Here at A&CB HQ we LOVE Halloween and we are lucky to be surrounded by some SPOOKtacular books.
Read on for our top 7 Halloween reads for all ages.
Boo Haiku by Deanna Caswell and Bob Shea
Here’s a spooky haiku just for you!
broom across the moon
pointed hat at the window
Can you guess who from this haiku?
A witch, a bat, a skeleton, a jack-o-lantern, a ghost, a black cat, a spider, an owl and a scarecrow are all hiding in the pages of this clever Halloween-themed book. Deanna Caswell’s playful haiku cleverly hint at the creatures revealed after each turn of the page while Bob Shea’s bright illustrations capture the scary silliness.
A perfect introduction to Halloween for a little monster!
Recommended reading age: 0-3 years
Leo by Mac Barnett , illustrated by Christian Robinson
“A clever, timeless, quality picture book that will be revisited again and again over many years to come.” Picture Books Blogger
“With more gentilesse than ghoulishness, Leo’s brand of haunting takes on distinctly hospitable tones. This one’s a charmer, so whatever you do, don’t call Ghostbusters!” MyLittleStyleFile
You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can’t even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo’s efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. That is how Leo and Jane become friends. And that is when their adventures begin.
A charming story of friendship, perfect for a Halloween bedtime story.
Recommended reading age: 4+ years
Bigfoot is Missing! by Kenn Nesbitt and J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by MinaLima
Children’s Poets Laureate J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt team up to offer a smart, stealthy tour of the creatures of shadowy myth and fearsome legend—the enticing, the humorous and the strange.
Bigfoot, the Mongolian Death Worm and the Loch Ness Monster number among the many creatures lurking within these pages. Readers may have to look twice—the poems in this book are disguised as street signs, newspaper headlines, graffiti, milk cartons and more!
Dive-in to the world of myths, legends and all things that go bump in the night with this unique collection of poetry.
Recommended reading age: 7+ years
Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions by Sheila Grau, illustrated by Joe Sutphin
Welcome to Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions, the premier trainer of minions for Evil Overlords everywhere. No student is prouder to be at Dr. Critchlore’s than Runt Higgins, a twelve-year-old werewolf. (At least he thinks he’s twelve. He was abandoned at the school as a baby, so he can’t say for sure.) Runt loves everything about Dr. Critchlore’s. He loves his classes—such as History of Henchmen and Introduction to Explosives. He loves his friends—such as Darthin the gargoyle and Syke the tree nymph. And he loves his foster family, who took him in when his wolf pack couldn’t.But not everyone loves Dr. Critchlore’s as much as Runt. After a series of disasters, each worse than the next, it’s clear that someone is trying to shut the school down. It’s up to Runt, who knows the place better than anybody, to figure out who’s behind the attacks . . . and to save his home, and Dr. Critchlore himself, from total destruction.
A perfect Halloween read for Despicable Me mad monsters.
Recommended reading age: 8+ years
The Clockwork Scarab: A Stoker & Holmes Novel by Colleen Gleason
Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood, so to speak. And when two young society girls disappear—one dead, one missing—there’s no one more qualified to investigate.
Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve a murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The pressure is on and the stakes are high—if Stoker and Holmes don’t figure out why London’s finest sixteen-year-old women are in danger, they’ll become the next victims.
A heart-pounding race around a steampunk re-imaging of Victorian London where danger lurks around every corner: a first-class Halloween read.
Recommended reading age: 10+ years
The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
“Rich, compelling, and wonderfully atmospheric, this is the fourth Cat Winters novel where the beautiful, haunting tale has gripped me from the beginning.” Kate Ormand, author of Dark Days
“Haunting, beautifully written and immensely powerful, this is a story that resonates through time and history whilst delivering a clever and compelling thriller.” Lancashire Evening Post
The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.
1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.
The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.
Curling-up with this re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is sure to get you in the Halloween spirit.
Recommended reading age: 14+ years
The Raven: A Pop-Up Book by David Pelham
Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping,
suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping,
rapping at my chamber door . . .
Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem, The Raven, is brought to life by master paper engineer David Pelham. What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a haunting love story?
Share your favourite Halloween reads with us @AbramsChronicle with #SpooktacularReads