Halloween Reads for Children – Happy Halloween!

When I first started posting about our favorite children’s Halloween reads, I had big plans to share as many as possible. Last week we were so busy and things didn’t go as planned. So, I missed out on a few posts. Today I thought I’d share a bunch of our favorite Halloween reads for this season!

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First, let’s start with the board books. Of course, this was hard to pick just a few Halloween board books because there are so many adorable board books for toddlers, but we chose these two.

The Best Classic Halloween Stories – Board Book Collection

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We picked up this set from Costco last month. It contains eight different favorite Halloween stories in board book format for toddlers. You get all of these stories:

  • Little Blue Truck’s Halloween
  • Hooray for Halloween
  • Five Little Monkeys
  • Halloween Mice!
  • Ollie’s Halloween
  • Sheep Trick or Treat
  • Trick or Treat
  • Boo, Bunny!

It’s a very nice collection for your little ones. The books are good quality and have gorgeous illustrations!

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B is for BOO – A Halloween Alphabet

by Greg Paprocki

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A great introduction to the alphabet for babies and toddlers. The illustrations are perfect and have a vintage children’s book feel. There are twenty-six different illustrations throughout the book to teach all about Halloween to our little ones while they visualize the alphabet and learn the sounds as you read. A perfect addition to the Halloween shelf that I plan on keeping even when my little ones are grown!


Halloween Cats

by Jean Marzollo and Hans Wilhelm

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This is a super simple rhyming read for young readers with beautiful, colorful illustrations. It’s all about trick-or-treating cats causing trouble. There isn’t much of a story, but we still enjoy reading this one every year.


The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin
by Joe Troiano, Susan Banta (Illustrator)

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Spookley was different than all the other pumpkins. He was square, and the other pumpkins made fun of him and thought that he was worthless. Spookley finally gets the chance to prove that he’s just as good as all the others. Will he prevail?

This one is certainly a keeper. It’s a cute story that sends a strong message to children about the importance of kindness and that it’s not right to make fun of others. A cute story with colorful illustrations! The movie is also a family favorite.


 

I Like Pumpkins

by Jerry Smath (Illustrations)

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A cute Halloween story about the different sizes of pumpkins. Some are big, some are small, some are scary, some aren’t at all. The story shows many different ways we use pumpkins during the Halloween season. Easy to read for young ones and the end of the book has a few seek and finds.


We’re Going on a Spooky Ghost Hunt (A StoryPlay Book)

by Ken Geist
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This is a new Halloween book that I purchased from Scholastic. It’s our first Story Play book yet. The story can be read to the song “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” The story contains little questions along the way that inspire young readers to count and answer questions about the story. It really gets them thinking about the story. The illustrations are detailed and interesting. I’m happy with this one and I think it’s best for preschoolers.

The Pumpkin Smasher

Anita Benarde
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It’s October, and the people of Cranbury are getting reading for Halloween. Scarecrows, big black cats, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns adorn the town, until Halloween comes and a pumpkin smasher smashes all of the beautiful pumpkins. Who would do such a thing?
Next year, signs are posted and police are on the lookout. Unfortunately, the pumpkin smasher strikes again. The people of Cranbury are ready to cancel Halloween. They come up with a plan, but will Halloween be ruined again?
Our copy of this one is very old. It’s from 1972 and falling apart, but it’s still a favorite. The illustrations are black and white with a bit of orange for color.

Love Monster and the Scary Something (Love Monster)

by Rachel Bright

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Love Monster just can’t sleep and the night becomes spookier. Is something out there to get him? Love Monster must be brave. Follow along to see if he can overcome his fears.

Although this isn’t technically a Halloween book, we love this one for this time of year. The best illustrations!


Franklin’s Halloween

by Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark (Illustrations)
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Franklin has always been a favorite show in our house and my kids would watch it on PBS all the time. In this book, Franklin dresses up as Frankenstein for Halloween and prepares for a Halloween party, parade, haunted house and games. It’s a cute book for Franklin fans complete with a wonderful story and detailed illustrations.

Happy Halloween, Snoopy!

by Charles M. Schulz, Jack C. Harris, Art Ellis, Kim Ellis
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Better than candy, “Happy Halloween, Great Pumpkin!” is a great gift-giving opportunity, coinciding as it does with the Great Pumpkin TV special, the most popular of the Peanuts cartoon specials. Full color.


There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat!

by Lucille Colandro, Jared Lee (Illustrator)
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What won’t this old lady swallow? This time around, a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, some bones, and a wizard are all on the menu! This Halloween-themed twist on the classic “little old lady” books will delight and entertain all brave readers who dare to read it!

