When it became clear that children wouldn’t be able to safely trick-or-treat door-to-door this year due to COVID-19, I immediately started thinking of other ways they might be able to celebrate Halloween. Reading has always been my sanctuary, so I thought it might be helpful and fun to compile a list of scary (and not-so-scary) middle grade stories to help young readers get in the spirit of the holiday. I’ve tried to include books that fall at different places on the spooky spectrum so that every reader can find the right book for them. Got a suggestion you don’t see in the list below? Please leave it in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!
Looking for even more middle grade books to get you in the Halloween spirit? Don’t miss this list I shared in 2019 with 25 more scary (and not-so-scary) books to choose from in addition to the ones on today’s list!
Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy.
For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business.
Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely’s firefly spirits before it’s too late.
With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.
Summer camp turns sinister in Camp Murderface, a spooky middle grade read perfect for fans of scare masters like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike.
The year: 1983. The place: Ohio. The camp: Scary as heck.
Camp Sweetwater is finally reopening, three decades after it mysteriously shut down. Campers Corryn Quinn and Tez Jones have each had more than enough of their regular lives — they’re so ready to take their summer at Sweetwater by storm.
But before they can so much as toast one marshmallow, strange happenings start…happening. Can they survive the summer? Or will Camp Sweetwater shut down for good this time — with them inside?
Driftwood Harbor may seem like an ordinarily boring, small New England town, but there’s something extremely strange and downright creepy happening within town limits.
Twins Beacon and Everleigh McCullough are moving from their home in sunny LA to Driftwood Harbor, a rainy fishing village in New England. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s something strange about this town and the mysterious group of too-perfect students called The Gold Stars. After Everleigh is recruited into their ranks, Beacon must uncover Driftwood Harbor’s frightening secret before he loses his sister forever.
This Town Is Not All Right is the middle-grade horror debut from M.K. Krys (YA author Michelle Krys). Be prepared for a thrilling page-turner with a major mystery because the residents of Driftwood Harbor will do whatever it takes to keep their dark secrets from rising to the surface.
What starts as a little sibling rivalry escalates to a life-or-death threat. Can Edwin save his baby sister from the terrible dangers of the Dead World?
Edwin really doesn’t want to be a big brother. Forced to move house, start a new school and make way for this unwelcome interloper in his parents’ affections, he feels like everything is chaos. But things might not be as bad as he fears, as Edwin makes an unusual pen-pal, Lanthorne, who introduces him to a strange world filled with dark secrets and thrilling adventures.
This excitement seems safe until those secrets and adventures start to intrude on Edwin’s life and, more worryingly, on the life of his baby sister. Can Edwin and Lanthorne work together to save Mandoline from the evil Aunt Necra? And can they figure out why Lanthorne’s family is so divided, and what the terrible secret is that so many people seem to know all about but refuse to share with Edwin?
For fans of Small Spaces and the Goosebumps series by R.L Stine comes a chilling ghost story based on real Chicago history about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.
Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist, which is why she can’t think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour…he’s gone.
Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad’s ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her.
Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something…and Claire needs to find out what before it’s too late.
When eleven-year-old Kiki MacAdoo and her talented older sister go to Mount Faylinn Dance Conservatory for the summer, they ignore the brochure’s mysterious warning that “ballets come alive” in the nearby forest.But after her sister disappears, it’s up to Kiki to brave the woods and save her sister from the ghost sylphs that dance young girls to their deaths. As Kiki unlocks the mysteries of Mount Faylinn, the ballet of the ghost sylphs, Giselle, simultaneously unfolds, and Kiki is swept away in the adventure of a lifetime.
A Malaysian folk tale comes to life in this emotionally layered, chilling middle grade debut, perfect for fans of The Book of Boy and The Jumbies.
I am a dark spirit, the ghost announced grandly. I am your inheritance, your grandmother’s legacy. I am yours to command.
Suraya is delighted when her witch grandmother gifts her a pelesit. She names her ghostly companion Pink, and the two quickly become inseparable.
But Suraya doesn’t know that pelesits have a dark side — and when Pink’s shadows threaten to consume them both, they must find enough light to survive…before they are both lost to the darkness.
