It’s officially spooky season! Get into the Halloween spirit with our lists of bewitching tales for all ages. This week, check out our list of stories to share with the young ghouls in your life!
Early Graphic Novels
A Super Scary Narwhalloween: A Narwhal and Jelly Book #8
By Ben Clanton
76 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266742 | Tundra Books
In the hilarious eighth book of this blockbuster graphic novel series, Narwhal and Jelly celebrate the spookiest time of the year – Halloween – with a super twist! Dive into three new stories that are sure to fright and delight! Narwhal loves Halloween – it’s a great excuse to dress up in a spooky and silly costume, like a ghost, a mermaid, a banana or maybe even Marlow the Mustachioed Moose. It’s a skeleTON of fun! Jelly isn’t dressing up, though – he’s a little scared of this time of year, and would prefer to hunker down in a hidey-hole until Halloween is over. But when a scary sea monster makes an appearance and swallows Narwhal (gulp!), can Jelly, with the help of some super friends, pluck up the courage to save his best bud?
Super Family: Simon and Chester #3
By Cale Atkinson
96 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9781774880005 | Tundra Books
Welcome to the world of Simon and Chester, ghost and boy duo extraordinaire. Chester lives with his Grandma, his cat Mr. Pickles and Simon the ghost. Lately Chester has been feeling like he’s missing out when he sees other families out doing fun family things. So when Chester gets the opportunity to join his friend Amie and her family on a trip to the water park, he is IN. Meanwhile, Simon is off to his yearly ghost conference, excited to finally have something to show off about (haunting his VERY OWN HOUSE, for example) to the cool ghosts. Maybe they’ll even accept him into their group! Will things go as planned? Well, let’s put it this way: both Simon and Chester are about to learn a thing or two about the old saying “The grass is always greener . . .”
Crimson Twill: Witch in the Country
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Brigitta Sif
80 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536214642 | Candlewick
Crimson Twill’s new friends from New Wart City, Mauve and Wesley, are coming for a visit! But as soon as they arrive at Crimson’s house in Cackle County, things start to go wrong. At the rotten apple orchard, Crimson’s ripening spell goes horribly awry (what will they do with all that rotten applesauce?). Then, at the broom-straw field, Wesley cuts too much straw and starts to float away. And when the friends try to collect frogs’ breath for their spells (it makes everything wonderfully green and warty), Mauve gets a stinky faceful of it! What on earth is going on? The whole countryside feels like something big is about to happen, and Crimson wonders if it has something to do with Granny Twill and that giant cauldron of stew she made. Can Crimson get to the bottom of this bad-luck mystery? And, more importantly, will her city friends ever want to visit her again?
Evie and the Truth About Witches
By John Martz
64 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735271005 | Tundra Books
Evie wants to be scared, and the usual scary stories just aren’t doing it for her anymore. When she stumbles across a different sort of book, The Truth about Witches, she hopes she’s found something thrilling . . . but she’s forbidden by a kindly shopkeeper from reading the last page out loud! Naturally, her curiosity gets the better of her, and upon reading the last page out loud – a real summoning spell – Evie is spirited off to a strange land of magic, weird creatures, feasts, and actual witches! They’re not as scary as they seem, until Evie asks to join their ranks . . . and only once she does is her quest for true scariness satisfied . . .
Spooky Sleuths #4: Fire in the Sky
By Natasha Deen
Illustrated by Lissy Marlin
112 Pages | Ages 7-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593488966 | Random House BFYR
There are mysterious explosions near the old abandoned houses in town. Is it science . . . or is it something strange and ghostly? Find out in the latest installment to the spooky chapter book series Spooky Sleuths. Asim’s friend Max is in danger! Asim is sure some sort of supernatural being – a witch, maybe? – is after Max. Rokshar, the levelheaded one of the group, thinks the woman is a scientist using kids for her experiments! Either way, Max is in trouble, and it’s up to Asim and Rokshar to keep him safe. But when they get close to finding answers, Asim and his friends are attacked by fireballs. Is science behind the flying fire? Or is it a witch from Guyanese folklore? Find out . . . if you dare!
By Jon Klassen
112 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536223378 | Candlewick
Jon Klassen’s signature wry humor takes a turn for the ghostly in this thrilling retelling of a traditional Tyrolean folktale. In a big abandoned house, on a barren hill, lives a skull. A brave girl named Otilla has escaped from terrible danger and run away, and when she finds herself lost in the dark forest, the lonely house beckons. Her host, the skull, is afraid of something too, something that comes every night. Can brave Otilla save them both? Steeped in shadows and threaded with subtle wit – with rich, monochromatic artwork and an illuminating author’s note – The Skull is as empowering as it is mysterious and foreboding.
Don’t Want to Be Your Monster
By Deke Moulton
304 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781774880494 | Tundra Books
Adam and Victor are brothers who have the usual fights over the remote, which movie to watch and whether or not it’s morally acceptable to eat people. Well, not so much eat . . . just drink a little blood. They’re vampires, hiding in plain sight with their eclectic yet loving family. Ten-year-old Adam knows he has a better purpose in his life (well, immortal life) than just drinking blood, but fourteen-year-old Victor wants to accept his own self-image of vampirism. Everything changes when bodies start to appear all over town, and it becomes clear that a vampire hunter may be on the lookout for the family. Can Adam and Victor reconcile their differences and work together to stop the killer before it’s too late?