Room on the Broom

by Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler
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The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon.

Gus And The Baby Ghost (Gus the Ghost)

by Jane Thayer, Seymour Fleishman (Illustrator)
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Gus, Cora the cat, a mouse named Mouse, and Mr. Frizzle all live in the Historical Museum. They have a fairly symbiotic relationship, until the arrival of this baby ghost that is left on the doorstep. Frizzle who has a terrible temper and is reminiscent of most bad-tempered excessively rigid old men overreacts a number of times in most theatrical and entertaining ways before the mild-mannered Gus stands his ground, puts Frizzle in his place, and restores order to the emotional state of the household.

 


It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

by Charles M. Schulz

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We read this book every year and even when it’s not Halloween. Ours is a 1972 printing and a Charles Schulz favorite all about Linus and his belief in the Great Pumpkin. He gives up trick-or-treating to wait for the Great Pumpkin on Halloween night and just about the only person who believes he might be on to something is Sally.

“Dear Great Pumpkin, I am looking forward to your arrival on Halloween Night. ” – Linus

Will the Great Pumpkin bring toys and visit Linus this year? Follow along to find out!


Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children – Happy Halloween!”

Music Monday: Michael Jackson – Thriller – 1982

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday.

musicmonday

This week’s song pick is:

Michael Jackson’s

Thriller

I chose this song because it’s a childhood favorite and perfect for the Halloween season. I can still remember the first time I saw it on MTV as a child. It still captivates me and this still remains my favorite Michael Jackson album of all time. There’s a story here and if you watch the entire video, you’ll see some phenomenal dancing.

Continue reading “Music Monday: Michael Jackson – Thriller – 1982”

Shabby Sunday: Time Life – The Enchanted World Series – Ghosts 1984

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Ghosts (The Enchanted World)

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Blurb: Presents tales and examines varieties of beliefs about death and hauntings, characteristics and habits of ghosts, exorcism rites, and haunted places.

I chose this book because it’s one of my favorites in the series and perfect for this time of year. This volume is from 1984 and although the cover has some heavy wear, the pages are in excellent crisp condition.

My Thoughts:

I’ve been working to complete my collection of The Enchanted World Series throughout this year and this has to be one of my favorite volumes yet. The volume titled Ghosts is packed full of ghost stories dating from the 1800’s up to the 1980’s. Some are hauntings and exorcisms, while others cover haunted places. Some of the stories include banshees, nightwalkers, ravens, poltergeists, ghost children, and the Ankou (skeletal monsters). A few of my favorites in this volume are “Glam’s Tale” and “Song of the Sorrowing Harp”, but my absolute favorite is a story about a woman and her detaching head from the English county of Lancashire titled “A Meeting on the Road Home” which is creepy and comical.

These books contain stunning works of art and they always steal the show. You can locate the artists in the back of the book and learn about where all these tales originated in the bibliography. I like the way this volume was put together as it contains multiple stories from around the world. The artwork in this volume isn’t as explicit as the others, and the tales are interesting, but I probably wouldn’t recommend this one to young children as some of the stories are very eerie and involve killings. 4.5 ****


You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Series: Enchanted World
  • Hardcover: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Time Life Education; 1st edition (September 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809452162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809452163

With shipping, you can probably find this volume on eBay and Amazon for under $9

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Some of the gold letters on the title are wearing off. The fabric cover is a bit faded as well.

 

 

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Glam’s Tale

 

 

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To see the banshee, said the Irish, meant to foresee one’s own death. This sad harbinger often appeared as a pale young woman, washing graveclothes in lonely streams.

 

 

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Song of the Sorrowing Harp

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Time Life – The Enchanted World Series – Ghosts 1984”

Review: Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

An amazing review by Noriko for the book Watching Glass Shatter!

Diary of a Book Fiend

Warning:

This is probably the LONGEST review I have ever written here at WordPress; I tried to trim it, but it just didn’t sit well with me, so bear that in mind if you are going to read this lol

View original post 1,248 more words

Flower Friday: October 27th – Calibrachoa

I learned about Flower Friday from Lorilin@Bugbugbooks last month and have been having a lot of fun sharing some flower pics every Friday.

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This week’s flower is the Calibrachoa. This is a picture of one of my hanging baskets from this summer. Our Mourning Doves love to lay their eggs and raise their young in these hanging baskets.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday: October 27th – Calibrachoa”

Throwback Thursday – October 26th – Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Mental Illness

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Mental Illness

by Mary Forsberg WeilandLarkin Warren

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Blurb: Fall to Pieces is a beautifully written, visceral, roller coaster ride inside bipolar disorder, rock ’n’ roll, celebrity culture, and the world of modeling. Mary Forsberg Weiland, wife of Scott Weiland, frontman for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, tells a harrowing true story of depression, drug addiction, and mental illness with candor and, often, humor. Co-written with veteran journalist Larkin Warren, Fall to Pieces is a blistering, eye-opening memoir of Hollywood meltdown in the bestselling vein of Tatum O’Neal’s A Paper Life and Valerie Bertinelli’s Losing It.

