Paranormal fiction is a genre featuring vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, or any other creature in the paranormal realm. So, what are the best paranormal books for middle grade readers?
But first, let’s define paranormal fiction. It is a subgenre of speculative fiction, which includes sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and paranormal. The term paranormal is about certain phenomena outside the understanding of science yet might have the potential to be explained in the future.
Whether you want to read something paranormal for the Halloween season or love it all time of year, here are the best middle grade paranormal books.
Middle Grade Paranormal Books
Ham Helsing Vampire Hunter by Rich Moyer (series)
If you like adventure, potty humor, surprising plot twists, and quirky characters, then don’t miss this entertaining graphic novel with heart and humor. Instead of vampire hunting, the hunter and vampire team up to fight the evil spider-woman who has been terrorizing the town, becoming friends instead of enemies. And the ending?–Perfection!
Zombie Season #1 by Justin Weinberger
This zombie story zips along with intrigue, adventure, and humor. Narrated from the perspective of three kids from the same town: one who is out after the DUSK ALERT searching for her missing dad, the other who is trying to atone for her failed zombie experiment and the last one whose parents force him to flee. When their stories converge, it’s after one meets a sentient zombie, and one sees a mutated gigantic zombie who seems unstoppable. The hoard is growing and attacking with planning– and it’s not looking good for humans.
Bite Risk by S.J. Wells
One of the MOST EXCITING first chapters I’ve ever read!! We’re dropped into a city where the children cage the adults and teens who turn into “Rippers,” carrying tranq guns just in case one of them escapes. Ansel “Sel” and his best friend Elena usually play cards these long babysitting nights with an old man who is one of the only adults who doesn’t turn into a Ripper. He helps them piece together the clues about a sinister plot, murder, and entrapment. I loved the non-stop, unpredictable plot that made this book impossible to put down.
The Supernatural Society by Rex Ogle
When Will’s parents get divorced, he moves to a new town where he sees monsters. Everywhere. From the crossing guard to the librarians, his town is filled with monsters that no one else can see except his neighbor girl because of a mysterious ring. When the town’s pets go missing, including Will’s dog, he and his sibling neighbors Ivy and Linus know it’s up to them to find them. This involves solving ciphers, evading the witches, and thwarting a vampire veterinarian. Narrated by a chatty and hilarious narrator, this paranormal adventure with fantastic characters is one you won’t be able to put down.
The Vanquishers by Kalynn Bayron
I loved this exciting paranormal vampire-slaying adventure! Boog and her friends’ parents are still obsessed with the old precautions to prevent vampires — even though they were all wiped out years ago. Or were they? When their friend Aaron goes missing, he reappears in Boog’s yard as a VAMPIRE. Someone turned him during a school skating party– but if Boog and her friends can kill his vampire maker within the time limits, their friend will turn back to human. The kids get caught sneaking around and discover their parents have BIG SECRETS about who the Vanquishers were the heroic vampire hunters. Now they’ll have to work together to find the vampire that changed Aaron–and kill it. IN BOOK 2!
Dead City by James Ponti
Molly’s recruited to hunt zombies in New York City, just like her mother, who is dead. But is her mom actually a zombie? And why is she trying to contact Molly? This is a great action-adventure story with a mystery and moral dilemma.
Brick Dust and Bones by M.R. Forunet
Marius Grey is a 12-year-old Cajun Cemetery Boy and student. But he’s also working nights as a monster hunter to earn mystic coins for a really important spell that will bring his mother back to life…and time is running out. In desperation, Marius decides to hunt one of the most dangerous monsters in the swamp, a rougarou, even though his only friend, a monstrous mermaid, doesn’t want Marius to risk his life. The story is compelling and entertaining, with a heroic main character who loves his mom more than anything. You won’t be able to put this one down!
Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
Well-written and scary! Molly and Michael’s new step-sister Heather befriend a sinister ghost-child named Helen, but Helen influences Heather to malevolent ends. Building in suspense little by little, readers will be freaked out by her creepy warnings that when Helen comes, they will get what they deserve…YIKES!
