As Halloween approaches, young readers will be in for trick-and-treating with these spooky titles that range from lighthearted storybook horrors to haunting YA mysteries.
Picture books, table books and chapter books
Beatrice likes the dark
April Genevieve Tucholke, ill. by Khoa Le. Algonquin, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-6437-5157-3. Ages 4-8. This gothic picture book debut stars Beatrice who loves all things dark while her opposite sister loves sunshine. When Beatrice makes a potion one night to make Roo less afraid of the dark, Roo teaches Beatrice a song to alleviate the sensory overload she feels during the day.
Construction site scared!
Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by AGFord. Chronicle Books, $12.99 (16p) ISBN 978-1-79720-432-1. Age 2-4. The trucks at a construction site find spooky surprises in the parking lot on Halloween night.
A costume for Charlie
CK Malone, illustrated by Alejandra Barajas. Beaming, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5064-8405-1. Ages 4-12. Charly tries to find the perfect costume to represent her bigender identity.
The crayons trick or treating
Drew Daywalt, ill. by Oliver Jeffers. Philomel, $9.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-62102-8. Ages 4-8. A group of crayon buddies face comedic missteps on their first trick-or-treating night.
Dia de los Muertos
Rosie Pajaro, Image by Gaby Zermeño. Cottage Door Press, $7.99 (12 pence) ISBN 978-1-64638-641-3. Ages 1 to 4. This interactive picture book introduces readers to the festive traditions of the Day of the Dead.
Emi is not afraid of monsters
Alina Tysoe. Orchard, $17.99 (40 pence) ISBN 978-1-338-75565-7. Ages 4-8. A girl named Emi is not afraid of the monsters that crawl in the dark and makes plans to catch one. But when her dog flees into the darkness, Emi must venture into monster territory to save him.
A friend for Ghost
Suzanne Kaufman. Cottage/Porter, $18.99 (32 pence) ISBN 978-0-8234-4852-4. Ages 4-8. A lonely ghost longs for friendship and finds it in a lost balloon.
Good night Train Halloween
June Sobel, ill. by Laura Huliska-Beith. Clarion, $8.99 (12p) ISBN 978-0-358-62607-7. Age up to 4 years. Passengers board the Goodnight train, which runs a special Halloween ride full of surprises.
Happy Owl Oween! A Halloween Story
Laura Gehl, ill. by Lydia Nichols. Abrams, $14.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4312-2. Ages 3-5. In this rhyming picture book, readers can follow the owl family as they plan their costumes, trick or treats, and more.
How to catch a witch
Alice Walstead. Fig. by Megan Joyce. Sourcebooks Wonderland, $10.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-72821-035-3. The Catch Club Kids’ Halloween plans are interrupted when a witch opens a portal that lets spooky creatures into their neighborhood.
When animals are trick or treating
Ann Whitford Paul, ill. by DavidWalker. FSG, $18.99 (32 pence) ISBN 978-0-374-38852-2. Ages 3-6. The popular When Animals Kissed Goodnight series, with over a million copies in print, continues with this Halloween storybook featuring animals taking part in the holiday candy hunt.
If your babysitter is a Bruja
Ana Siqueira, ill. by Irena Freitas. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8874-8. Ages 4-8. A child ponders the possibility of his caretaker being a witch as Halloween night approaches.
Kit and Caboodle
Anna Pignataro. Little Bunny, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-76050-633-9. Ages 3-5. After living alone for a century, witch Kit makes a new friend when the winged bat Caboodle needs help.
Leila, the perfect witch
Flavia Z Drago. Candlewick, $17.99 (40 pence) ISBN 978-1-5362-2050-6. Ages 3-7. An experienced and talented witch, Leila Wayward dreams of becoming the best of the best by winning a bake-off.
Little Pumpkin: A First Halloween Story
Lisa Edwards, ill. by Kat Kalindi. Vikings, $7.99 (12 pence) ISBN 978-0-593-46518-9. Ages 1-3. In this expansion to the You Are the Light series, Little Pumpkin and Big Pumpkin greet their nocturnal friends, from bats to cats to owls and more.
The broomstick monsters
Annemarie Riley Guertin Fig. by Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn. Little Simon, $8.99 (14p) ISBN 978-1-66591-146-7. From 0 years. Halloween creatures set off on their broomsticks to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus.
