As Halloween approaches, young readers are in for a ride and a treat with these eerie titles ranging from light-hearted picture book scares to haunting YA mysteries.
Picture books, hardbacks and chapter books
Avril Geneviève Tucholke, ill. by Khoa Le. Algonquin, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-6437-5157-3. 4 to 8 years old. In this gothic-tinged debut picture book, Beatrice loves all things dark, while her polar opposite sister loves the sun. When Beatrice creates a potion one evening that makes Roo less afraid of the dark, Roo teaches Beatrice a song to ease the sensory overload she feels during the day.
The construction site is scary!
Sherri Duskey Rinker, ill. by AG Ford. Books of Chronicles, $12.99 (16p) ISBN 978-1-79720-432-1. 2-4 years old. Trucks on a construction site find spooky surprises in the field on Halloween night.
A disguise for Charlie
CK Malone, ill. by Alejandra Barajas. Radiation, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5064-8405-1. 4 to 12 years old. Charly tries to find the perfect costume to portray their bigender identity.
Drew Daywalt, ill. by Oliver Jeffers. Philomel, $9.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-62102-8. 4 to 8 years old. A group of penciling friends deal with comedic missteps on their first night of trick-or-treating.
Dia de Los Muertos
Rosie Pajaro, illus. by Gaby Zermeño. Cottage Door Press, $7.99 (12p) ISBN 978-1-64638-641-3. From 1 to 4 years old. Readers learn festive Day of the Dead traditions with this interactive picture book.
Emi is not afraid of monsters
Alina Tysoe. Orchard, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-338-75565-7. 4 to 8 years old. A girl named Emi isn’t afraid of monsters crawling in the dark and plans to capture one. But when her dog escapes in the dark, Emi will have to venture into monster territory to save him.
Suzanne Kaufmann. Holiday Home/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4852-4. 4 to 8 years old. A lonely ghost yearns for friendship and finds it in a lost balloon.
Good evening Train Halloween
June Sobel, ill. by Laura Huliska-Beith. Clarion, $8.99 (12p) ISBN 978-0-358-62607-7. Up to 4 years old. Passengers board the Goodnight Train on a special Halloween ride filled with surprises.
Happy Owl-Oween! A Halloween Story
Laura Gehl, ill. by Lydia Nichols. Abrams, $14.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4312-2. From 3 to 5 years old. Readers can follow the Owl family as they plan their costumes, perform tricks and more in this rhyming picture book.
How to Catch a Witch
Alice Walstead. illus. by Megan Joyce. Sourcebooks Wonderland, $10.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-72821-035-3. The Catch Club Kids’ Halloween plans are interrupted when a witch opens a portal allowing horrible creatures to enter their neighborhood.
If Trick-or-Treated Animals
Ann WhitfordPaul, ill. by David Walker. FSG, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-374-38852-2. From 3 to 6 years. The popular If Animals Kissed Good Night series, with over a million copies in print, continues with this Halloween-themed picture book imagining animals participating in the holiday candy hunt.
Ana Siqueira, ill. by Irena Freitas. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8874-8. 4 to 8 years old. A child wonders if his caretaker might be a witch as Halloween night approaches.
Anna Pignataro. Little Hare, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-76050-633-9. From 3 to 5 years old. After a century of living alone, the witch Kit makes a new friend when the winged bat Caboodle needs help.
Flavia Z. Drago. Candlewick, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2050-6. From 3 to 7 years old. Leila Wayward, a skilled and talented witch, dreams of becoming the best of the best by winning a pastry.
Little Pumpkin: A First Halloween Story
Lisa Edwards, ill. by Kat Kalindi. Viking, $7.99 (12p) ISBN 978-0-593-46518-9. 1 to 3 years. In this addition to the You Are the Light series, Little Pumpkin and Big Pumpkin welcome their nocturnal friends, from bats to cats to owls and beyond.
monsters on the broom
Annemarie Riley Guertin ill. by Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn. Little Simon, $8.99 (14p) ISBN 978-1-66591-146-7. 0 years and over. To the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus”, the Halloween creatures set off on their broomsticks for a spin.