Lockwood and Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Dangerous ghosts and spirits are appearing everywhere in London, but only certain kids can see and eradicate them. Teens Lucy, Anthony, and George badly need money for their ghost-hunting agency, Lockwood & Co., so they take a perilous job that, if the ghosts have their way, may just be their last. EXCELLENT writing & series.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
This book showcases Gaiman’s incredible storytelling ability. It’s about a girl, Coraline, who discovers an alternative reality identical to her own — same house, same mother and father — through a little door in her house. It’s a world that at first seems wonderful, yet it becomes frightening when Coraline realizes she might not get to leave. Very creepy. (With a real haunted house!)
Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp
Ivy’s adventures involve a sinister ghost, a mystical jewel, and a surprising destiny. If you like quirky, funny ghost stories, don’t miss this series; my girls and I loved it.
Ophie’s Ghost by Justina Ireland
A page-turning historical ghost mystery about racism, justice, bravery, and friendship. When her father Is murdered by white men in Georgia in 1922, his ghost appears to Ophelia, warning she and her mom to escape. After that, Ophie sees ghosts everywhere, even in their new home of Pittsburg. At her new job, she meets a beautiful, charming ghost named Clara who was murdered. Ophie wants to discover the truth and help her new friend. But ghosts don’t have good intentions and will do anything, including possessing someone, to get their revenge. Ophie needs to be careful…
Ghost Book by Remy Lai
Rema Lai’s GHOST BOOK follows July Chen, a 12-year-old who can see ghosts. She meets a ghost named William one day who is actually a wandering soul, and from there, her life spirals into an unexpected adventure in which she learns about her new friend and, surprisingly, herself. The mysteries in this book are so fun to unravel, but the best part is watching July’s journey with her first friend.
Gloom Town by Ronald Smith
Due to dire finances and the threat of eviction, 12-year-old Rory gets a job as a valet for the creepy Lord Foxglove. But something isn’t right in the strange mansion. He and his best friend Izzy are determined to figure out what’s going on, following the clues and pondering Rory’s strange dreams. They learn that Foxglove bought the town and renamed it Gloom, stealing shadows from the people living there to feed an ancient evil. It’s an intriguing premise, and the writing zips along, getting creepier and creepier!
Healer and the Witch by Nancy Werlin
When Sylvie comes into her unusual witch powers, her grand-mere cautions her to not use them and to continue her practice of healing only. But Sylvie ignores that advice and uses her witch magic to remove the cloud of grief from her maman’s head but accidentally removes all knowledge and memory of Sylvie, too. Desperate to fix her mistake and to learn to use her powers for good, Sylvie and a neighbor boy travel through medieval France in search of someone who could train her.
Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono, illustrated by Emily Balistrieri
As a huge fan of the movie, I was so impressed at how true to the original story the movie was. This sweet witch book is about a 13-year-old half-witch named Kiki who leaves home for her year-long apprenticeship in a town. She flies with her cat, and they find a seaside town that needs a witch. There, Kiki settles above a bakery and uses her wits and magic to endear herself to the town as a helpful delivery girl. Lovely, lovely, lovely!
Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny
Not only is this story compelling and interesting, but so are the symbolism and life lessons. Charlie’s dad has remarried and moved Charlie and his younger brother into the stepmother’s frightening purple mansion. There, Charlie begins to have the most horrible nightmares — nightmares that blur between reality and dream. And when the witches steal Charlie’s brother into the nightmare world, he must enter that world to rescue his brother. Charlie and his friends must learn to face their fears in order for the nightmare world not to have access to the real world.
Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe
You will love this captivating main character about an apprentice witch who struggles with insecurity, bullying, and self-doubt. She doesn’t have a lot of magic but does have strength, even if she needs a few reminders about it. She will be able to help her city even with semi-magical skills. A sweet, paranormal story.