Best Halloween Books for Kids: Scary, Spooky, and Silly
Trick-or-treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to read!
Well, it doesn’t quite rhyme, but I do wish that people gave out kids’ books instead of candy during Halloween.
For those of us that really enjoy Halloween— you know who you are: you’ve had your child’s costume since July, you’re dying for a visit to the pumpkin patch, and you’re dreaming of ways to make Halloween last longer than one fabulous day and night—this is the list you’ve been waiting for. There’s the silly, the spooky, the scary, and everything in between. No tricks here—only treats!
by Jon J. Muth
Publisher’s synopsis: 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.
Scholastic Press | September 1, 2010 | Ages 4-8 | 40 pages
Add this book to your collection: Zen Ghosts
by Rob Scotton
Publisher’s synopsis: It’s Halloween, and Splat is determined to be the scariest cat in the class. Unfortunately he’s just too much of a scaredy-cat. He’s afraid of a little spider, and everyone says his costume looks more silly than scary. And when Mrs. Wimpydimple tells a ghost story in the dark, Splat gets so frightened that he tips over his jack-o’-lantern. But when the lights go back on, the entire class is scared silly by a small, black, furry creature with a big pumpkin head. Whooooo can it be?
HarperCollins | August 24, 2010 | Ages 4-8 | 40 pages
Add this book to your collection: Scaredy-Cat, Splat!
by Lieve Baeten
Add this book to your collection: The Curious Little Witch
by Lisa Brown
Publisher’s synopsis: When the sun goes down and everything is wonderfully cold and dark, a vampire boy and a little witch go searching for children in the night.
But this is no ordinary night. It is Halloween, and what they find may surprise them. . . .
HarperCollins | July 27, 2010 | Ages 4-8 | 32 pages
Add this book to your collection: Vampire Boy’s Good Night
by Steve Jenkins
Publisher’s synopsis: This book is far from skinny — it’s the definitive nonfiction title about human and animal bones, delivered with in-your-face accuracy and intrigue. In this visually driven volume, kids come face-to-face with some head-to-toe boney comparisons, many of them shown at actual size. Here you’ll find the differences between a man’s hand and that of a spider monkey; the great weight of an elephant’s leg, paired with the feather-light femur of a stork; and rib-tickling info about snakes and sloths. How many bones are in the whole human body?Kids find out when they open the three large gatefold spreads that reveal the hard (yet enjoyable) truths about the boney insides of Earth’s many creatures.
Scholastic Reference | August 1, 2010 | Ages 8-12| 48 pages
Add this book to your collection: Bones
by Jan & Mike Berenstain
Publisher’s synopsis: Join the Berenstain Bears on their latest lift-the-flap adventure!
Gracie the kitten has gone missing.
Did she go inside the haunted house on top of Spook Hill?
Brother and Sister gather up their courage to find out.
They had best beware!
HarperFestival | July 27, 2010 | Ages 4-8 | 16 pages
Add this book to your collection: The Berenstain Bears and the Haunted House
by Lola M. Schaefer
Publisher’s synopsis: Can Mittens find a way to join in the holiday fun?
HarperCollins | July 27, 2010 | Ages 3-5| 32 pages
Add this book to your collection: Happy Halloween, Mittens
by Michele Torrey
Publisher’s synopsis: Who you gonna call to ghostbust a graveyard spook? Doyle and Fossey, that’s who! They’re on the job and ready to free a snobby girl from a tight situation, uncover the culprit who’s ruining some prize roses, nab a dangerous smuggler of rare animals, and of course reveal the truth about that pesky ghost!
Sterling | October 6, 2009 | Ages 8-11 | 96 pages
Add this book to your collection: The Case of the Graveyard Ghost
by Mimi McCoy
Publisher’s synopsis: Casey Slater can’t believe her bad luck. It’s the summer before seventh grade, and instead of the perfect vacation she’d planned with her best friend, Casey is in a remote country town, where her parents are restoring an old, creaky, creepy house. Worst of all, everyone else in town thinks the old house is haunted. And soon Casey thinks so, too — a vase explodes, a heavy china cabinet falls over on its own — and it seems like the ghost doesn’t want them there. Casey thought she’d be dying of boredom, but now she’s scared to death!
Scholastic Paperbacks | May 1, 2010 | Ages 8-12 | 192 pages
Add this book to your collection: The Dead End
by Chris Grabenstein
Publisher’s synopsis: How serious is stage fright? At the Hanging Hill Playhouse, it can kill you.
After narrowly escaping a malevolent spirit in The Crossroads, Zack and Judy are hoping to relax during the rehearsals for a show based on Judy’s bestselling children’s books. Little do they know that the director is planning to raise a horde of evil specters from the dead, and to accomplish this, he needs a human sacrifice . . . and Zack fits the bill perfectly.
This second book featuring the intrepid Zack and his stepmother, Judy, is full of the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made Chris Grabenstein a fast favorite with young and old alike.
