Halloween is here! Pumpkins, dressing up, trick-or-treating and some scary stories to read together or on your own. A perfect way to celebrate.
For young children who like a slightly scary story:
A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown
Journeying through a dark, dark house, a black cat surprises the only inhabitant of the abandoned residence.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
A little old lady who is not afraid of anything must deal with a pumpkin head, a tall black hat, and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods trying to scare her.
The Teeny Tiny Woman: a Ghost Story by Paul Galdone
Retells the tale of the teeny-tiny woman who finds a teeny-tiny bone in a churchyard and puts it away in her cupboard before she goes to sleep.
A Beasty Story by Bill Martin Jr.
A group of mice venture into a dark, dark woods where they find a dark brown house with a dark red stair leading past other dark colors to a spooky surprise.
Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini
Gritch the witch flies to Old MacDonald’s farm for some pigs to make a piggie pie, but when she arrives she can’t find a single porker.
Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat by Doreen Cronin
Farmer Brown does not like Halloween, but the animals hold a Halloween party in his barn.
For older, independent readers who like their frights a bit scarier:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.
A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk.
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
When Clara vanishes after the puppeteer Grisini and two orphaned assistants were at her twelfth birthday party, suspicion of kidnapping chases the trio away from London and soon the two orphans are caught in a trap set by Grisini’s ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it is too late.
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.
The House With a Clock In Its Walls by John Bellairs
Orphaned Lewis Barnavelt comes to live with his Uncle Jonathan and quickly learns that both his uncle and his next-door neighbor are witches on a quest to discover the terrifying clock ticking within the walls of Jonathan’s house. Can the three of them save the world from certain destruction? A classic Gothic mystery for middle graders.
Ginny W., Youth Services.