In last week’s blog post, we featured some of our favorite monster books to read before Halloween. But we didn’t want to forget about our older, more independent readers—so this week’s post is about great Halloween books for middle readers!
The following chapter books aren’t quite as scary, but they’re chock full of the mysterious, the supernatural, and the strange. Snuggle up under a full moon and read a few this Halloween!
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Brand-new from graphic novel royalty, this is the story of two sisters who move to a town that is supposedly inhabited by… ghosts?! As the town prepares to celebrate el día de los muertos (the Day of the Dead), Catrina begins to confront some uncomfortable ghosts of her own, especially in regard to her little sister Maya’s cystic fibrosis. Full of Telgemeier’s trademark humor and heart, this book is a must-read!
Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve (Magic Tree House #30) by Mary Pope Osborne
There is a Magic Tree House book for every occasion. In this installment, Jack and Annie travel to an abandoned, haunted castle, instructed to find out what happened to its previous inhabitants. Will they be brave enough to venture inside? It’s not only a perfectly spooky book, it’s also at a lower reading level—great for readers who may need a boost!
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Newbery Medal alert! Gaiman won in 2009 for this novel about Bod, an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—a graveyard. Raised from infancy by ghosts, werewolves, and other undead inhabitants of the cemetery, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah Howe & James Howe
A blast from the past that still holds strong to this day. There’s something “off” about the new bunny in the Monroe house; he’s got fangs, and he acts strangely. Harold the dog and Chester the cat want to find out the truth: is it possible this bunny is a vampire? Don’t let Bunnicula’s fierce appearance scare you; this book is actually quite silly.
The Most Frightening Story Ever Told by Philip Kerr
You know those super-bookworms who would love to be trapped inside a library all night? That’s basically what happens to Billy Shivers—except in his case, the library is haunted. The Haunted House of Books is a cross between a bookstore and a booby trap, and Billy’s entered a competition daring readers to survive an entire night inside. But the frights of the store itself are nothing compared to the stories it holds. These stories are so ghastly, so terrifying, so shocking that once you’ve read them, you’ll never be the same. Do you dare go on?
The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
Everyone in Emma’s family is special. And all of her relatives learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream. But when Emma’s own dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task: finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town’s cemetery. Emma doesn’t want to let her ancestors down… but how can she find something that’s been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?
The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano
Lionel and Marybeth are best friends, although they could not be more different. Lionel is a wild boy, who doesn’t much like to be around other people. Marybeth is a nice girl, who’s kind to everyone at the orphanage (especially Lionel). But when a mysterious blue spirit possesses Marybeth and starts to take control, they both know they must stop it before the real Marybeth fades away forever.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
If you haven’t already read this Newbery Medal winner, believe us—it’s perfect for Halloween. It opens on a dark and stormy night. There’s a missing father, an odd little brother, mysterious benevolent creatures… and a terrifying monster. Now Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and neighbor Calvin must travel through multiple dimensions on a mission that’s much bigger than any of them could have imagined.
What are your favorite books to read on Halloween? Tell us in the comments below!