Tundra Telegram: Books That Really Slay

Hello, and thanks for joining us at Tundra Telegram, the column where we talk about the subjects hoarding all our attention, and recommend some books that we think are straight fire.

This past weekend, HBO premiered House of the Dragon, the prequel series to their popular Game of Thrones show, based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. Viewers were keen to return to Westeros and learn about how the House of Targaryen fell – so keen, in fact, that streaming services HBO Max and Crave (in Canada) reportedly crashed for many users.

What better time to recommend some books for children and teens about dragons – books that are too hot, they’d make a dragon want to retire (from appearing in dragon-related books, I assume)? So, let’s not drag on any further (get it?) and jump into this week’s fiery recommendations.

PICTURE BOOKS

What we’re looking for is books with dragons in them, so there’s no better way to start our picture book recommendations than with There’s a Dragon in Your Book by Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott. But not just any dragon – a cute baby dragon that hatches in your book (as if it were Drogo’s funeral pyre) and young readers must stamp, blow, and flap their arms to save the book from bursting into flame when this baby dragon sneezes!

One thing you don’t see a lot of in Game of Thrones is something you see a lot of in this book: underwear. Attack of the Underwear Dragon, written by Scott Rothman and Pete Oswald, follows Cole, the brave assistant to the great knight Sir Percival, who must face a terrifying Underwear Dragon on his own. The sequel, Return of the Underwear Dragon, reveals Cole and the Dragon’s conflict in the first book resulted from – spoiler alert – the Dragon’s inability to read signs. So this book chronicles young Cole’s attempt to teach his scaly friend to read – even resorting to alphabet-themed undies.

Okay, so the “dragons” in Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor aren’t the kind that fly and breathe fire. But this book by Patricia Valdez and Felicita Scala is about a pioneering female scientist who loved reptiles – especially komodo dragons. Procter became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum, designed the Reptile House at the London Zoo, and hosted children’s tea parties with her komodo dragon as a guest of honor (!).

Ellie’s Dragon by Bob Graham is sort of a modern twist on the “Puff the Magic Dragon” song, as it tells of the friendship of small, shy Ellie, and the newborn dragon she finds at the grocery store, Scratch, who may or may not be real.

Though it could have been written by a Targaryen, How to Light Your Dragon is actually written by Fred Benaglia and Didier Levy, and hilariously walks readers through the steps to help a dragon rediscover its fire-breathing abilities. While there are certain handy tricks (surprising your dragon with a cake and unlit birthday candles), readers learn the key is loving your dragon unconditionally.

And though a dragon is just one of the mythical creatures our heroine considers for a pet in Vikki VanSickle and Cale Atkinson’s If I Had a Gryphon – among unicorns, manticores, and, yes, gryphons – it’s among the ones that cause the most property damage, as it comically torches our poor pet lover’s house with a sneeze.

CHAPTER BOOKS & MIDDLE GRADE

When you hear “dragon,” you probably think of castles and knights in shining armor. Well, throw that out the window (like it were Bran Stark), because you need to read Canadian Zetta Elliott’s Dragons in a Bag series. The acclaimed middle-grade series takes place in modern-day Brooklyn, where young Jaxon and friends Kenny, Kavita and Vikram help his mother’s Ma deliver some baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe. Book Two, The Dragon Thief, outlines what happens when Kavita steals a dragon’s egg. And The Witch’s Apprentice shows Jax learning a little magic for himself!

The Dragon Storm series, written by Alistair Chisholm and illustrated by Eric Deschamps, is a series of books, each about a youth brought to a secret league of dragonseers, The Guild, where they train to bond with their dragons and summon their power. Whether it’s Tom and Ironskin, Cara and Silverthief, or Ellis and Pathseeker – each kid and their dragon have a rousing adventure story to tell.

A Dragon Used to Live Here, or so the story goes by Annette LeBlanc Cate – or rather, that’s the story that Meg, a cranky scribe in the castle basement, tells to restless noble children Thomas and Emily. Meg tells them fantastical and funny stories of their mother’s (and the castle’s) past that they frankly cannot believe – kidnappings, loyal elves, true love, archery practice gone amiss, and, of course, a ferocious dragon.