The most haunted house in America
Jarrett Dapier, ill. by Lee Gatlin. Abrams, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-5246-9. 4 to 8 years old. Skeleton drummers on a trip to the White House discover that it is haunted by many strange creatures.
Celebrating our Day of the Dead
Ana Aranda. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-5255-1428-2. From 3 to 7 years old. Siblings Mar and Paz excitedly prepare to celebrate Day of the Dead with their family.
Snowmen on Halloween
Caralyn M. Buehner, ill. by Mark E. Buehner. Dial, $8.99 (28p) ISBN 978-0-593-52910-2. From 1 to 3 years old. When a group of kids ditch their snowmen for a sleight of hand, the snowmen throw their own Halloween party.
Truck or treat
Hannah Eliot, ill. by Jen Taylor. Little Simon, $7.99 (18p) ISBN 978-1-66591-597-7. 0 years and over. On Halloween night, construction site trucks show off their spooky costumes.
Lu Fraser, ill. by Sarah Massini. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0906-2. From 3 to 6 years. Attempting to use a spell to conjure up a friend, a young wizard befriends an unexpected guest.
Antoinette Corley-Newman, ill. by Noor Alshalabi. Summit Street, $24.99 (54p) ISBN 978-1-63877-585-0. 4 to 7 years old. A young witch who enjoys the treats mortals receive on Halloween begins making deals with cheaters in exchange for more candy.
Elias Barks illus. by Zoe Persico. Hazy Dell, $8.95 (12p) ISBN 978-1-948931-35-9. From 0 to 4 years old. A baby vampire walks through a haunted castle on Halloween night.
Kallie George, ill. by Birgitta Sif. Candlewick, $14.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1463-5. 7 to 9 years old. Crimson Twill may not be quite like other witches, but a move to a new town showcases her craftsmanship and compassion.
Sunrise on Raven Island
Flower Bradley. Viking, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-593-40463-8. 8 to 12 years old. Left behind after a field trip, three seventh graders must endure a chilling night on the grounds of a long-shuttered island prison in this atmospherically heightened mystery.
Sara Farizan. Algonquin, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-64375080-4. 12 years and over.
Maz, Cori and Sam, all 12, used to do everything together, until Sam disappeared on Halloween night in 1987. It’s now 1993, and Maz and Cori haven’t spoken since Sam’s funeral, where the two had a falling out. Cori thinks Sam is dead, but Maz is convinced he was sucked into their beloved pinball machine. A chance encounter at the mall puts Cori and Maz back on each other’s radar. See our profile on Farizan.
Double, Double, Twins and Trouble
Luna Graves. Aladdin, $17.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-66590-623-4. 7 to 10 years old.
The witchy twin sisters’ accidental magic explosions risk exposing their hidden community of suburban freaks in this first book in this mid-level series.
The glass witch
Lindsay Puket. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-338-80342-6. 8 to 12 years old. The young witch Adelaide accidentally triggers a curse that turns her bones to glass. Now she is being hunted by a mystical hunter who has possessed a member of a local family of witch hunters.
Andrea L. Rogers, ill. by Jeff Edwards. Levine Querido, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64-614179-1. 12 years and over. Rogers chronicles the past, present, and future trials and tribulations of a Cherokee family in this jaw-dropping horror collection.
Monsters Rumbling in the Background: Halloween Poems for the Brave
Kenn Nesbit et al., ill. by Martin Ontiveros. Reycraft, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4788-7041-8. 8 to 14 years old. This assortment of poems compiles haunting works by contemporary authors and illustrations by Ontiveros.
Our Shadows Have Claws: 15 Stories of Latin American Monsters
Ed. by Yamile Saied Méndez and Amparo Ortiz, ill. by Ricardo López Ortiz. Algonquin, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-64375-183-2. 14 to 18 years old. This anthology of short stories encompasses a range of genres, from horror to romance and more, featuring mythology and 15 authors from across the Latin American diaspora.
The pug who wanted to be a pumpkin
Beautiful Swift. Aladdin, $17. 99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8691-1; paper $7.99 ISBN 978-1-5344-8690-4. 7 to 10 years old. Peggy and Chloe must conquer their fears to pull off sleight of hand tricks in the fifth story of The Pug Who Wanted to Be mid-level illustrated series starring Peggy the pug.