HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE DADS OUT THERE….This one is dedicated to my dad, who loved to tell stories.

The American StoryBag: A Collection of Tales

Written by Gerald Hausman


This author has been collecting stories since 1965. He loved to listen to stories which he scribbled down and later retold on paper. These tales focus on every aspect of American life. As I was reading them, I had the distinct feeling that I was sitting around a campfire listening to a storytelling master. Hausman has won numerous awards for his yarns, which speak of ghosts, demons, fantasy, humor, truths, and everyday life.

The author divides his tales into sections like Heroes, On the Road, Humor, Reflections, Out of this World, Moments of Truth, and Yarns. He has been compared to Mark Twain. The reader feels as if he is there in the story. Some stories will inspire you like the tale about an autistic child who survived a struggle in the swamp, some of them portray the legends of Native Americans as in The Horse of the Navajo or the bravery of a father and son in A Real Life Goliath.

The Discussion Questions that Hausman suggests are a wonderful beginning for students or book groups to use as a jumping off point for further exploration of the subject matter in individual stories. These questions could also be the basis of interesting essays on many topics. Teachers might want to use them in connection with other curriculum areas. The questions also assist in understanding the deeper layers of culture surrounding them. Finally, the author interview included at the end of the collection provides insight into why the author is so successful as a storyteller, lecturer and writer.

Recommended for readers age eight and older, all those who love to tell stories or listen to them!