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Same book, different covers!

Being Dead


Ages: 12 and up

Publisher:  Harcourt


Book Description:

Seven ghost stories.

Where do you GET those ideas?


Once I decided to write a bunch of ghost stories, it was fun to try to do different things with that:  sometimes writing from the point of view of those being haunted and sometimes from the perspective of the ghost, with some of those ghosts being friendlier than others. 

Awards & Honors

  • ALA Best Book for Young Adults

  • ALA Popular Paperback for Young Adults

  • IRA Young Adults' Choice

  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age



"Horror fans will love these seven deliciously creepy tales featuring ghosts, cemeteries, suicides, murders, and other death-related themes."  

—School Library Journal

More Stuff

Two of the stories in Being Dead had been published as short stories before being put into this book.

"The Ghost" was first published in Upstate.

"For Love of Him" was first published in Bruce Coville's Book of Ghosts. The story is set in Rochester's Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Author Cynthia Leitich Smith conducted an interview with me regarding Being Dead.  Read it HERE or visit here site by clicking the image below.



(from "Drop by Drop")

I was the only one inside when the phone rang.

Probably the Welcome Wagon Lady, I thought. I went to the kitchen and picked up the receiver. "Hello?"

There was the sound of a bell ringing, like the kind of bell a little kid would have mounted on a bicycle handle. Brring brring! Brring brring!  "Hello," I said in my most pleasant singsong.

The tinny bell rang again.

"Last chance," I warned, still trying to sound friendly.

The bell stopped and I was about to hang up when a little voice said, "Help me."

"What?" It sounded like a kid, probably a little girl.

"Please." Several seconds. "Help me."

"Are you home alone?" I asked.

The damn bicycle bell brringed again.

Danny and Dad walked into the kitchen.

"Not fair!" Danny squealed. "Here we are working our butts off, and Brenda's on the phone already."

Dad was shaking his head. "The phone doesn't work, honey. It won't be hooked up till Monday."

Foreign Editions

I don't speak Danish. But Being Dead was published in that language.

And here is the I-also-can't-read-Spanish edition.

Being Dead -Danish
Being Dead (Spanish)
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