Children’s Books for Spooky Season

Spooky season is upon us! With that crisp, chill, overcast weather and Halloween decorations abounding, what better time to curl up with a spine-chilling read?

The Children’s Department has a robust collection of Halloween-themed picture books, and of course we have creepy classics like The Wolves in the Walls, Coraline, and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. But we also have plenty of under-the-radar books that can give readers of all ages (including grown-ups!) chills and thrills. Stop by and explore some of our recommendations!

For quietly eerie picture books, check out Wee Sister Strange by Holly Grant and K. G. Campbell and Hide and Seek by Katie May Green.

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For hauntingly beautiful picture book biographies of the queen of science fiction, check out Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey and Julia Sardia and She Made Monsters: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton and Felicita Sala.

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For space-specific middle grade horror, look for The Inn Between by Marina Cohen and Sarah Watts, Small Spaces by Katherine Arden, The Girl in the Locked Room by Mary Downing Hahn, and The Room of Shadows by Ronald Kidd.

For spine-chilling supernatural middle grade, try City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab, The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste, The Mesmerist by Ronald L Smith, Hoodoo by Ronald Kidd, Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh, and The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia C. McKissack and Brian Pinkney.

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Sometimes there is nothing more unnerving than real cases of mass terror like these: Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer and Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrow.

For gross, creepy fast facts, try Don’t Read This Book Before Bed: Thrills, Chills, and Hauntingly True Stories by Anna Claybourne and Frightlopedia: An Encyclopedia of Everything Scary, Creepy, and Spine-Chilling, from Arachnids to Zombies by Juile Winterbottom, Rachel Bozek, and Stefano Tambellini.

What are your favorite macabre books? Let us know!

– Kazia, WFPL Children’s Librarian

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