The most haunted house in America
Jarrett Dapier, ill. by Lee Gatlin. Abrams, $18.99 (32 pence) ISBN 978-1-4197-5246-9. Ages 4-8. Skeleton drummers take a trip to the White House to discover it’s haunted by many sinister creatures.
Our celebration of the Day of the Dead
Ana Aranda. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (32 pence) ISBN 978-0-5255-1428-2. Ages 3-7. Siblings Mar and Paz excitedly prepare to celebrate the Day of the Dead with their family.
Snowmen on Halloween
Caralyn M. Buehner, illustrated by Mark E. Buehner. Dial, $8.99 (28p) ISBN 978-0-593-52910-2. Ages 1 to 3. When a group of kids leave their snowmen behind for trick or treating, the snowmen throw their own Halloween party.
truck or treat
Hannah Eliot, illustrated by JenTaylor. Little Simon, $7.99 (18p) ISBN 978-1-66591-597-7. From 0 years. On Halloween night, the trucks at the construction site show off their spooky costumes.
The Witchling’s Wish
Lu Fraser, ill. by Sarah Massini. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (32 pence) ISBN 978-1-5476-0906-2. Ages 3-6. While attempting to use a spell to summon a friend, a young witchling makes friends with an unexpected guest.
Trick or Treating: The Story of the Switch Witch and How It Came Into
Antoinette Corley-Newman, ill. by Noor Alshalabi. Summit Street, $24.99 (54p) ISBN 978-1-63877-585-0. Ages 4-7. A young witch, enjoying the treats mortals receive on Halloween, begins trick-or-treating deals in exchange for more candy.
Elias Bark’s ill. by Zoë Persico. Hazy Dell, $8.95 (12 pence) ISBN 978-1-948931-35-9. Ages 0 to 4. A baby vampire makes its way through a haunted castle on Halloween night.
Witch in Town (Crimson Twill #1)
Kallie George, ill. by Birgitta Siff. Candlewick, $14.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1463-5. Age 7-9. Crimson Twill may not be quite like other witches, but moving to a new town shows her expertise and compassion.
Daybreak on Raven Island
Fleur Bradley. Vikings, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-593-40463-8. Ages 8-12. Three seventh graders left behind after a field trip must endure a spooky night on the grounds of an island prison with long shutters in this atmospherically enhanced mystery.
Sarah Farizan. Algonquin, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-64375080-4. From 12 years.
Maz, Cori and Sam, all 12, used to do everything together until Sam disappeared on Halloween night in 1987. It’s 1993 now, and Maz and Cori haven’t spoken to each other since Sam’s funeral, where they had a fight; Cori believes Sam is dead, but Maz is convinced he was dragged into her beloved pinball machine. A chance encounter at the mall puts Cori and Maz back on each other’s radars. See our profile on Farizan.
Double, double, twins and trouble
Luna graves. Aladdin, $17.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-66590-623-4. Ages 7-10.
The random magical outbursts of two witch sisters risk uncovering their hidden suburban monster community in this first book in this mid-range series.
The Glass Witch
Lindsay Puckett. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-338-80342-6. Ages 8-12. Young witch Adelaide accidentally triggers a curse that turns her bones into glass. Now she is being pursued by a mystical hunter who has possessed a member of a local witch hunter family.
Man Made Monsters
Andrea L. Rogers, ill. by Jeff Edwards. Levine Querido, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64-614179-1. From 12 years. Rogers chronicles the past, present and future trials and tribulations of a Cherokee family in this chilling horror collection.
Monsters growling in the background: Halloween poems for the brave
Kenn Nesbit et al., ill. by Martin Ontiveros. Reycraft, $17.95 (32 pence) ISBN 978-1-4788-7041-8. Ages 8-14. This collection of poems brings together haunting works by contemporary authors and illustrations by Ontiveros.
Our Shadows Have Claws: 15 Latin American Monster Stories
Ed. by Yamile Saied Méndez and Amparo Ortiz, ill. by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz. Algonquin, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-64375-183-2. Age 14-18. This anthology of short stories spans a range of genres, from horror to romance and more, featuring mythology and 15 authors from across the Latin American diaspora.
The pug who wanted to be a pumpkin
Bella Swift. Aladdin, $17. 99 (160 pp.) ISBN 978-1-5344-8691-1; Paper $7.99 ISBN 978-1-5344-8690-4. Ages 7-10. Peggy and Chloe must overcome their fears to play trick-or-treating with Peggy the pug in the fifth story of the middle-class illustrated series, The Pug Who Wanted to Be.