Fans of Holly Black’s Doll Bones and Tahereh Mafi’s Furthermore series will love this ghostly middle grade debut that explores jealousy, love, and the extraordinary power of friendship.
In too deadly.
In too deep.
Samantha and Rachel used to be friends. But then Rachel betrayed Samantha…and Samantha decided to make her life a living nightmare.
Then one day, Sam and Rachel found themselves in a fight
by a lake.
Samantha pushed Rachel…and watched as Rachel fell back.
Into the water. And gone.
No way to save her. No way she could be alive.
The next day, Rachel shows up to school as if nothing happened.
And now she’s the one who wants to make her former friend’s life a living nightmare…
“Do you know what it feels like to be forgotten?”
On a cold winter night, Iris and her best friend, Daniel, sneak into a clearing in the woods to play in the freshly fallen snow. There, Iris carefully makes a perfect snow angel – only to find the crumbling gravestone of a young girl, Avery Moore, right beneath her.
Immediately, strange things start to happen to Iris: She begins having vivid nightmares. She wakes up to find her bedroom window wide open, letting in the snow. She thinks she sees the shadow of a girl lurking in the woods. And she feels the pull of the abandoned grave, calling her back to the clearing…
Obsessed with figuring out what’s going on, Iris and Daniel start to research the area for a school project. They discover that Avery’s grave is actually part of a neglected and forgotten Black cemetery, dating back to a time when White and Black people were kept separate in life – and in death. As Iris and Daniel learn more about their town’s past, they become determined to restore Avery’s grave and finally have proper respect paid to Avery and the others buried there.
But they have awakened a jealous and demanding ghost, one that’s not satisfied with their plans for getting recognition. One that is searching for a best friend forever – no matter what the cost.
The Forgotten Girl is both a spooky original ghost story and a timely and important storyline about reclaiming an abandoned segregated cemetery.
A dark family secret prompts a ghost to wreak havoc in this spooky novel in the spirit of Mary Downing Hahn.
The only life 12-year-old Emily has ever known is the cold, unloved existence of being an orphan. But everything changes when the Thorntons, a young couple from London, adopt Emily, whisking her away to a new life at their grand estate.
At first, life at Blackthorn Manor is wonderful. But as Emily explores the grounds and rooms, she stumbles upon a mysterious girl named Kat, who appears to be similar in age, and the two become fast friends.
That’s when things take a turn for the worse. Kat seems to know a curious amount about the estate, and strange things happen whenever she’s around. In one case, Emily narrowly avoids getting toppled by a bookcase in the library; in another, the fire erupts in the fireplace, nearly burning Emily’s hands. It’s almost as if someone – or something – wants Emily dead.
Emily must find out what happened to the Thorntons and, more important, how Kat is connected to these strange goings-on at Blackthorn Manor before it’s too late!
A dream world turns haunting nightmare in this spellbinding debut novel, perfect for fans of Circus Mirandus and The Night Gardener.
After Andrea’s brother, Francis, disappeared, everything changed. Her world turned upside down, and there was nothing she could do to right it. So when she discovers a magical dream world called Reverie in the woods near her home, Andrea jumps at the chance to escape her pain and go inside. But the cost of admission is high: Andrea must give up a memory in order to enter. And she knows exactly which memory she’d like to give up.
Once inside, Andrea discovers tent after tent of dreams come alive; she can fly on a gust of wind, brave swashbuckling pirates and search for buried treasure, reach for – and wish on – a tangible star, and much, much more. But Andrea soon realizes that not all of Reverie’s dreams are meant to delight, and the Sandman behind the circus tents seems to have plans of his own. When Andrea finds a tent in which her brother’s darkest nightmare has been brought to life, she realizes the dark truth: Reverie is not an escape; it’s a trap.
Will Andrea and her new friend Penny have what it takes to find Francis, figure out what’s really going on in Reverie, and break free from this nightmarish dream world?
A wonderfully inventive, deliciously creepy debut novel that is sure to linger in readers’ minds long after the last thrilling page has been turned.
