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Download Zen Ghosts Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Zen Ghosts, by Jon J. Muth Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (440 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jon J. Muth Narrator: David Pittu Publisher: Scholastic Inc Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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It’s Halloween. The trees are ablaze in fiery reds. Excited children don colorful costumes. And there’s mystery and fun around every corner!

When Addy, Michael, and Karl finish trick-or-treating, their bags are brimming with treats. But the fun isn’t over yet. Their good friend Stillwater the panda has one more special surprise in store for them. A mysterious visitor is about to tell them a spine-tingling story—one that will fill each and every reader with wonder.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Haunting in multiple senses of the word, this tale should captivate thoughtful readers…Convey[s] a world of infinite possibility and gentle enchantment.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “David Pittu narrates gently and slowly in a style befitting the sharing of a Zen koan or puzzle story…The ethereal lightness of Pittu’s voice adds to the mystery of the full-mooned evening and the trip through the woods to the storyteller’s house. Seasonal sound effects and music complement the story.”


  • “Muth grounds the book’s esoteric elements with humor [and] everyday details from a child’s world…A beautiful, contemplative offering.”


  • “A wonderfully haunting tale…The book functions on many levels, from seasonal Halloween story to ghost yarn to deep philosophy, and succeeds spectacularly on all of them.”

    School Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Wally | 2/5/2014

    " Lovely soft illustrations of an ancient Zen koan, told as a Halloween ghost story. Very cool. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Heather | 2/3/2014

    " Zen Ghosts is a Halloween-night book, and as such the color palette is darker than Zen Shorts or Zen Ties, lovely deep blues and inky blacks and purple-greys, though there's also autumnal red and yellow and orange, with occasional flashes of grass-green. Stillwater the panda, already dressed as a ghost, visits his neighbors just before Halloween to tell them to meet up with him after trick-or-treating because he knows someone who will tell them a ghost story. Addy, Karl, and Michael comply, and are surprised to see that the storyteller is a panda who looks just like Stillwater. The story itself, which comes from a Buddhist koan, is about duality: if we have two selves, which is the true one? Can you even say we have more than one self, or is it just one self? If it's just one, why do we act different in different social circles/contexts? This being a koan, the story doesn't give an answer: you just have to turn it over in your mind. As in Zen Shorts, Muth uses a mix of watercolors and ink for the art in this book, and the combination works really well— I especially love the richness of the watercolors. The text of this book, since it's a ghost story, is mostly pretty solemn, but it's not without its funny/sweet moments, like Karl saving a bamboo-flavored candy bar for Stillwater. I also love that when Michael can't decide whether to be an owl or a pirate for Halloween, Stillwater suggests that could be an Owl-Pirate, which horrifies Karl, who says Michael has to choose to be one or the other. (More duality! And I love that Michael takes Stillwater's suggestion.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tammy | 2/3/2014

    " I loved the illustration in this book. My kids loved the Halloween pictures they really enjoyed the story and then suddenly it was over! It kinda threw us all off as we are a bit used to the story spelling it all out for us. It was a nice change to have to draw our own conclusions and to be left thinking it over. My kids are 11 and 8 and they both came up with great thoughts afterward. Great to see their minds stimulated! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Childrens Librarian | 2/1/2014

    " A gentle, thoughtful hybrid of a book: part ghost story, part love story. Raises questions for children to ponder about "the self" (author's note at the end explains this further). Lovely illustrations.-Karen "

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