Rowan has had to face all sorts of monsters throughout Kelley Armstrong’s Royal Guide to Monster Slaying series: gryphons, colocolos, and dropbears. And in the fourth and final installment, The Final Trial, she, her twin brother Rhydd, friends Dain and Alianor, and an ever-growing group of monstrous companions, must protect the dragon living in their homeland and prove to all the kingdoms that people and monsters can peacefully coexist.

Likewise, The Unicorn Rescue Society, a series of books by Adam Gidwitz and Hatem Aly, has featured rescues of everything from sasquatches to chupacabras by Elliot, Uchenna, and mentor Professor Fauna. But in Book 2: The Basque Dragon (co-authored by Jesse Casey) they must solve the kidnapping of a fire-breathing dragon in the mountains of Europe’s Basque County.

Including The Dragon Turn, the fifth case of The Boy Sherlock Holmes by Canadian author Shane Peacock, in this list is maybe unfair. But the mystery that teen Sherlock and Irene Doyle attempt to solve is connected to illusionist Alistair Hemsworth, who makes a very real and – for his rival magicians – very deadly dragon appear before audiences’ very eyes (just like those talented visual effects people at HBO).

YOUNG ADULT

If you’re talking YA and dragons, then you have to mention Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle. (After all, don’t you have to trust a fantasy writer who has a broadsword?) First written when Paolini was just a teen himself, the books follow poor farm boy Eragon who stumbles upon a dragon egg and – as often happens in these situations – is soon swept into a world of magic, battle, and story. The latest book set in the world of Eragon is The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm, three original stories that interlock with Eragon’s epic, featuring a wanderer and a cursed child, spells and magic – and dragons, obvi.

Not to be outdone in the dragon department is Vancouver’s Rachel Hartman, who first introduced readers to the kingdom of Goredd, in which dragons can take human form and coexist in an uneasy peace with humans in the New York Times bestselling novel Seraphina and its sequel, Shadow Scale. She’s since continued her explorations of social justice and feminist in the realm of Goredd with Tess of the Road and its follow-up, In the Serpent’s Wake. Both books feature Tess and her old dragon friend, as they traverse the lands and seas.

If you like your dragons with a dose of post-revolutionary action, you want Fireborne by Rosaria Munda, a book that comes highly recommended by dragon expert Rachel Hartman. In it, Annie and Lee, just children when a brutal revolution changed their world and gave a chance to potentially enter into the governing class of dragonriders. Seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet (even though Annie’s family was executed by dragonfire years ago!). And if you like those dragonriding politics, you’ll love Flamefall and Furysong, the other books in the Aurelian Cycle.

And lest you get the impression that European fantasy has the copyright on dragon stuff, we recommend Elizabeth Lim’s The Dragon’s Promise, and not just as a reminder of the importance dragons have to Asian legend. The next adventure after Six Crimson Cranes (which also famously features a dragon!) sees the sorceress Princess Shiori trying to make good on a deathbed promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful owner. Unfortunately, that involves journeying to the kingdom of dragons, filled with almost as many dangers as the pearl itself!

Happy reading, friends!

Canadian Children’s Book Week 2021

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre recently announced the touring creators for Book Week 2021. The theme is Readers Take Flight and the tour will virtually take place May 2-8, 2021. Established in 1977, Book Week gives Canadian authors, illustrators, and storytellers the chance to share their love of reading with young people in schools, libraries, and home all across the country. Congratulations to our three authors taking part in next year’s tour, we know kids will love seeing you!

how to give your cat a bathHow to Give Your Cat a Bath
in Five Easy Steps

By Nicola Winstanley
Illustrated by John Martz
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263543 | Tundra Books
Step one: fill the bath
Step two: put the cat in the bath
Step three: put shampoo on the cat
Step four: rinse the cat
Step five: dry the cat
Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing ANY of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath — it’s the whole house!