Double O Stephen and the Ghostly Realm
By Angela Ahn
320 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735268296 | Tundra Books
Stephen loves pirates. What he doesn’t love is his name: Stephen Oh-O’Driscoll. He believes when his Korean mother and Irish father gave him this name, that it was just one cruel setup for being teased. Giving things the proper name is important, which is why Stephen thinks that it’s time to update the definition of “pirate.” They’ve got a bad rep, and maybe they deserve some of it, but Stephen still likes a few pirate traditions, like bandannas and eyepatches – he’s just not that into stealing things from people. He has the perfect new word: piventurate. A sailor who passionately seeks adventure. That’s what he wants to be. When he gets suspended from school for doing proper piventurate-in-training things (using sticks to practice sword fighting), his mother doesn’t let him sit around doing nothing, instead she takes him to a museum. At the museum everything changes. Stephen finds himself in a strange new place, face-to-face with a real pirate. A pirate ghost. Captain Sapperton needs Stephen’s help to cross to the other side, and his former ghost crew are intent on making sure Stephen follows through, whatever it takes. Stephen is about to discover the true meaning of piventurate, and much to his surprise, his adventure will not only take him farther into the ghostly realm, but also closer to home, where long-held family secrets reveal surprising ties to the spirit world.
Escape to Witch City
By E. Latimer
312 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781101919330 | Tundra Books
Emmaline Black has a secret. She can hear the rhythm of heartbeats. Not just her own, but others’ too. It’s a rhythm she’s learned to control, and that can only mean one thing . . . Emma’s a witch. In a world where a sentence of witchcraft comes with dire consequences and all children who have reached the age of thirteen are tested to ensure they have no witch blood, Emma must attempt to stamp out her power before her own test comes. But the more she researches, the more she begins to suspect that her radically anti-witch aunt and mother are hiding something – the truth about their sister, her Aunt Lenore, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances years ago. The day of the test comes, and Emma’s results not only pair her up with strange new friends, but set her on a course to challenge everything she’s ever been taught about magic, and reveal long-buried family secrets. It seems witches may not have been so easy to banish after all. Secret cities, untapped powers, missing family members – Emma is about to discover a whole new world.
By Kenneth Oppel
400 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735272354 | Puffin Canada
The story of the tragic death of sixteen-year-old Rebecca Strand and her lighthouse keeper father is just an elaborate tale Gabe tells tourists for his summer job on the Toronto Island. Or so he thought. When his ghost tours awaken Rebecca’s spirit, Gabe is drawn into a world far darker than any ghost story he’s ever heard. Rebecca reveals that she and her father were connected to The Order, a secret society devoted to protecting the world from “the wakeful and wicked dead” – malevolent spirits like Viker, the ghost responsible for their deaths. But now the Order has disappeared and Viker is growing even stronger, and he’ll stop at nothing to wreak chaos and destruction on the living. Gabe and his friends – both living and dead – must find a way to stop Viker before they all become lost souls.
Seven Dead Pirates
By Linda Bailey
304 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9781770498167 | Tundra Books
Lewis Dearborn is a lonely, anxious, “terminally shy” boy of eleven when his great-grandfather passes away and leaves Lewis’s family with his decaying seaside mansion. Lewis is initially delighted with his new bedroom, a secluded tower in a remote part of the house. Then he discovers that it’s already occupied – by the ghosts of seven dead pirates. Worse, the ghosts expect him to help them re-take their ship, now restored and on display in a local museum, so they can make their way to Libertalia, a legendary pirate utopia. The only problem is that this motley crew hasn’t left the house in almost two hundred years and is terrified of going outside. As Lewis warily sets out to assist his new roommates – a raucous, unruly bunch who exhibit a strange delight in thrift-store fashions and a thirst for storybooks – he begins to open himself to the possibilities of friendship, passion and joie de vivre and finds the courage to speak up.
The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story
By Charis Cotter
360 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735269088 | Tundra Books
Alice’s world is falling apart. Her parents are getting a divorce, and they’ve cancelled their yearly cottage trip – the one thing that gets Alice through the school year. Instead, Alice and her mom are heading to some small town where Alice’s mom will be a live-in nurse to a rich elderly lady. The house is huge, imposing, and spooky, and everything inside is meticulously kept and perfect – not a fun place to spend the summer. Things start to get weird when Alice finds a dollhouse in the attic that’s an exact replica of the house she’s living in. Then she wakes up to find a girl asleep next to her in her bed – a girl who looks a lot like one of the dolls from the dollhouse . . . . When the dollhouse starts to change when Alice isn’t looking, she knows she has to solve the mystery. Who are the girls in the dollhouse? What happened to them? And what is their connection to the mean and mysterious woman who owns the house?
The Grave Thief
By Dee Hahn
344 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269439 | Puffin Canada
Twelve-year-old Spade is a grave thief. With his father and brother, he digs up the recently deceased to steal jewels, the main form of trade in Wyndhail. Digging graves works for Spade – alone in the graveyard at night, no one notices his limp or calls him names. He’s headed for a lifetime of theft when his father comes up with the audacious plan to rob a grave in the Wyndhail castle cemetery. Spade and his brother get caught in a royal trap, and Spade must find the master of the Woegon: a deadly creature that is stalking the castle by night. Along the way, he meets Ember, the queen’s niece, and together they race to solve the mystery of the legendary Deepstones and their connection to the Woegon, the queen, a missing king and the mysterious pebble Spade finds in the Wyndhail cemetery. This is a fantastic story of friendship, bravery, grief and acceptance.