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Oct 29, 2012

10 Spooky Books for Halloween

Neil Gaiman has a brilliant idea: why not make it a tradition to read spooky books on Halloween? It's like telling ghost stories, in print. Headsmack, right? Why didn't we all think of that?

Anyway, I'm all for any excuse to read books. And I've been gobbling up some great ghosties for Halloween. Here's my recommendations for all ages, starting with the book I wrote for my own tots (but of course!) and moving on up the Scary Scale.



Title:  My First Book About Halloween
Author: Tara Maya
Age: 6 months - 3 years
Blurb: It's a cute book with simple words and fun pictures. My 2 year old and 3 year old love it and my 6 year old can read it (with just a little help). It's 20 pages illustrated, and normally $2.99 but it will be FREE on Halloween itself, on Amazon. If you want it as a pdf, you can email me and I'll send it to you free.
Scary Level: Cute. The scariest part is the monster lurking in the haunted house...who turns out to be a mouse!
Preview it on my blog here.






Title: A Ghost Went Trick or Treating
Author: A.J. Cosmo
Age: 4-8 year olds
Blurb: This is a more substantial story than the short collection above, and it's more than a picture book. I read it to my toddlers as well, but it's also suitable for elementary kids. A "ghost" goes trick or treating. Secretly, he's a real monster! Some trick-or-treaters are nice but some are bullies... and everyone gets their just desert.  ;) 
Scary Level: Spooky Cute. A little scary, in that there are bullies. This book re-enforced my first-graders opinion that teenagers belong in the same category as vampires, zombies and other monsters to avoid.






Title: The Goblin Brothers Adventures
Author: Lindsay Buroker
Age: 7-12 (Middle Grade)
Blurb: I wanted to include something for every age group, and for Middle Grade, I adore this collection of connected stories about the inexplicably heroic goblin brothers, Gortok and Malagach. Lindsay Buroker is better known for her awesome Emperor's Edge series, which is also well worth reading. Her humor shines through in both series.
Scary Level: Spooky Funny





Title:  Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts
Editor: Rayne Hall
Age: Adult (but okay for Young Adult too)
Blurb: In assembling her anthologies, Rayne leaves no stone unturned searching for tales which are alike in quality but different in tone, theme and plot. These stories are all well-written and original, frightening but not gory, and a great read to curl up with on Halloween. Plus, it's free or a dollar, depending on the promotion, so you can't beat the price. The proceeds of these collections all go to charity.
Scary Level: Frightful but not Gory






Title: The Devil Eats Here
Editor: Rayne Hall
Age: Adult (but okay for Young Adult too)
Blurb: Another creepy collection of devilish tales edited by Rayne Hall. In fact, you could read almost anything of hers on Halloween and not go wrong. She's also got collections about witches, vampires and just downright scary stories This one is free, so honestly, if you have any interest at all in stories where folks confront the Big Baddie, give this one a try.
Scary Level:  Frightful but not Gory




Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Age: Young Adult (but okay for Adults too)
Blurb: The set up is absolutely classic: haunted house, ghost, ghost hunter. Toss in a witch or two (some good some terrifying). Voodoo? Why not. A murdered father to avenge? Sure. A doomed love between the ghost hunter and the ghost? Don't make me say, "Oooooooh!" And high school? Okay, now you're scaring me. Mix it all up, and this is a story which feels like vintage Halloween, with true creeps and gore, and yet fresh YA paranormal and a sweet romance at the same time. There's also a worthy sequel, The Girl of Nightmares.
Scary Level: Frightful with a Slice of Gore


Title: By Darkness Revealed
Author: Kevin O. McLaughlin
Age: Young Adult (but okay for Adults too)
Blurb: A young man at a military boarding school has to deal with a monstrous darkness released a fellow student. This truly demonic creature reminded me of the "monster" in Forbidden Planet. It's never clearly seen, except outlined in shadow. It's known best by the bloody havoc in its wake. An equally formless, yet some adorable "kitty spirit" helps the hero in his quest to lock the evil back into its prison.
Scary Level: Frightful with a Slice of Gore





Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Age: Young Adult (but okay for Adults too)
Blurb: It's not fair for any book to be so scary and so hilarious at the same time. The subtitle of this book is The Shades of London, implying there may be more to come in a new paranormal series. Let it be so! The heroine is wry and snarky (but not mean) American from Louisiana who attends a boarding school in London--just in time to be haunted by the ghost of Jack the Ripper. By a freak coincidence, which makes perfect sense as explained by the book, she's one of the few people who can see him. Special invite to an elite ghost-hunting police squad follows. Isn't that a cool concept--ghost hunting police? There's even a rational reason why they are all young adults. And did I mention how funny this book is?
Scary Level: Suspenseful but Funny



Title: My Life as a White Trash Zombie
Author: Diana Rowland
Age: Adult
Blurb: What's worse than a drug habit? A brain habit! Especially when some schmuck is decapitating all the bodies in the morgue where you dine work. Where would Halloween be without zombies? This is a great way to get your zombie fix. There's a sequel Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues. Oh, and Diana Rowland's other series Blood of the Demon is good too.
Scary Level: Gory but Funny





Title: The Hallowed Hunt
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Age: Adult
Blurb: I really wanted to add a story to the list that was specifically about or set during Halloween, but I haven't read any. This book is a second world epic fantasy, so no Halloween per se, but its definitely autumnal. You also won't find anything so prosaic as werewolves or ghosts, but you will find something crazy awesome mindblowing that is like the mother of all werewolves and ghosts, along with gods and magic and romance and mystery.
Scary Level: Suspenseful and Epic

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