Sergeant BillySergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War
By Mireille Messier
Illustrated by Kass Reich
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 |  Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264427 | Tundra Books
During World War I, a goat named Billy was adopted by a platoon of soldiers and made his way across the ocean to be part of the war effort.
Billy . . .
•   Trained with the soldiers
•   Was smuggled across the ocean
•   Got snuck into the frontlines in a box of oranges
•   Ate some secret documents and was arrested for treason
•   Got trench foot
•   Head-butted soldiers into a trench and saved them from a shell
•   Came back home a decorated war hero
This charming true story follows Sergeant Billy from his small prairie town to the trenches of World War I and back, through harrowing moments, sad moments, moments of camaraderie and moments of celebration. This unforgettable goat and the platoon that loved him will capture your heart!

The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim: Demon
By Shane Peacock
304 Pages | Ages 12+ |  Paperback
ISBN 9780735262720 | Penguin Teen Canada
The third and final book in a gripping Gothic YA trilogy, featuring monsters from classic literary tales, secret societies and the fight between good and evil. Having tracked the monstrous Godwin to the Arctic and barely escaped with their lives, Edgar Brim and his friends return to London. Edgar continues his work at London Hospital, now under the tutelage of the Chairman, the affluent and charming Sir Andrew Lawrence. Edgar’s night terrors begin increasing in intensity, and soon the group becomes aware of a new threat: they are being stalked by a new creature, an invisible assailant they are convinced is the Devil himself. In the hope of curing his affliction and combating his fears, Edgar confides in Dr. Berenice, a renowned yet enigmatic alienist who may somehow be involved in the mystery. Yet when the group suffers a fatal attack and a long-dead ally makes an appearance, Edgar begins questioning his own sanity. Can he and his friends truly defeat the most powerful villain imaginable if they can’t even trust their own minds?

#HalloweenAtHome: Freaky FRIYAY Reads

Halloween is just around the corner and this month we’ll be posting our recommended reads for all age ranges! Our YA list has something for everyone – hardcore horror fans, thriller enthusiasts, and scaredy-cats who just want something a little spine-tingly. Make sure to pick them up from your favorite bookstore for a sweet treat!

A Wicked Magic
By Sasha Laurens
368 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593117255 | Razorbill
Dan and Liss are witches. The Black Book granted them that power. Harnessing that power feels good, especially when everything in their lives makes them feel powerless. During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured? Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of the Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss’s orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she’s hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with. When another teenager disappears, the girls know it’s no coincidence. What greedy magic have they awakened? And what does it want with these teens it has stolen?

Blood Will Out
By Jo Treggiari
256 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735262973 | Penguin Teen Canada
Ari Sullivan is alive — for now. She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairy tale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed. Until now, Ari was happy to spend her days pining for handsome, recent-arrival Stroud Bellows, fantasizing about their two-point-four-kids-future together. Safe in her small hometown of Dempsey Hollow. But now her community has turned very dangerous — and Ari may not be the only intended victim. Told in alternating perspectives of predator and prey, Blood Will Out is a gripping and terrifying read.

Escape Room
By Maren Stoffels
224 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593175941 | Underlined
Alissa, Sky, Miles and Mint are ready for a night of fun at the Escape Room.
It’s simple.
Choose their game.
Get locked in a room.
Find the clues.
Solve the puzzles.
And escape the room in 60 minutes.
But what happens if the Game Master has no intention of letting them go?

Evil Librarian
By Michelle Knudsen
352 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780763676407 | Candlewick
When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young, super cute, and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact, a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend — and, it seems, the entire student body — from the clutches of the evil librarian. Multitalented author Michelle Knudsen has crafted the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil varieties).

