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13 Spooky Kids Books to Spice Up this Halloween

Looking forward to Halloween? What gets your kids into the Halloween mood?

Jack-o’-lanterns? Corn husks? Candy?

What about stories? Those spooky thrillers, witch/magic novels, and spine-tingling horror stories?

Halloween is around the corner. It’s a great time to surprise them with some spooky books with a touch of humor and suspense!

But which ones are worth your child’s time? We have put together an age appropriate list of books that balance the spooky with all the other goodness of a top-notch story. Read on to see which ones are best suited for your young one –

1. I Want to Be in a Scary Story by Sean Taylor

It’s a funny story told entirely in dialogue, about a goofy, unconventional monster interacting with an unseen character. This little monster wants to be in a scary story. But when given several options, he turns them down. So, is the little monster up for the chills or does he want to rethink? You have to read to find out!

The color palettes and the text highlights makes the story brilliantly interactive. Besides, the hilarious illustrations will get younger readers to feel safely spooked.

Reading Level: Grade 1 I Interest Level: Lower Years I Page Count: 32


2. Have No Fear! Halloween Is Here! By Tish Rabe

This is a story about Nick and Sally, who need perfect costumes for Halloween. So, the Cat takes them to his friend, Batty. But when they come across a colony of tiny bats, they get scared.

The book helps answer questions like – Are bats dangerous? Are they that scary?

The book uses basic vocabulary and short sentences, which makes the story easy to read and follow for young readers.

Reading Level: Grade 1 I Interest Level: Lower Years I Page Count: 24

3. In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz

Why limit yourself to one story when you can read seven!

This hugely popular book is a collection short, traditional folktales, poems, and urban legends. Every story has a mixture of humor and spook to keep your child riveted. Elements like haunted graveyards, ghostly pirates, shivering skeletons, chattering corpses, and dark settings make the book an absolute misery, perfect for Halloween.

Reading Level: Grade 2 I Interest Level: Lower Years I Page Count: 64


4. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

How brave can your child be in scary situations?

In this tale, an old lady goes to collect herbs and nuts in the woods. Along the way, she is confronted by shoes, gloves, pants, shirts, etc. However, none of them scares her except the last one, a pumpkin head.

The sounds and the plot of the story make this a nice Halloween read to build suspense for kids and teach them how to face their fears.

Reading Level: Grade 2 I Interest Level: Lower Years I Page Count: 32


5. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel

What do you know about Hanukkah?

An award-winning book that tells the story of a weary traveler, Hershel, who arrives at a village on the first night of Hanukkah. He expects to receive a warm welcome. However, he finds that the villagers not celebrating because goblins are haunting their synagogue. Hershel then decides to battle these goblins that are ruining Hanukkah for everyone.

But can one man stand up to the goblins and save Hanukkah?

Reading Level: Grade 2 I Interest Level: Lower Years I Page Count: 32


6. Nighttime: Too Scared to Sleep by Todd Strasser

What is Halloween without scary bedtime stories?

Award winning author Todd Strasser penned seven unnerving short stories in this book. Figures ranging from ghosts to action pictures come alive in the dark of night. Trust us, kids will think twice before switching off the lights after this one. Pick this book if your child doesn’t scare easily.

Reading Level: Grade 3 I Interest Level: Lower Years I Page Count: 80


7. The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier

It’s a light-hearted read about a thirteen-year-old foster child Jack Sullivan living alone in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Soon, Jack takes up an improvised battle station, a tree-house, for his everyday struggles and entertainment.

But how long can he live in isolation? Are there other humans out there? How will they survive the zombies?

The video-game-like plotting, pop-culture references, quip dialogues, and gross-out humor make this series best for young zombie fans.

Reading Level: Grade 3 and Above I Interest Level: Lower and Middle Years I Page Count: 240


8. Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker

Foxes? How scary can that get?

What terrifies a fox can easily scare a child too!

This award-winning book, manages to be bone chilling and yet heartwarming in the end. It’s hunting season and two fox kit Mia and Uly are separated from their litter. In trying to find home, they must venture out into a very dangerous world that is bound to test their friendship.

Featuring eight interconnected stories, this book is perfect for some thrills and chills in this scary season.

Reading Level: Grade 4 and Above I Interest Level: Middle and Teen Years I Page Count: 313


9. Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories by Jeff Kinney

Welcome to the bizzare world of Rowley Jefferson’s imagination. He presented a series of independent, short, spooky and humorous stories in this book. You are bound to meet characters like zombies, ghosts, vampires, and more.

Rowley’s stories use simple language and fun illustrations, making them relatable to everyone. The spooky stories may make children laugh, but they can still scare them silly!

Reading Level: Grade 4 and Above I Interest Level: Middle and Teen Years I Page Count: 224


10.The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This story revolves around a boy, Nobody Owens. Owens escaped a mysterious murder at a young age after an unknown man “Jack” killed his whole family.

Jack wanted to complete his job. Fortunately, Nobody Owens gets protection from a childless ghost couple in the graveyard and a vampire.

Of course, fantasy is usually made up. However, it should not feel like it is made up. That’s why this well-structured fantastical story is unique. Get yourself a copy of this award-winning book today!

Reading Level: Grade 5 and Above I Interest Level: Middle and Teen Years I Page Count: 320

11. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Small Spaces is a spooky tale about an eleven-year-old Ollie, who had recently lost her mother.

Her life changes unexpectedly after she starts to read a book called Small Spaces. As the events of the book start to come true, she must do all that she can to save herself and her friends.

This chilling story filled with adventure and mystery, has plenty to spice up this Halloween.

Reading Level: Grade 5 and Above I Interest Level: Middle and Teen Years I Page Count: 218


12. Doll Bones by Holly Black

What if our childhood games and fantasies were real? And when is childhood over?

The award-winning book “Doll Bones” realistically captures how growth brings about change inherently.

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for as long as they can remember. And they have been playing an imaginary game for almost as long with a Great Queen doll as a central character. However, when Zach stops playing, Poppy starts to get dreams of the Queen doll. The friends decide to go on one final adventure to put the Queen doll to rest. But things get out of hand and creepy things begin to happen.

Reading Level: Grade 5 and Above I Interest Level: Middle and Teen Years I Page Count: 272

13. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

This is the first book from the New York Times bestselling Serafina series.

Serafina, a 12-year old girl, lives in the Biltmore Estate’s basement secretly under the care of her pa. When, the children on the estate start to disappear, Serafina knows she must act. Because she alone knows that a man in a black cloak stalks the estate corridors at night. Serafina then sets out with her friend, Braeden Vanderbilt, to find the kidnapper’s true identity and rescue the children.

Reading Level: Grade 5 and Above I Interest Level: Middle and Teen Years I Page Count: 293


Good stories don’t just entertain; they also educate. Kids may learn the following from them:

  • A job well done gives one a chance to take pride in oneself.
  • One’s true parents/family are not only those who share our genes with but those who genuinely love and care for us as children.
  • Being different is not weird at all.
  • True character is not about victory against a challenge but our courage and bravery to rise up and meet it.

Scary stuff goes well with the spooky feel of Halloween. And these 13 books are full of fun themes and values but served in a spine-chilling way to spice up Halloween. Why not get your child one or two? Or they can read them all from the BookGuru Library. We will be happy to deliver their choice of books to your doorstep!

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