It’s not just costumes and candy that make Halloween so awesome. It’s all of the scares that come in the form of witches, ghouls, goblins and everything in between. Get your kids into the spooky spirit by picking up one of these reads for your preschooler, middle-grader, tween or teen—there’s everything from spook-free to downright ghastly.
By Angela Diterlizzi
Ages 1-4, Little Simon
Following an adorable rhyme scheme, this board book introduces your little ones to the themes of Halloween. The story teaches kids that not all monsters are scary, and that the spirit of the holiday goes beyond trick-or-treating.
By Laurie Berkner
Ages 4-8, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Whether or not you’ve seen the Laurie Berkner Band in concert, you’ll love this mashup of cute and comedic lyrics with colorful and friendly illustrations. Your lil’ monsters will learn there’s nothing to be scared of.
By Barbara Cantini
Ages 6-8, Amulet Books
Ghoulia, a typical zombie girl, has only her family and an albino dog, Tragedy, to keep her company at Crumbling Manor. After watching neighborhood kids play together, she wonders what it would be like to have real friends. Under the guise of Halloween, Ghoulia ventures out and learns that acceptance and love go deeper than the surface.
By Victoria Schwab
Ages 9-12, Scholastic
When 12-year-old Cassidy Blake’s parents (paranormal investigators) are offered a gig in Scotland, Cassidy’s life is turned upside down. Living in one of the most haunted cities in the world isn’t easy—especially when you can see ghosts. This slightly spooky read teaches kids that it’s okay to feel like a misfit, because they’re not alone and we’re all unique in our own way.
By Alexandra Bracken
Ages 9-12, Disney-Hyperion
When an 800-year-old demon comes to claim eternal servitude from young Prosper Redding and his family (thanks to a deal made by his great-something-grandfather), Prosper must work with his long-lost uncle and witchy cousin to get rid of the demon plaguing him. Though Prosper thinks of himself as less-than-ordinary, he’ll learn that he has a lot to offer: strong will, courage and ultimately, hope. While the clock runs down, Prosper must do what he can to stop history from repeating itself, and realizes that you can’t run from the past.
By Kiersten White
Ages 12+, Delacorte Press
In honor of the 200th year of Frankenstein, this reimagining of Mary Shelley’s classic follows Elizabeth, who was an impoverished young girl gifted to Victor Frankenstein. In this eerie retelling, Elizabeth must make herself indispensable to Victor, whose anger and violence only grow. She must use cunning and manipulation to survive, but as Victor’s experiments become darker and darker, the cost of survival may become too much. This new spin on the traditional green-skinned monster will leave readers thinking about moral ambiguity, and questioning their own actions in the face of adversity. Bonus: This book also has an insightful discussion guide for read-alongs with your class, family or self.
By A. W. Jantha
Ages 12+, Freeform
Double, double, toil and trouble…Do you watch Hocus Pocus every Halloween? Journey back to Salem with Max Dennison and his daughter, Poppy, 25 years after banishing the Sanderson sisters. Once again, they’ll come face-to-face with the formidable (and comedic) witches. This two-part story recounts the events of the original 1993 film, while introducing new readers to the next generation of heroes tasked with saving Salem from the infamous coven and their schemes of torment. As Poppy is thrust into a world she wasn’t sure existed, she’ll learn to lean on friends and that her curiosity and bravery will ultimately show her the path to the truth.