Girls Save the World in This One
By Ash Parsons
432 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525515326 | Philomel BFYR
Mega-fan June Blue’s whole life has been leading up to this moment: ZombieCon! The Ultimate in Undead Entertainment has finally come to her hometown. She and her two best friends — gorgeous, brilliant Imani and super-sweet, outrageously silly Siggy — plan on hitting all the panels and photo ops, and meeting the heartthrob lead of their favorite zombie apocalypse show, Human Wasteland. It’s going to be the best time of their lives — and one of their last adventures before they all split up for college. When they arrive, everything seems perfect. June’s definitely not going to let anything get in the way of the flawless con experience — even though she’s endlessly anxious about the SATs and college admissions, and she can’t seem to avoid her ex-best friend Blair, whose VIP badge lets her walk straight to the front of every single line. No matter what, June is determined to make the best of her dream day at ZombieCon! But something’s not quite right at the con — there are strange people in hazmat suits running around, enthusiastic cosplayers taking their shambling a little too far, and someone actually biting a cast member. Then, at a panel gone wrong, June and her friends discover the truth: the zombie apocalypse is here. Now June, Imani, and Siggy must do whatever it takes to survive a horde of actual flesh-eating zombies — and save the world.

Harrow Lake
By Kat Ellis
304 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984814531 | Dial BFYR
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker — she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s quickly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away. And there’s someone — or something — stalking her every move. The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.

House of Salt and Sorrows
By Erin A. Craig
416 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781984831958| Delacorte BFYR
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters,  their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last — the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge — and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister’s deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who — or what — are they really dancing with? When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family — before it claims her next.

I Know You Remember
By Jennifer Donaldson
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781595148551 | Razorbill
Zahra Gaines is missing. After three long years away, Ruthie Hayden arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to this devastating news. Zahra was Ruthie’s best friend — the only person who ever really understood her — and she vows to do whatever it takes to find her. Zahra vanished from a party just days before Ruthie’s return, but the more people she talks to, the more she realizes that the Zahra she knew disappeared long before that fateful night. Gone is the whimsical, artistic girl who loved books and knew Ruthie’s every secret. In her place is an athlete, a partier, a girl with secrets of her own. Darker still are the rumors that something happened to Zahra while Ruthie was gone, something that changed her forever . . . As Ruthie desperately tries to piece together the truth, she falls deeper and deeper into her friend’s new world, circling closer to a dangerous revelation about what happened to Zahra in the days before her disappearance — one that might be better off buried.

Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House
By Janet Hill
240 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499249 | Tundra Books
It has been a year since Lucy Crisp graduated from high school and she still hasn’t found her calling. That is, until she discovers an exclusive arts college called Ladywyck Lodge. On a whim, she applies and is thrilled to be accepted into their program. Lucy moves to Esther Wren, the charming little town where it’s based, and stays in the house her father buys as an investment: a magnificent building built by a sea captain in 1876. The house has history and personality — perhaps too much personality. . . Strange things start happening. Lucy hears voices and footsteps in empty rooms. She sees people and things that should not be there. Furniture disappears and elaborate desserts appear. What’s worse is that the strange events are not restricted to her house. Lucy begins to understand that the town and its inhabitants are hiding many secrets, and Ladywyck is at the heart. As the eerie happenings escalate, Lucy fears she is being threatened — but she is determined not to let fairy potions, spells and talk of witchcraft scare her away.

Rules for Vanishing
By Kate Alice Marshall
416 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984837011 | Viking BFYR
Once a year, a road appears in the forest. And at the end of it, the ghost of Lucy Gallows beckons. Lucy’s game isn’t for the faint of heart. If you win, you escape with your life. But if you lose . . . Sara’s sister disappeared one year ago — and only Sara knows where she is. Becca went to find the ghost of Lucy Gallows and is trapped on the road that leads to her. In the sleepy town of Briar Glen, Lucy’s road is nothing more than local lore. But Sara knows it’s real, and she’s going to find it. When Sara and her skeptical friends meet in the forest to search for Becca, the mysterious road unfurls before them. All they have to do is walk down it. But the path to Lucy is not of this world, and it has its own rules. Every mistake summons new horrors. Vengeful spirits and broken, angry creatures are waiting for them to slip, and no one is guaranteed safe passage. The only certainty is this: the road has a toll and it will be paid. Sara knows that if she steps onto the road, she might not come back. But Becca needs her. And Lucy is waiting.