My Thoughts:

Fall to Pieces by Mary Forsberg Weiland is an insightful memoir about Mary and her struggle with mental illness, drug use, and her relationship with Scott Weiland, former singer of Stone Temple Pilots.

My entire life I’ve loved music and my teen years in the 90’s was where music became a necessity for everyday life as I experienced similar issues to what Mary had, although nowhere near as extreme. Stone Temple Pilots was one of my favorites and Scott remained a favorite singer of mine in STP, Velvet Revolver and even his solo albums. When he passed away in 2015 I was shocked. Another great artist was gone and the horrible comments and accusations about him as a person began. People would call him a junkie, loser, abuser, and careless to name few. These words from people who were obviously not fans and those who don’t understand addiction and mental disease. They also don’t know what Scott experienced in his life. After reading Scott’s book, I wanted to see what Mary had to say. To see my review on Scott Weiland’s book Click Here

Firstly, this book has much more content than Scott’s Not Dead and Not for Sale. This book doesn’t highlight everything about Scott, but covers Mary and Scott’s relationship from the beginning until their divorce. Mary starts by discussing her early family life and emancipation at 17 which leads into her modeling career. She talks about her struggle with addiction long before her relationship with Scott started.

Mary obviously loved Scott, but it seemed like their relationship was doomed from the beginning. Scott was heavy into drugs and Mary knew it. They both had issues from the past and despite their mental illnesses, they got married and had kids. Up and down and all around is the best way to describe their journey together. It’s sad at times and at one point Mary pulls a Bernadine from “Waiting to Exhale” on Scott’s wardrobe. There’s a lot here you’ll never know if you don’t read the book. It contains journal entries, photos, and a lot of personal information. I learned about friendships that Mary had with other models, actors, and celebrities that I never knew about. Her bi-polar episodes didn’t really appear until the last quarter of the book.

What’s sad is that Scott couldn’t straighten up despite Mary’s persistence. Obviously, it’s what she wanted for herself and the kids, but she had her own demons to deal with and it’s sad the kids don’t have their dad to grow up with. I suppose having kids in this relationship was a bad idea, but I love Mary’s “no regrets” attitude. His kids are teens themselves now.

I enjoyed the writing style and the story told in chronological order. It’s an easy, fast-paced read that’s written well. If you want to know more about Mary and Scott, read it. You won’t be sorry…

4****

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – October 26th – Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Mental Illness”

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld – Book Review

The Child Finder

by Rene Denfeld

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Blurb: Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as The Child Finder, Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?


 

My Review:

After witnessing many friends rate and review this book so highly, I had to read it! I was lucky enough to be the first in line for it at my library.

The story begins with Madison, a young girl who is in search for the perfect Christmas tree alongside her parents in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She’s only five-years-old and suddenly disappears. Her parents are distraught and search teams have come up with nothing. Madison’s parents find Naomi,  a private investigator with an interest in child finding. It’s been three years and Madison is now eight-years-old if she’s still out there. Her parents are desperate, having trouble in their marriage, and cannot move on until they know what happened to Madison and whether or not she’s still alive.

Madison Culver is a five-year-old girl. Her parents say she likes reading, writing, and going for nature walks. She was excited to get a Christmas tree. 

As Naomi begins to search, her own past comes into light and readers learn that Naomi was once a lost child too. The book flips back and forth between Naomi’s past and the present search for Madison and also another case, a missing baby.

In the dream it was night and she was again a naked child running across a dark field. She was ageless, shedding her name and false self the way she had shed her clothes. The fields were wet and black and sticky. her feet were churning, her naked knees rising, and she could feel the wind in her hair, on her cheek, and around her helpless, clutching hands. 

It took me forever to get into this book and I just couldn’t get used to the format and writing. When I first started reading it, I thought it was going to be so awesome. I liked all of the characters, but I wasn’t sure about how I felt about the story switching back to Naomi’s past.  Learning about Naomi’s foster mom and the love she instilled in her after she’d been found was heartwarming and fills you with hope, but I just couldn’t connect with it, and for some odd reason it felt out of place and seemed like the details were lacking. I felt the same with her relationship with Jerome. I liked the interaction between Naomi, Detective Winfield, and Ranger Dave, but it felt a tad underdeveloped to me as well, although I still enjoyed it.

