Scary and Scary-ish Books + New Halloween Books

Halloween books for kids ages 2 to 12Your younger kids might like these newly published non-scary Halloween picture books.

And your older kids might really enjoy some of these scary (and slightly scary) chapter books. (Many of my fifth graders loved the Scary Stories books. I had to buy new copies every few years because the books were so worn out.) I say whatever gets kids loving books works!

New Halloween Picture Books

Icky Sticky Monster
by Jo Lodge
Icky Sticky Monster is naughty and gross. Find him in the toilet, picking his nose, eating garbage, and drinking cabbage juice. This would be a perfect book if it were just a tad bit longer. Very cute with fun, bright colors.

It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse!
By Laura Numeroff
Learn about feelings in this simple board book. Mouse paints 7 pumpkins with different kinds of faces – silly, scary, friendly, and sad. Love it.

Just Say Boo!
By Susan Hood
A good read along book for a classroom of kids – where everyone can shout “Boo!” after each question like “If a yip and a yowl make you shiver and scowl, what do you say?” (“Boo!”)

Monster School First Day Frights
by Dave Keane
Norm’s new school is full of hairy, scary, Larry monsters. But, Norm feels different because he’s not a monster. But, he can turn green like Hilda when she takes him for a wild broom ride. A hilarious, not-at-all-scary I Can Read book.

Ten Creepy Monsters
by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis
Count down from 10 creepy monsters to 0 in this creepy rhyming book with ghoulish illustrations. Clever and entertaining with scary-ish illustrations.

Trick or Treat
by Leo Landry
A invitation mix-up sends two kids to a ghost and witches party where they all become friends. Cute.

New Halloween Non-Fiction Book

Wow do we love this book! The author not only has fun Halloween food and craft ideas but great photographs, a poster, stencils, and a page of stickers as well. My 10 year old has dog-eared the pages she wants to do –um, almost all of them. Here’s our to-do list o’ fun so far:
Creepy Chocolate Spiders
Meringue Bones
Chocolate Tombstone Cakes
Brilliant Broomsticks (paper bags, rope, sticks)
Chocolate Licorice Broomsticks
Pin the Nose on the Jack-O’-Lantern
Spiderweb Pumpkin Soup
Frankenstein Fizz

Haunted Histories
by J. H. Everett
Believe it or not, I sat down and read this book straight through – having intended to skim it. It was fascinating! It’s more about history than spookiness – I learned more about the Tower of London, tips for attacking a castle, the crazy King Ludwig II of Bavaria, The Bastille, and lots more. I highly recommend this can’t-put-it-down book!

The Secret History of Hobgoblins
by Professor Ari Berk
Just flipping through this book makes one want to read it, lift the flaps, and feel the pages. It’s a beautifully designed book!
One will learn that lazy homeowners get tricked by the Hobs, you might see Hobs in the “in-between”moments of noon and midnight or by looking through a keyhole, and a Hob’s favorite watching place is the rooftop among gables and gargoyles. This fantastic book is filled with stories, information, spells, and warnings about Hobgoblins. Wonderful stuff!

New Scary-ish Chapter Books

Always October
by Bruce Coville
I haven’t read this book yet but found positive reviews on Goodreads.

Ghost Knight
by Cornelia Funke
I adore this story about a pair of brave kids, Jon and Ella, who are stalked by a pack of ghosts who can actually do them harm. Slightly scary. It’s very well written with excellent character development.

Gravediggers Mountain of Bones
by Christopher Krovatin
This looks scary-ish. Read the reviews on Goodreads.

Invisible Inkling Dangerous Pumpkins
by Emily Jenkins
This is an early chapter book that is more about growing up than Halloween. Invisible Inkling is a invisible bandapat that lives with 4th grader Hank, and who LOVES to eat pumpkins. Unfortunately, Inkling destroys the pumpkins that Hank’s sister is entering in the Dangerous Pumpkins contest. Of course, Hank gets blamed. Will things work out for Hank and Inkling. We sure hope so!

Splendors and Glooms
by Laura Amy Schiltz
This scary gothic mystery pits an evil puppet master and an aging witch against three young children — one of whom has been kidnapped and turned into a puppet. It’s quite unlike any story I’ve ever read. I enjoyed it but I suspect it might be too creepy for many kids.

The Whispering House
by Rebecca Wade
A slightly scary story about a girl haunting a fairy tale book in the Hannah’s new home. Hannah must figure out why the ghost is haunting her and see if that will stop the haunting. A decent read.

Familiar Favorites Scary-ish Chapter Books

Adventures of the Bailey School Kids Series by Debbie Dadey
Araminta Spookie Series by Angie Sage
Boy of a Thousand Faces by Brian Selznick
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Goosebumps Series by R. L. Stein
Poison Apple Series by Ruth Ames
Scary Stories Treasury retold by Alvin Schwartz
Tales from the Crypt Series by Fred Van Lente
Scary Stories for Kids and Teens, Goodreads

Do your kids read scary books?

  • PragmaticMom

    Yay, more Halloween books!

  • Elle

    Thank you for this list. My daughter is 10 and is very interested in scary books but I can’t seem to find many for her to read besides The Goosebumps series. There is a real lack of interesting books for girls in this age range who are not into prissy girl themes. Her brother who is nine has numerous fantasy books to read from Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, 39 Clues, Eragon, The Lord of the Rings, and the list for boys goes on and on.

  • Aly S

    My very favorite book for Halloween is Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, by Adam Rex. It’s a book of poems about Halloween creatures (Dracula, Bigfoot, Godzilla, etc) that is hilarious, not scary at all.

    • Melissa Taylor

      oh, thanks – I LOVE Adam Rex and haven’t read that book yet. Can’t wait!!

  • Dot

    ‘The Magical World of Sebella’ is about a little witch and is a great Halloween book

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