Some Kind of Animal
By Maria Romasco-Moore
384 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984893543 | Delacorte BFYR
Jo lives in the same Appalachian town where her mother disappeared fifteen years ago. Everyone knows what happened to Jo’s mom. She was wild, and bad things happen to girls like that. Now people are starting to talk about Jo. She’s barely passing her classes and falls asleep at her desk every day. She’s following in her mom’s footsteps. Jo does have a secret. It’s not what people think, though. Not a boy or a drug habit. Jo has a twin sister. Jo’s sister is not like most people. She lives in the woods — catches rabbits with her bare hands and eats them raw. Night after night, Jo slips out of her bedroom window and meets her sister in the trees. And together they run, fearlessly. The thing is, no one’s ever seen Jo’s sister. So when her twin attacks a boy from town, everyone assumes that it was Jo. Which means Jo has to decide — does she tell the world about her sister, or does she run?

The Babysitters Coven
By Kate M. Williams
368 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780525707400 | Delacorte BFYR
Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it. And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree. Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria cooking. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club? The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.” Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

The Beautiful
By Renée Ahdieh
448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524738174 | Putnam BFYR
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans is a safe haven after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent in the middle of the carnival season, Celine is quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its fancy soirées — and even its danger. She becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in Sébastien’s own lair — the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks — Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. After a third murder, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose — one who has now set Celine in his sights. As the murderer stalks her, Celine finally takes matters into her own hands, only to find herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.

The Companion
By Katie Alender
448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399545917 | Putnam BFYR
The other orphans say Margot is lucky. Lucky to survive the horrible accident that killed her family. Lucky to have her own room because she wakes up screaming every night. And finally, lucky to be chosen by a prestigious family to live at their remote country estate. But it wasn’t luck that made the Suttons rescue Margot from her bleak existence at the group home. Margot was handpicked to be a companion to their silent, mysterious daughter, Agatha. At first, helping with Agatha — and getting to know her handsome older brother — seems much better than the group home. But soon, the isolated, gothic house begins playing tricks on Margot’s mind, making her question everything she believes about the Suttons . . . and herself. Margot’s bad dreams may have stopped when she came to live with Agatha — but the real nightmare has just begun.

The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim
By Shane Peacock
368 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735263116 | Penguin Teen Canada
Edgar Brim is a sensitive orphan who, exposed to horror stories from his father as a young child, is afraid of almost everything and suffers from nightly terrors. His stern new guardian, Mr. Thorne, sends the boy to a gloomy school in Scotland where his dark demons only seem to worsen, and he is bullied and ridiculed for his fears. But years later, when sixteen-year-old Edgar finds a journal belonging to his novelist father, he becomes determined to confront his nightmares and the bullies who taunt him. After the horrific death of a schoolmate, Edgar becomes involved with an eccentric society at the urging of a mysterious professor who believes that monsters from famous works of literature are real and whose mandate is to find and destroy these creatures. With the aid of a rag-tag crew of friends, the fear-addled teen sets about on his dark mission, one that begins in the cemetery on the bleak Scottish moors and ends in a spine-chilling climax on the stage of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in London with Henry Irving, the infamous and magnetic actor, and his manager, Bram Stoker, the author of the most frightening and sensational novel of the day, Dracula. Can Edgar Brim truly face his terror and conquer his fears?

The Game
By Linsey Miller
240 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593179789 | Underlined
Every year the senior class at Lincoln High plays assassin. Lia Prince has been planning her strategy for years and she’s psyched that not only does she finally get to play, she’s on a team with Devon Diaz. But this year, the game isn’t any fun — it’s real. Abby Ascher, Ben Barnard, and Cassidy Clarke have all turned up . . . dead. Can Lia stop the ABC killer before he reaches D?

