Read if You Dare

Spooky season is here and what better way to celebrate than with a book! Whether you're looking for a cute read to get you in the spirit of the season or something downright chilling and thrilling, we have the right book for your readers.

A witch hosting a cooking show tries to teach viewers how to make her favorite - frog soup. But the frogs are less than cooperative in this laugh-out-loud picture book perfect for storytime.

Melvina Whitmoore is afraid of everything, from spiders to snails, and even her own shadow. Which is why she can’t wait to move into her new house—a safe place where nothing will be able to get to her!

But she’ll soon discover that surprises hide around every corner and not everything is as it first seems. . .

13th Street is a HarperChapters series for early readers who are ready to move into chapter books. The series can be read in any order and includes illustrations alongside an engaging and slightly spooky read.

Seasonally Spooky

For the readers who are more into the magic and mystery than horror, here are some books to get them in the Halloween spirit while leaving the nightmares behind.

Reeling from three years of anti-magic rule under the king—and three years disconnected from twin witches Dani and Dorian—Princess Monica, Nico, Damien, and Prince William know that it is now their responsibility to save the kingdom, and their friends, before darkness prevails.

This is the conclusion to the wildly popular trilogy based on the WebToons comic by the same name.

From Julie Murphy comes a hilarious and creepy middle grade summer camp story that takes a bite out of fat camp and diet culture. This book expertly blends relatable and funny characters with a spooky premise that's sure to enchant readers who aren't usually horror readers.

Maybe your readers want all the ghosts without the spook! Ghosts make the best thieves in this pitch-perfect middle grade adventure from the acclaimed author of Weird Kid. Perfect for fans of Gordon Korman and John David Anderson--and anyone looking for an Ocean's 11-style heist!

In this not-so-scary ghost story from Jacqueline Davies, bestselling author of the Lemonade War series, quirky, tool-wielding Alice Cannoli-Potchnik begins to repair the dilapidated mansion next door—only to discover the old house is home to ghosts, and they need mending, too!

Truly Terrifying

Here are some titles for those brave middle grade readers that just can't get scared enough!

The Queen of Tween Scream, Mary Downing Hahn, tells the eerie tale of a mischievous brother and sister who pretend their grandmother's Vermont inn is haunted and awaken the real spirits who inhabit the place.

The idea of two kids trying to attract visitors to a failing Vermont Inn conjured up images of White Christmas to me at first, but the story is anything but snow and sing-alongs. A perfectly haunting read for horror fans.

Also available as a graphic novel!

When a school project about their hometown’s supernatural history leads to a for-real ghost sighting, Val and Lanie realize their hometown of Bolingbroke might not be as boring as they’d always thought. But after a run-in with the resident middle school queen bee (who also happens to be Lanie’s former friend), they decide to take things to the next level . . . and accidentally summon the Ojja-Wojja, a demonic presence connected to a slew of mysterious tragedies throughout Bolingbroke’s sordid history.

Fast-paced and with plenty of humor, this one has a just-right level of scary for new horror fans.

Archie keeps telling himself that this is Seaham, a sleepy seaside town where nothing ever happens. Or at least nothing did, until his dad’s construction company opened up the cliff beneath the old—some say cursed—Langdon place.

Soon, though, he and his friends can’t deny it: more and more of the adults in town are acting strangely. An ancient, long-buried evil has been unleashed upon the community, and it’s up to the kids to stop it before it’s too late. . . .

Author Colin Meloy is a huge fan of Stephen King and this is a great (middle-school level) book for those readers who think they're ready to explore King's horror.

Classic Scares

And no list of scary books would be complete without some of the classics for middle grade!


Mysteries and * cue tense music * moments abound in these teen thrillers that prove you don't need the supernatural to have a scary read.

Senior year at Ellingham Academy for Stevie Bell isn’t going well. Her boyfriend, David, is studying in London. Her friends are obsessed with college applications. There is nothing to distract her from the questions pinging around her brain—questions about college, love, and life in general.

Relief comes when David invites Stevie and her friends to join him for study abroad, and his new friend Izzy introduces her to a double-murder cold case. In 1995, nine friends from Cambridge University went to a country house and played a drunken game of hide-and-seek. Two were found in the woodshed the next day, murdered with an ax.

This stand alone myster-thriller from best-seller Maureen Johnson is a surefire hit and has an awesomely atumnal cover to boot!

Claire’s grown up triple-checking locks. Counting her steps. Second-guessing every decision. It’s just how she’s wired—her worst-case scenarios never actually come true.

Until she arrives at an off-the-grid summer camp to find a blackened, burned husk instead of a lodge—and no survivors, except her and two other late arrivals: Reyva and Mariana.

This one will keep readers up all night with it's compulsive readability (and maybe a couple of nightmares).


If your reader thinks "the more ghosts, the better" then one of these reads will be right up their alley. Full of fantastical creatures and supernatural beings, these reads are what Halloween is made for.

Quinn Maybrook and her father have moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs, to find a fresh start. But what they don’t know is that ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half.

On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

This is classic horror remade for today's readers. Just the cover is giving me the creeps.

When the new girl is invited to join her high school’s most popular clique, she can’t believe her luck—and she can’t believe their secret, either.

When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.

Becca’s new friends are werewolves.

If your readers think they're having a hard time fitting in at school, just wait until they read this one!

Days after a tragedy leaves Marin Blythe alone in the world, she receives a surprising invitation from Alice Lovelace—a nanny position at Lovelace House. Marin accepts and soon finds herself minding Alice’s peculiar girls. Thea buries her dolls one by one, hosting a series of funerals, while Wren does everything in her power to drive Marin away. Then Alice’s eldest daughter returns home unexpectedly. Evie Hallowell is every bit as strange as her younger sisters, and yet Marin is quickly drawn in by Evie’s compelling behavior and ethereal grace.

But as Marin settles in, she can’t escape the anxiety that follows her like a shadow. Dead birds appear in Marin’s room. The children’s pranks escalate. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, leaving mutilated animals in its wake. All is not well at Lovelace House, and Marin must unravel its secrets before they consume her.

I will admit it. This one got to me in the best possible way. The horror slowly creeps up in this one with a great payoff.

  • A garbage disposal that feeds on flesh . . .
  • A beloved stuffed rabbit that cooks up your parents . . .
  • Roses that require human blood to bloom . . .

From blood-chilling horror to supernatural scares, this collection of short stories from debut author Andrew Duplessie offers something to stoke anyone’s fear factor.

But that’s only the beginning. In a first-ever twist, each story also comes with a pulse-pounding video that deepens the horror. Point your phone at the QR code and be prepared to scream! Maybe even share it with your friends, if you dare.

This one is for those readers that loved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark as kids and are ready for some new material to share at sleepovers and campfires.