A young woman is haunted by the ghost of her conjoined twin, in Lisa Brown’s The Phantom Twin, a sweetly spooky graphic novel set in a turn-of-the-century sideshow.
Isabel and Jane are the Extraordinary Peabody Sisters, conjoined twins in a traveling carnival freak show ― until an ambitious surgeon tries to separate them and fails, causing Jane’s death.
Isabel has lost an arm and a leg but gained a ghostly companion: Her dead twin is now her phantom limb. Haunted, altered, and alone for the first time, can Isabel build a new life that’s truly her own?
The Monsterstreet series kicks off with this chilling tale about a boy who discovers his father was killed by a legendary werewolf.
Max Bloodnight can’t decide what’s more terrifying about his weekend in Wolf County — the fact that he has to stay with grandparents he’s never met before or being stuck on a farm without cell service. If only that was all he had to fear.
Determined to solve the mystery of his father’s death, which occurred years before at the claws of a legendary werewolf, Max must hunt to uncover the truth before the full moon rises…and the werewolf strikes again.
Deep in the woods, a gnarled tree grows. Its thick, black trunk twists angrily up into the night sky. Held in place by the magic of a long-ago patriarch, it has waited centuries to lure a descendant into its trap.
When Tavorian Kreet and his mom move in with his great-grandmother, Tav is forbidden to go into the woods on the estate. But like most eleven-year-olds, he just can’t resist.
After secretly exploring the woods, Tav begins having dreams about a supernatural tree. Soon, the dreams change from pleasant to dark and menacing. On a dare, Tav ventures farther into the woods with his new friend, Harper. There, they meet a mysterious, mute boy named Edward who lives in a decrepit cabin nearby. Afraid, and unable to speak, Edward scrawls “Wicked Tree” on the ground.
Determined to help Edward, Tav enlists Harper, and they search the estate for clues to Edward’s identity and how to help him.
With Harper’s help, Tav pieces together the Kreet family history and discovers an ancient curse. If Tav wants to save his friends and family, he must go into the heart of the woods, find the Wicked Tree, and confront a most evil magic.
In this spellbinding, lavishly illustrated story that Diary Of A Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney calls “wildly imaginative and totally terrifying,” two unlikely friends face down their worst fears in order to stop their small town — and themselves — from disappearing.
Levi and Kat are about to discover a very dark side to their neighborhood.
Nothing ever seems out of place in the safe, suburban town of Cowslip Grove. Lawns are neatly mowed, sidewalks are tidy, and the sounds of ice cream trucks fill the air. But now…kids have been going missing — except no one even realizes it, because no one remembers them. Not their friends. Not their teachers. Not even their families.
But Levi and Kat do remember, and suddenly only they can see why everyone is in terrible danger when the night air rolls in. Now it is up to Levi and Kat to fight it and save the missing kids before it swallows the town whole.
A spooky stand-alone middle-grade novel from Dan Poblocki, perfect for fans of John Bellairs and Mary Downing Hahn.
“They say if you see him, it’s already too late.”
Claire doesn’t believe in ghosts, even though her dad is a ghost hunter on TV. But then her dad disappears. And a strange boy in her class, Lucas, knows something about ghosts. One of them has a message for her: Her dad has been taken, and he’s in grave danger.
Together, Claire and Lucas set out for the town of Hush Falls, where her dad was last seen. Legend says that a tall man in a dark tattered coat lurks near the local reservoir, and anyone who gets too close to old Lemuel Hush is never heard from again.
Claire and Lucas are determined to rescue her father. But how can they save him from the ghost of Hush when everyone knows that seeing the ghost means that you’re destined to die…
Stranger Things meets The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl in this lightly spooky debut about Maggie, an aspiring young naturalist, and her YouTuber best friend, Nate, who use their smarts and science to solve the mystery behind a mutant fungus that’s threatening the town.
Ever since Magnolia Stone’s scientist dad left Shady Pines to find a new job, Maggie’s been stuck in her gramma’s mobile home with her grumpy older brother, Ezra. Now she’s on a mission to put her family back together by winning the Vitaccino Junior Naturalist Merit Award.