The Haunted
By Danielle Vega
272 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451481481 | Razorbill
Clean slate. That’s what Hendricks Becker-O’Malley’s parents said when they moved their family to the tiny town of Drearfield, New York. Hendricks wants to lay low and forget her dark, traumatic past. Forget him. But things don’t go as planned. Hendricks learns from new friends at school that Steele House — the fixer upper her parents are so excited about — is notorious in town. Local legend says it’s haunted. But Hendricks isn’t sure if it’s the demons of her past haunting her . . . or of the present. Voices whisper in her ear as she lays in bed. Doors lock on their own. And, then, one night, things take a violent turn. With help from the mysterious boy next door, Hendricks makes it her mission to take down the ghosts . . . if they don’t take her first.

The Montague Twins: The Witch’s Hand
By Nathan Page
Illustrated by Drew Shannon
352 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525646761 | Knopf BFYR
Pete and Alastair Montague are just a couple of mystery-solving twins, living an ordinary life. Or so they thought. After a strange storm erupts on a visit to the beach, they discover there is more to their detective skills than they had thought. Their guardian, David Faber, a once prominent professor, has been keeping secrets about their parents and what the boys are truly capable of. At the same time, three girls go missing after casting a mysterious spell, which sets in motion a chain of events that takes their small town down an unexpected path. With the help of David’s daughter, Charlie, they discover there are forces at work that they never could have imagined, which will impact their lives forever.

The Price Guide to the Occult
By Leslye Walton
288 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781536204254 | Candlewick
When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred-some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it. In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.

The Twin
By Natasha Preston
384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593124963 | Delacorte BFYR
After their parents divorced, ten-year-old twins Ivy and Iris were split up — Ivy lived with Dad, Iris with Mom. Now, after a tragic accident takes their mom’s life, the twins are reunited and Iris moves in with Ivy and their dad. Devastated over Mom’s death, Iris spends the first few weeks in almost total silence — the only person she will speak to is Ivy. Iris feels her life is over and she doesn’t know what to do. Ivy promises her twin that she can share her life now. After all, they’re sisters. Twins. It’s a promise that Iris takes seriously. And before long, Ivy’s friends, her life at school, and her boyfriend, Tyler, fall under Iris’s spell. Slowly, Ivy realizes she’s being pushed out of her own life. But she’s just being paranoid, right? And Mom’s accident was . . . just an accident. Right? It’s not like she or Dad — or Tyler — are in any danger. . .


Check out our #HalloweenAtHome page for more ideas to celebrate including bookish costumes and activities!

The 12 Days of Halloween

These spooky tunes are best sung out loud! Give it a try. Then visit our #12DaysOfHalloween page every day to see if it’s a trick day (no book giveaway) or treat day (book giveaway):

On the first day of Halloween my true love gave to me, a Mary Shelley biography!
Oct 20
On the second day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one silly story
Oct 21
On the third day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one family curse
Oct 22

On the fourth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one YA horror
Oct 23

On the fifth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one evil tree
Oct 24

On the sixth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one spooky painting
Oct 25

On the seventh day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one historical fable
Oct 26

On the eighth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one guide to ghost care
Oct 27

On the ninth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, Victorian monster hunters
Oct 28

On the tenth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, four demon slayers
Oct 29

On the eleventh day of Halloween my true love gave to me one magical painter
Oct 30

On the twelfth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one epic quest
Oct 31

We hope you enjoyed singing along. Now go enter our contest on the days there are giveaways!

Meet Our Winter Is a Scream Reps

Last month, we put out a call for reps who were interested in our Winter is a Scream campaign. They provided some spooktacular photos, so we wanted to take a minute to thank these ghouls for showcasing our beautiful books!

Thanks to:

Michelle @ the.book.report
Stephanie @ storytimewithstephanie
Nicole @ bekindreread (formerly ifyougiveakidabook)
Ashley/Courtney/Kim @ storymamas
Kathie @ the_neverending_stack
Shelly @ the_view_from_where_i_am
Nichole @ nicholemers
Sarah @ thewanderingrumpus

The Painting – Charis Cotter

The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray – E. Latimer

The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim and Monster – Shane Peacock

Seven Dead Pirates – Linda Bailey

 

Don’t these books look frighteningly fine together?