As the story continued, I found it moving and even poetic. This book was definitely haunting and hard to read at times, but for me, this wasn’t a thriller until page 240. At that point, it was a race to the end. I’m really hoping for a second book to see if Naomi will solve her own mysteries and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.

I did enjoy this and my rating on it is 4 stars.

4-stars


Find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (September 5, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062659057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062659057

Continue reading “The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld – Book Review”

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – Book Review

The Heart’s Invisible Furies

by John Boyne

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Blurb: From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man’s life, beginning and ending in post-war Ireland

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery — or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from and over his many years will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.

In this, Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.


My Review:

I picked this up on Netgalley as soon as I saw it and I was luckily approved. I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas years ago with my oldest son and couldn’t wait to read this after I read a few reviews on Goodreads from some close friends. The book wasn’t what I expected and due to the myriad of feelings I have about it, I’ve been struggling to write a review on it for a few weeks now. There might be spoilers here.

The story begins with a teenage girl named Catherine who is pregnant and not accepted by her family or church any longer. It’s the 1940’s in Ireland and she’s exiled and expected to start a new life elsewhere, which she does. After her baby is born, she gives him up and he’s adopted by a couple named Charles and Maude Avery. They name him Cyril and he loves his adoptive parents very much, but he doesn’t receive the love he deserves from them and he’s consistently told, “You’re not a real Avery.”

As Cyril grows older, he begins questioning why he doesn’t seem to have an interest in girls and seems to have an attraction to only boys. At the age of 7, he discovers after meeting a boy named Julian, that he loves him and eventually they become best friends into adulthood. Julian is attractive and always interested in new women, but Cyril won’t be accepted for who he is and must live in secret by hiding behind his true self due to his sexual identity. From that moment on, he continues to act as though he has an interest in women while keeping the truth a secret because it’s not accepted by anyone and can be flat-out dangerous if someone finds out. Being gay wasn’t accepted and people who were suspected to be gay were beaten up and called names like ‘nanny boys’ and ‘queers’. Cyril loved Julian from the moment they meet, but even his best friend won’t accept the truth when he finds out that he is gay and becomes very upset with him because he didn’t tell the truth from the beginning.

As time moves forward, many different events take place. Cyril get’s married, he moves away and starts a new life, wonders where his real mother is and who he really is. Will Cyril ever find the love he deserves and will it last?

-There were parts of the story that were slow, but something would happen to pull me right back in again.

-I had many emotions when reading this book and even laughed and cried a few times. I found it sad, shocking, comical, and scary.

-I was angry with how Cyril and others were treated and parts of the story were very difficult to read. From the beginning of Cyril’s life, it seemed as though he had to live as an outsider and wasn’t accepted.

-I had a little bit of a hard time connecting with the characters at first even though they are unique, interesting, and unforgettable.

-I loved the way characters came in and out of the story as the book is written in intervals of about 7 years from the 1940’s to the present.

-The ending was exactly what I wanted. Even though I found it sad, I was happy and surprised by it. Everything I wanted to find out about was there, especially in the end.

-I was very pleased with the epilogue and glad that it was included.

I seriously want to just list out everything that happened in this book and express every emotion I had, but I’m not going to. I’m going to say that it’s a good book, written well, and I enjoyed it. At nearly 600 pages, even with the slower parts in the story, there was always something new happening and I had to finish it. I’m giving it a rating of 4 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for sharing this book with me in exchange for an honest review.

4-stars


 Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Hogarth; 1st Edition edition (August 22, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524760781
  • ISBN-13: 978-1524760786

Continue reading “The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – Book Review”

Music Monday: Cry Little Sister by G Tom Mac aka Gerard McMann from “The Lost Boys”

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday.

musicmonday

This week’s song pick is:

G Tom Mac aka Gerard McMann

“Cry Little Sister”

I chose this song because I still love it after all these years. I actually have the soundtrack on vinyl. This time of year I watch “The Lost Boys” from 1987 a lot and had the song on my mind. I know I’ve recently shared this song on a previous tag, but here it is again.

Lyrics

Last fire will rise
Behind those eyes
Black house will rock
Blind boys don’t lie

Immortal fear
That voice so clear
Through broken walls
That scream I hear

Cry, little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)

Blue masquerade
Strangers look on
When will they learn
This loneliness?

Temptation heat
Beats like a drum
Deep in your veins
I will not lie

Little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)

My Shangri-Las
I can’t forget
Why you were mine
I need you now!

Cry, little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)

Cry, little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)

Cry, sister!

Continue reading “Music Monday: Cry Little Sister by G Tom Mac aka Gerard McMann from “The Lost Boys””