Yearling | August 24, 2010 | Ages 9-12 | 336 pages
Add this book to your collection: The Hanging Hill
by Dan Poblocki
Publisher’s synopsis: Timothy July has been having nightmares. About his brother, who is in a coma after being wounded in Iraq; about his best friend, Stuart, who is behaving like a jerk; about the old biology specimens in jars lining the walls of his classroom; and about Abigail, the new girl who seems to be a magnet for trouble. Or perhaps she is the cause.
Suddenly Timothy’s nightmares are coming true. His brother, his face decaying, approaches Timothy on the street. Stuart ends up in the hospital, terrified that monsters are stalking him. And the specimen jars are tormenting not only Timothy but his teacher as well.
What is the secret in Abigail’s past that is the key to these horrors? And can Timothy figure it out before his nightmares become a deadly reality?
A follow-up to the well-received Stone Child, Dan Poblocki’s second novel will have his readers mesmerized until the last page—and sleeping with the lights on.
Random House Books for Young Readers | August 24, 2010 | Ages 9-12 | 336 pages
Add this book to your collection: The Nightmarys
by Chris Grabenstein
Publisher’s synopsis: Zack is about to start at his new school, and his dad, who went there years before, tells Zack the stories of the haunted janitor’s closet, the specter of a dead crossing guard, and the Donnelly brothers, who perished in a suspicious fire. Dad doesn’t know that Zack has already met the Donnellys’ ghosts, who have warned Zack that there is an evil zombie under the school. Zack also learns that while zombies are usually content eating corpses, if they happen to bite someone who isn’t dead, that person also becomes a zombie.
Before midterms, Zack is dealing with two zombies, while trying to protect a friend whose curiosity has put him on the zombies’ menu.
Once again Chris Grabenstein proves his mastery of frightening and funny tales. Young readers, especially reluctant ones, have found inspiration in his quirky characters and deadly situations.
Random House Books for Young Readers | August 24, 2010 | Ages 9-12 | 336 pages
Add this book to your collection: The Smoky Corridor
by A.R. Rotruck
Publisher’s synopsis: The Dangerous Book for Boys with a fantasy twist!
Ever wonder how to:
Improvise a wand?
Capture a werewolf?
Make a monster-catching net?
Why wait to be accepted into wizardry school to learn the answers? Packed with easy projects using everyday materials, this fact-filled activity book shows wannabe wizards how to craft unique creations such as their own wizard robes, play games such as vampire tag, master adventuring skills like mapping a monster-filled dungeon, and follow step-by-step instructions on how to “survive” almost any monster attack.
The fantastical fun never ends in this book that will inspire hours of imaginative play!
Mirrorstone | September 14, 2010 | Ages 10 and up | 80 pages
Add this book to your collection: How to Trap a Zombie, Track a Vampire, and Other Hands-On Activities For Monsters
by Eoin McNamee
Publisher’s synopsis: Here’s the first book in a brilliant new trilogy by the author of The Navigator. The Ring of Five, set at a school for spies, is full of surprises as well as fascinating questions about loyalty, destiny, and what it means to be a spy.
Danny Caulfield doesn’t know how he ended up at a mysterious academy called Wilsons. A few of the students are pretty scary. Someone tries to murder him. Even the ravens that haunt the school seem to be against him. Yet he also finds friends: Les, an exceptional thief; Dixie, who has an unsettling talent; and Vandra, a physick with special powers.
It turns out that Danny is destined for a terrifying mission. As he embarks on his training, he is shocked and secretly thrilled to discover that he seems to have all the natural gifts of the perfect spy—most importantly, the ability to betray.
Eoin McNamee’s background as an author of adult thrillers informs this exhilarating, atmospheric adventure.
Wendy Lamb Books | May 11, 2010 | Ages 10 and up | 352 pages
Add this book to your collection: The Ring of Five
by April Lurie
Publisher’s synopsis: Noah Nordstrom has been dissing the religious beliefs of his father, who hosts a popular Christian radio show and whom Noah accuses of spreading hate. When two local gay teens are murdered, Noah’s anti-evangelism intensifies—he’s convinced that the killer is a caller on his dad’s program.
Then Noah meets Will Reed, a cool guy. But when he learns that Will is gay, Noah gets a little weirded out. Especially since Will seems really into him. Noah gives Will the brush-off. Meanwhile, the killer is still at large . . . and soon Noah finds the next victim. It’s Will.
Racked with guilt, Noah decides to investigate. He knows the serial killer is targeting gay teens, but only those who live in foster homes, whose deaths are not that important to society; they are the less-dead. Noah, however, is determined to prove that someone cares. With the help of Will’s journal, which he pocketed at the scene of the crime and in which the killer has written clues, Noah closes in on an opponent more dangerous than he can guess.
Delacorte Books for Young Readers | January 12, 2010 | Ages 14 and up | 240 pages
Add this book to your collection: The Less-Dead
Trick-or-Treat: 20 more Halloween books for kids.
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