Spooky stories are a great way to draw in reluctant readers
It’s the season of witches and warlocks, goblins, and ghosts. And one of the best times of year to hook your kids with a good book. Even reluctant readers are often sucked in by the thrill of a good mystery or ghost story. Here are 16 spine-tingling Halloween books that kids will love.
Take advantage of the eerie allure of Halloween to pick a book that will delight your readers. From mildly-spooky to spine-tingling to sweet, there is a book just right for every reading appetite.
This spoiler-free list includes Halloween choices for readers of all ages.
Picture Books (Grade K-2)
by Julia Donaldson
This classic Halloween read about problem-solving, friendship and making room for everyone is sure to bring a smile to young readers.
by Adam Wallace
This sweet bed-time story is just spooky enough to qualify for Halloween. It reminds kids that things aren’t always as scary as they seem.
by Margery Cuyler & Will Terry
This Halloween story is chock full of monsters. With encouragement and support, they help Bonaparte keep himself together during a stressful transition.
by Lola M. Schaefer
One of my favorite Halloween stories of all time. Frankie Stein is not the child that his parents expected. This story about love and family teaches children and parents alike that it’s okay to be different.
Young Readers (Grades 2–4)
by Lauren Magaziner
This choose-your-own-adventure story is packed with puzzles and clues. The readers join the story to help Carlos and friends solve the mystery and save his Mom’s detective agency. This book is the first in a series so it’s a great way to get kids excited about reading.
by Tracy Hecht
Three unlikely friends learn about friendship, teamwork, and laughter as the Nocturnal Brigade solves unexpected mysteries of the night. This series is perfect for virtual learning. Visit the website for printable online activities and educator guides.
by Dan Gutman
Another kid favorite! I couldn’t included a list of Halloween books without a selection from My Weird School. Join A.J. and the gang from the laugh out loud funny My Weird School series in a holiday-themed chapter caper about candy, costumes, and more.
Middle Grade (Grade 4–7)
by Raina Telgemeier
After Maya and Cat learn their new town is haunted, Maya becomes determined to meet a ghost. But Cat is not interested. Can Cat put aside her fears and make the spirits appear?
by Zander Bingham
A classic mystery that kids will love. After Jack’s aunt buys an old lighthouse, odd things begin to happen. Mysterious figures in the windows, strange noises, flickering lights. Could it be haunted?
by Claribel Ortega
This action-packed debut novel weaves a thrillingly spooky tale about family and phantoms.
by Elizabeth C. Bunce
This smart new series combines unexpected plot twists with a strong female lead trying to earn the distinction of most daring and acclaimed amateur detective ever. You can’t help rooting for Myrtle.
by Ellen Oh
We Need Diverse Books founder Ellen Oh bring us this captivating ghost story about a seventh-grader who must face down the dangerous ghosts haunting her younger brother. Its twists and turn will have you guessing with every page.
Young Adult (Grade 8–12)
by Karen McManus
This New York Time Bestseller is one of my favorite reads. The twisty plot keeps you guessing until the end. Five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out? Who did it? Can you guess? You can’t go wrong with any of McManus’ books.
by Aiedn Thomas
This modern ghost story is perfect for Día De Muertos. A transgender Latinx boy summons a ghost to prove to his family that he is a real brujo. Only now he can’t get rid of the spirit? A wonderful book for Halloween and beyond.
by Emily Juniper
This exciting new release blends family drama, romance, friendship and suspense. Readers will find themselves engrossed in Rafa’s complex, emotional journey and guessing at what is real and what’s not.
by Katy Loutzenhiser
This debut novel combines a touching tale of friendship and suspense as one determined teen tries to solve a mystery no-one believes is real.
That’s it. I hope this list of “16 Spine-Tingling Halloween Books Kids Will Love” introduces you to a spooky new favorite.