When Maggie and her best friend, Nate, a wannabe YouTube star and alien conspiracy theorist, scout out a rare bioluminescent fungus, Maggie is certain she’s a shoo-in to win. But after animals around town start sprouting unusual growths and Ezra develops a bluish glow and hacking cough, Maggie wonders what they’ve really stumbled onto.
As things in Shady Pines become stranger and more dangerous, and conversations with her dad get complicated, Maggie must use her scientific smarts and Nate’s impressive knowledge of all things spooky to put things back in order and prevent these peculiar glowing mushrooms from taking over their home.
A family-run haunted hotel’s livelihood is threatened when a bigger haunted hotel opens nearby in this hilarious, spooky story
Twelve-year-old Willow Ivan’s family has run the Hotel Ivan for four hundred years. Through thick and thin, they’ve held on tight to their title as the Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street. That is, until the Hauntery — a corporate chain of haunted hotels — moves in down the street. As the Ivan’s business fades, so do their ghostly staff. And Willow begins to worry that The Ivan’s days are numbered.
Then Willow meets Evie, a Hauntery ghost who’s forced to play the part of a Spooky Little Girl even though she longs to be a Terrifying Phantasm. So when Willow offers her a job at The Ivan, Evie accepts — but she doesn’t tell Willow that she’s still working for The Ivan’s competition, for fear of losing her new job and friend.
Together, the girls come up with a plan to save The Ivan. But with The Ivan ghosts already fading and Evie’s secret threatening to come out, will it be too late?
Murderous ghosts and buried family secrets threaten young Eleanor and Alice Roosevelt in this thrilling middle-grade novel that puts a supernatural spin on alternate history.
It’s 1898 in New York City and ghosts exist among humans.
When an unusual spirit takes up residence at the Roosevelt house, thirteen-year-old Eleanor and fourteen-year-old Alice are suspicious. The cousins don’t get along, but they know something is not right. This ghost is more than a pesky nuisance. The authorities claim he’s safe to be around, even as his mischievous behavior grows stranger and more menacing. It’s almost like he wants to scare the Roosevelts out of their home – and no one seems to care!
Meanwhile, Eleanor and Alice discover a dangerous ghost in the house where Alice was born and her mother died. Is someone else haunting the family?
Introverted Eleanor and unruly Alice develop an unlikely friendship as they explore the family’s dark, complicated history. It’s up to them to destroy both ghosts and come to terms with their family’s losses.
Told from alternating perspectives, thrills and chills abound in Dianne K. Salerni’s imaginative novel about a legendary family and the ghosts that haunt their secrets.
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents author Tehlor Kay Mejia and her thrilling fantasy adventure based on the Mexican legend of La Llorona (the Crying Woman).
Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It’s all they’ve heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths.
Hating her mother’s humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it’s the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right…
Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend.
An enchanting, riotous, and playfully illustrated debut graphic novel following a young goblin trying to save her best friend from the haunted mall — perfect for fans of Steven Universe and Adventure Time.
In the eerie town of ‘Allows, some people get to be magical sorceresses, while other people have their spirits trapped in the mall for all ghastly eternity.
Then there’s twelve-year-old goblin-witch Beetle, who’s caught in between. She’d rather skip being homeschooled completely and spend time with her best friend, Blob Glost. But the mall is getting boring, and B.G. is cursed to haunt it, tethered there by some unseen force. And now Beetle’s old best friend, Kat, is back in town for a sorcery apprenticeship with her Aunt Hollowbone. Kat is everything Beetle wants to be: beautiful, cool, great at magic, and kind of famous online. Beetle’s quickly being left in the dust.
But Kat’s mentor has set her own vile scheme in motion. If Blob Ghost doesn’t escape the mall soon, their afterlife might be coming to a very sticky end. Now, Beetle has less than a week to rescue her best ghost, encourage Kat to stand up for herself, and confront the magic she’s been avoiding for far too long. And hopefully ride a broom without crashing.
It’s not easy being a teenage witch. Seventh grader Abby Shepherd is just getting the hang of it when weird stuff starts happening all around her hometown of Willow Cove. Green slime bubbling to life in science class. Giant snakes slithering around the middle school gym. Her best friend suddenly keeping secrets and telling lies.
