I am not by definition a scaredy-cat, but I do like to sleep at night. So, I avoid reading thrillers with zombies or other creatures that lurk in dark quiet places waiting to ‘get-cha’. However, I am intrigued by the super-natural and I love suspense. To put it in perspective, I’d say “no thank you” to a 3-minute roller coaster that twists and turns me upside down, but I’d tingle in an hour-long line for the 1/16th of a second fright provided by
the Tower of Terror. With that in mind, enjoy this list of Great Halloween Reads put together with the help of several local librarians and booksellers.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins — James Dean’s popular character presents the classic children’s song in this 2015 release. Highly recommended both online and by a local librarian as a new favorite.
Scaredy-Cat, Splat! By Rob Scotton is delightfully funny.
Monster Needs A Costume from the series by Paul Czajak. My personal favorite because I love Monster and Paul’s remarkable rhymes.
Room on the Broom a new release by Julia Donaldson looks like a winner too.
Scary Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting, I haven’t experienced but I’m hearing it is a great read a-loud with nothing scary about it.
In a Dark Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey
Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds (Peter Brown Illustrations)
Froggy’s Halloween Jonathan London’s popular Froggy has delighted children in over twenty tales.
Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler
10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex a fun parody of a children’s classic.
Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matt McElligott
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alain Schwartz (disclaimer: included in Banned Book week BUT recommended by all three professionals in this age category).
If you really want to be scared read The Best of John Bellairs books which have been described as SCARY – SUSPENSEFUL – THRILLING – NOT FOR THE TIMID. (Note: Bellairs has written several YA titles as well.)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – 2010 Newbury Award
Goosebumps Series by R. L. Stine, always classic. Also a major motion picture.
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren Destafano a 2015 release described as lyrical, evocative, and incredibly well done.
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier a 2015 release.
The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson
Magic Treehouse #30 – Haunted Castle on Hallow’s Eve by Mary Pope Osborne
The Witches by Ronald Dahl. Also a major motion picture from 1990.
Doll Bones a 2015 release by Holly Black
The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney is NOT on MY list to read. However, I am told if you want to be terrified, read this series of 13 books. The last of which, Seventh Son, was a 2014 major motion picture release.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, a series much more to my haunting tastes. Nothing terrifying or thrilling but weird, supernatural stuff made absolutely believable by great characters. Anticipating the fourth book due out in March 2016.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness has been described as sad, darkly funny, and moving. While it includes monsters and the supernatural, it looks like a good read anytime of year. Just added it to my list. NOTE: One of our contributors voted for this novel in the Young Adult category, describing it as ‘so, so deep’.
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz a recently released teen series which promises to frighten!
Shades of London Series by Maureen Johnson was described to me as ‘on the edge of your seat kind of thriller’ – probably not for me.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake – HORROR – also a series. Sounds like a great plot, not sure if I can afford the loss of sleep but might try.
Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black for those looking for vampires.
Rot & Ruin a series by Jonathan Maberry has it all for you Zombie lovers.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs a peculiar and creepy series.
The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Finishing School series by Gail Carriger
Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories
Asylum Trilogy by Madeline Roux
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson promised to be incredibly creepy.
And — I was surprised to hear the list of classics suggested for this age group:
Anything written by Edgar Allan Poe
The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Time is of the essence. Hallow’s Eve is tomorrow! Head to the bookstore, library, or cloud and grasp in your sweaty palms your next literary haunt. Turn on all the lights, lock the door, and try not to scream—you might scare the neighbors.
Have I missed any of your favorite haunted tomes? Share them with your fellow creeps.
Special thanks to contributing Librarians Danielle Masterson, Beth Kerrigan, Amy Martin, Anna Tschetter, and Rebecca Meehan and to Chantel Coughlin, Manager, Andover Bookstore.
What an absolutely fantastic list, Marti! So many familiar titles, though I’ve only read a handful, some of my absolute favorites being CREEPY CARROTS and THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. Passing this along :D…
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Thanks for the shout out Marti! Room on the Broom is probably my absolute favorite picture book. It is perfection when it come to story and rhyme.
Fun reading list, Marti! I see many great mentor texts and some of my favorite Halloween stories: Hallo-weiner and The Little OId Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. I also love Scary Party by Sue Hendra– so much fun to read aloud! One of my new favorite Halloween books is Boo-La-La Witch Spa by Samantha Berger.
Thanks for a great list, Marti and I’ve read most of the Picture Books and they are great! I also love the Halloween Hustle, Mostly Monsterly, Leonardo the Terrible Monster.
None of WITCH (I can misspell, it’s a Halloween thing) I have read – yet. Thanks for sharing Kirsti.