Halloween Reads


I would say "Happy Friday, my spooklies," but it is now after midnight, so "Happy Weekend" will have to do.  The girls were out of school these past two days, and weather and tantrums and visitors and laundry do tend to get in the way of my blogging.

It feels so very fall now.  The leaves are starting to change, and today was chilly and rainy. We've decorated the house, inside and out, and I've been cooking and baking, and of course, reading.  

Earlier this month, I posted a list of new or newish books for the season.  Here are three of those books.  These are middle-grade books, suited to older elementary school and middle school kids.  I've put them in order from least to most scary.


The Elevator Ghost by Glen Huser.
Groundwood, 2014.

If you're looking for a mild story for Halloween, one with ghosts but minimal scares, The Elevator Ghost would be a great choice.  The protagonist, Carolina Griddle, is wild, colorful, and funny.  She is a strange sight to behold when she arrives at the Blanchford Arms apartment building.  Despite her eccentricities, she becomes the most popular babysitter in the building, able to soothe a child with her fanciful stories, most of which have to do with ghosts and other traditionally scary things.  It becomes clear that Carolina (and her pet tarantula) are not alone when she returns to her room.  Carolina has moved into the Blanchford Arms for a reason, and that reason has to do with a ghost or two - especially one who just might be haunting the elevator.  The publisher recommends this one for ages 10-12.  I think a younger kid with sharp reading skills could handle this one.  It isn't very long, and it isn't very scary.  (I thought it was rather cute, actually.)


The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier.
Amulet Books, 2014.
If you or your kiddo like scary stories set in mysterious country houses in Victorian England, then - ta da!  Here's one for you.  The Night Gardener is about a young Irish girl and her little brother.  After losing their parents on the voyage from Ireland, the children travel to a secluded manor house to work as maid and gardener.  The house is a mess, and a huge, twisted tree is growing into its walls.  The family is very strange and not always friendly, but the children have nowhere else to go.  The worst part is the strange, sinister figure that feeds the tree each night, and the horrible nightmares that plague their sleep.  There are some interesting twists, and a few things I sort of saw coming, but I liked it.  It put me in the mood for the season.  And the book contained one of my favorite characters in recent memory, an old beggar woman who sells stories for a living.  (Recommended for kids age 9 and up.)


The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister 
by Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull,
Claire Legrand, and Emma Trevayne.
Greenwillow Books, 2014.

The Cabinet of Curiosities is a collection of short stories, compiled loosely by topic.  The authors share letters as "Curators" to each other, each story an exhibit in the cabinet of the title.  I was very impressed by the book.  The stories ranged from slightly creepy to scary-for-a-kids-book.  There were stories about vengeful fairies, ghosts, aliens, the price of luck, even retellings of fairy tales.  [I loved Catmull's retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," called "The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces."  One of the least frightening tales, but such an interesting perspective on what made the sisters dance.]  The black and white illustrations, by Alexander Jansson, are eerie and perfect.  Emma Trevayne wrote Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times, which I read and enjoyed this summer, but I was unfamiliar with the other three authors.  I must remedy that soon.  As for the intended age group:  I would recommend this for older kids, at least 10 and up.  Some of the stories are fine for younger readers, but there are a few that older kiddos would better understand.  Great for trying to scare the wits out of each other at sleepovers.

Merry Weekend!  Happy (or Spoooooky) Reading!


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Comments

  1. I'd like to read them all!! Each one looks awesome in its own way. LOVE the decorations too! The green witch on the tree is -maybe- my favorite. The doll heads are really creepy!! :)

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    1. Tee hee! The witch was a cheap discount store find. I see bigger, cooler ones all over the place - they became pretty popular a few years ago - but our little witch works just fine. The doll heads are from Little Sis's collection, along with "Cousin Brain," the plastic brain in a jar. Yes, these normally sit in her room. One doll head is named Jennifer, the other has changed from Owen to Noah. ;)

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  2. WOWZA. these all sound amazing!!!! thank you, i gotta find asap! i was away this wkend I feel so so behind on all things Halloween! plus, it's been pretty warm here -- i'm ready for some CHILL.

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    1. It is cold and wet here! Not comfortable for walking about outside. I wish I could say it's motivating me to clean out the girls' closet today, which I should have started doing a few hours ago, but naaaahhhh...

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