Things only begin to make sense when a stranger named Miss Winters reveals that Abby isn’t the only young witch in town – and that Willow Cove is home to a secret past that connects them all. Miss Winters, herself a witch, even offers to teach Abby and the others everything she knows about witchcraft.
But as Abby learns more about Miss Winters’ past, she begins to suspect her new mentor is keeping secrets of her own. Can Abby trust her, or does Miss Winters have something wicked planned for the young witches of Willow Cove?
Welcome to Bohring-home to 453 people, 2,053 alligators, and one monster curse.
Correction: home to 454 people, now that Kick Winter is living in the swamp Hollows with her Grandma Missouri, the town (fake) psychic. Bohring is anything but boring for Kick who has already blown a hole through the kitchen floor, befriended a chicken-eating gator, and discovered that the town’s hundred-year curse is upon them.
It’s the Bohring curse and all the kids are about to become monsters-or so the legend goes. People are worried-except for Kick. She knows there’s a scientific explanation for everything, especially curses and monsters. But Kick is the new kid in school and she’s determined to make a name for herself…by pretending to be psychic.
According to her calculations: one teeny-tiny life + (fake) psychic skills = popularity. But when kids start disappearing and glowing creatures start showing up, Kick’s theory quickly evaporates in a puff of foul-smelling swamp gas. Can Kick use her (real) science smarts to prove the curse is a hoax? Or is it just-maybe-sort of-somehow possible the curse is here?
Author Romily Bernard weaves a fast-paced middle-grade mystery filled with humor and scientific intrigue, set in a perfectly eerie Southern town.
Lemony Snicket meets Oscar Wilde meets Edgar Allan Poe in this exciting and scary middle-grade novel inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray – a family curse is unleashed!
Bryony Gray is becoming famous as a painter in London art circles. But life isn’t so grand. Her uncle keeps her locked in the attic, forcing her to paint for his rich clients…and now her paintings are taking on a life of their own, and customers are going missing under mysterious circumstances.
When her newest painting escapes the canvas and rampages through the streets of London, Bryony digs into her family history, discovering some rather scandalous secrets her uncle has been keeping, including a deadly curse she’s inherited from her missing father. Bryony has accidentally unleashed the Gray family curse, and it’s spreading fast.
With a little help from the strange-but-beautiful girl next door and her paranoid brother, Bryony sets out to break the curse, dodging bloodthirsty paintings, angry mobs and her wicked uncle along the way.
Something strange is happening on Goodie Lane…
Thirteen-year-old Quinn Parker knows that there’s something off about her neighbors. She calls them “the Oldies” because they’ve lived on Goodie Lane for as long as anyone can remember, but they never seem to age. Are they vampires? Or aliens? Or getting secret experimental surgeries? Or is Quinn’s imagination just running wild again?
If her dad were still around, he’d believe her. When he was alive, they’d come up with all sorts of theories about the Oldies. Now, Quinn’s determined to keep the investigation going with the help of Mike, her neighbor and maybe-crush. They’ll have to search for clues and follow the mystery wherever it leads — even if it’s to the eerie pond at the end of the street that’s said to have its own sinister secrets. But the Oldies are on to them. And the closer Quinn and Mike get to uncovering the answers, the more they realize just how terrifying the truth may be.
Marina Cohen’s A Box of Bones is a dark, propulsive, middle-grade tale about a trick box, two worlds entwined, and a mystery that may be best left unsolved.
Twelve-year-old Kallie despises nonsense. She believes there’s a rational explanation for everything, despite the good-natured prodding of her Grandpa Jess, who takes her to frivolous wastes of time like their town’s local Festival of Fools.
There, Kallie meets a faceless man (must be some kind of mask) who gives her a strange wooden puzzle box (must be some kind of gimmick). Intrigued despite herself, Kallie sets to work on unlocking its secrets and…lets something out. From here Kallie’s life begins to entangle with another world, a world where Liah, a young bone carver, journeys with her master to sell wares to a wicked Queen.
