.more information in the book. I would only use.this book for research. Purposes. Even though its short it has the basic information you need. I liked the book just wish there was more.
I.received a free copy of the book and is voluntarily writing a review

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I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are my own opinions.

This is a book I would have read as a child. Eerie, but not too scary, mixed with history was my thing (still is)

I enjoyed the glossary for the harder words and the use of the metric and imperial systems. The only this I disliked was the term "indian" being used a few times, as we teach Indigenous or First Nations here, Indian is not an acceptable term, unless you are of East Indian descent.

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As other reviews have noted I didn't realize that it was a children's book. It was very interesting but there really wasn't any new information on Alcatraz that hasn't already been written about. While this is in an excellent format for those children that are in grades 1-3 for anyone else it is a five minute read. The pictures are amazing and the text is appropriate for that age. The book does not go deeply into anyone of the stories just very brief summary of events.

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Fantastic book! I was hooked from the beginning. I thought it was well written and the story flowed well. I was engaged from start to finish. I am a history buff and this book was right up my ally. I will definitely be recommending this book to others and I will buy a copy for myself as well.

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Definitely an interesting read for older kids. It’s a quick read and a little redundant in the verbiage but still a very spooky, cool read.

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Theresa Emminizer’s The Ghostly Guide to Alcatraz is a brief and easy-to-read book detailing the history of the very famous island and prison. I enjoyed the book’s eye-catching design and bright pictures. The information is interesting but it is a little underwhelming, especially the ghostly tidbits.

This is a very easy-to-follow and understandable book for younger readers. Emminizer’s nicely simple language is concise and accessible. The book is divided neatly into simple, comprehensive, and super short chapters. The easy-to-read information includes fascinating facts about Alcatraz’s long history (it became a maximum security prison in 1934 and closed in 1963), the prison’s infamous inmates like Al Capone, as well as mentions of infamous prison escape attempts. I particularly appreciated the inclusion of the Native peoples. Did you know that it’s possible that the Native peoples believed the island was haunted and may have used it as a spot of punishment?

I also appreciate the inclusion of a glossary, a short timeline of Alcatraz’s history, as well as a section with books and websites so kids can learn more about Alcatraz on their own.

However, there is disappointingly little information on Alcatraz’s haunted aspects. I would have loved to see more pages on the alleged hauntings and sightings. I also would have liked to see more specific facts or stories.

I really appreciate the book’s colourful and appropriately spooky design which definitely makes the reading experience quite fun and exciting. I also love that there are so many interesting full-colour pictures and this will definitely appeal to younger readers!

👻👻👻 out of 5 ghosts!

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Part of a set of very young non-fiction books, this time covering the history of the island in the San Francisco Bay, from the debated use for it the First Nations may have had, through it being a fort, followed by military then civil prison. You get just a few sentences per spread, and when it can find the slightest excuse for it it asks you if ghosts are still there haunting the place, thereby justifying its entry in this spook-seeking series. Reasonable photos and other illustrations do serve to make this a pretty effective travel guide for the very young, but as a way in to the mood, despair and creepiness of it all it might be lacking somewhat. Three and a half stars.

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I really enjoyed reading this book. I have a fascination with ghosts and Alcatraz, so this was right up my alley!

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