The sights, sounds, smells, and spells of Liah’s world are beginning to leak into Kallie’s, and if Kallie can’t decipher the meaning of her own story, “the end” might be far from happy.
Stranger Things meets The X-Files in this eerie, heart-pounding middle grade adventure about a young boy and girl who must protect their small town from otherworldly forces threatening to destroy it.
Rae’s father vanished without a trace — and Rae knows what happened to him. But no one believes her when she says that her father didn’t run off, that he was actually taken. Now, a year of therapy later, Rae’s mother decides they need a fresh start, and so they move to a new town in the hope that life can return to normal.
The problem is, there is nothing normal about the town of Whispering Pines.
No one knows this better than Caden. He’s lived in Whispering Pines his entire life, and he’s seen more than his fair share of weird — starting with his own family, as the town is the perfect home base for his mother’s ghost hunting business.
When several kids go missing and then show up like zombies with their eyes removed, many locals brush it off. Just another day in Whispering Pines. But Caden has a dark secret, one that may explain why someone is stealing eyes. And Rae, who knows how it feels to not be believed, may be just the person Caden needs to help him put things right.
A young witch must pass a coming-of-age quest or risk losing her magic forever in this enchanting fantasy – perfect for fans of Kiki’s Delivery Service and Aru Shah and the End of Time.
Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic…
Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before her thirteenth birthday. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it’s a simple enough test:
One: Help your town, do good all around.
Two: Live there for one moon, don’t leave too soon.
Three: Fly home by broomstick, the easiest of tricks.
The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets a sunburn instead of calling down rain. And to add insult to injury, whenever she overuses her magic, she falls asleep.
When she lands in the tranquil coastal town of Auteri, the residents expect a powerful witch, not a semi-magical girl. So Eva comes up with a plan: set up a magical repair shop to aid Auteri and prove she’s worthy. She may have more blood than magic, but her “semi-magical fixes” repair the lives of the townspeople in ways they never could have imagined. Only, Eva’s bit of magic may not be enough when the biggest magical storm in history threatens the town she’s grown to love. Eva must conjure up all of the magic, bravery, and cleverness she can muster or Auteri and her dreams of becoming a witch will wash away with the storm.
A spooky and adventurous debut illustrated fantasy novel about a girl made of dust and bone and imagination who seeks the truth about the magic that brought her to life.
“Remember, my dear, you do not really and truly exist.”
Irréelle fears she’s not quite real. Only the finest magical thread tethers her to life―and to Miss Vesper. But for all her efforts to please her cruel creator, the thread is unraveling. Irréelle is forgetful as she gathers bone dust. She is slow returning from the dark passages beneath the cemetery. Worst of all, she is unmindful of her crooked bones.
When Irréelle makes one final, unforgivable mistake by destroying a frightful creature just brought to life, Miss Vesper threatens to imagine her away once and for all. Defying her creator for the very first time, Irréelle flees to the underside of the graveyard and embarks on an adventure to unearth the mysterious magic that breathes bones to life, even if it means she will return to dust and be no more.
Debut author Heather Kassner’s The Bone Garden is a gorgeously written story – illustrated by Matt Saunders – humming with magic, mystery, and dark imaginings. Perfect for fans of Holly Black, Jonathan Auxier, and Katherine Arden.
One of our most iconic childhood games receives a creepy twist as it becomes the gateway to a nightmare world.
I went up the hill, the hill was muddy, stomped my toe and made it bloody, should I wash it?
Justin knows that something is wrong with his best friend.Zee went missing for a year. And when he came back, he was…different. Nobody knows what happened to him. At Zee’s welcome home party, Justin and the neighborhood crew play Hide and Seek. But it goes wrong. Very wrong.
One by one, everyone who plays the game disappears, pulled into a world of nightmares come to life. Justin and his friends realize this horrible place is where Zee had been trapped. All they can do now is hide from the Seeker.
A spooky, funny middle grade adventure with a sassy, memorable heroine and a charming Southern feel, perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo, Kate Messner, and Natalie Lloyd.
Twelve-year-old haunt huntress apprentice Evangeline Clement spends her days and nights studying the ways of folk magic, honing her monster-hunting skills while pursuing local bayou banshees and Johnny revenants.
With her animal familiar sure to make itself known any day now, the only thing left to do is prove to the council she has heart. Then she will finally be declared a true haunt huntress, worthy of following in the footsteps of her long line of female ancestors.
But when Evangeline and her grandmother are called to New Orleans to resolve an unusual case, she uncovers a secret that will shake her to the soles of her silver-tipped alligator-skin boots.
Set in the evocative Louisiana bayou and the vibrant streets of New Orleans, Evangeline’s is a tale of loyalty and determination, the powerful bonds of friendship and family, and the courage to trust your gut no matter how terrifying that might be.
Neil Gaiman’s Coraline meets Stranger Things in a dark and twisted story about a sleepy town with a dark secret – and the three kids brave enough to uncover it.
Every thirteen years in the town of Eden Eld, three thirteen-year-olds disappear.
Eleanor has just moved to the quiet, prosperous Eden Eld. When she awakes to discover an ancient grandfather clock that she’s never seen before outside her new room, she’s sure her eyes must be playing tricks on her. But then she spots a large bird, staring at her as she boards the school bus. And a black dog with glowing red eyes follows her around town. All she wants is to be normal, and these are far from normal. And worse – no one else can see them.
Except for her new friends, Pip and Otto, who teach her a thing or two about surviving in Eden Eld. First: Don’t let the “wrong things” know you can see them. Second: Don’t speak of the wrong things to anyone else.
The only other clue they have about these supernatural disturbances is a book of fairytales unlike any they’ve read before. It tells tales of the mysterious Mr. January, who struck a cursed deal with the town’s founders. Every thirteenth Halloween, he will take three of their children, who are never heard from again. It’s up to our trio to break the curse – because Eden Eld’s thirteen years are up. And Eleanor, Pip, and Otto are marked as his next sacrifice.
Featuring stories from R.L. Stine and Madeleine Roux, this middle grade horror anthology, curated by New York Times bestselling author and master of macabre Jonathan Maberry, is a chilling tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark.
Flesh-hungry ogres? Brains full of spiders? Haunted houses you can’t escape? This collection of 35 terrifying stories from the Horror Writers Association has it all, including ghastly illustrations from Iris Compiet that will absolutely chill readers to the bone.
So turn off your lamps, click on your flashlights, and prepare — if you dare — to be utterly spooked!
Contributors: Linda D. Addison, Courtney Alameda, Jonathan Auxier, Gary A. Braunbeck, Z Brewer, Aric Cushing, John Dixon, Tananarive Due, Jamie Ford, Kami Garcia, Christopher Golden, Tonya Hurley, Catherine Jordan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alethea Kontis, N.R. Lambert, Laurent Linn, Amy Lukavics, Barry Lyga, D.J. MacHale, Josh Malerman, James A. Moore, Michael Northrop, Micol Ostow, Joanna Parypinksi, Brendan Reichs, Madeleine Roux, R.L. Stine, Margaret Stohl, Gaby Triana, Luis Alberto Urrea, Rosario Urrea, Kim Ventrella, Sheri White, T.J. Wooldridge, Brenna Yovanoff
Jake Green is dead. Or he might as well be when he mistakenly accepts a package from the Embassy of the Dead in this hilarious adventure of the afterlife, the first in a series.
When Jake Green opens a mysterious box containing a severed finger, he accidentally summons a grim reaper intent on dragging him to the Eternal Void (yes, it’s as fatal as it sounds). Now Jake is running for his life. Luckily, he has a knack for talking to ghosts, which just might help him survive long enough to reach the Embassy of the Dead and plead his case. With the help of a prankster poltergeist and a dead undertaker, Jake dodges fearsome undead creatures, discovers his own ghostly abilities, and gets excused from the school field trip due to a terrible (and made-up) bout of diarrhea. But the Embassy has its own problems, and Jake must be very careful where he places his trust — in both the living and the dead. With a plot that zips and a colorful cast of characters, this delightful new series delivers laughs and shivers in equal measure.