41 Spooky Season Books to Give Kids All the Fall Feels


41 Spooky Season Books to Give Kids All the Fall Feels

Spooky season means a little something different to everyone. Some people celebrate the return of fall for all things cozy, while others rush to pull out the slasher movies for a horror movie marathon. Whether you are looking for the perfect spooky season books to go with your hot cup of tea while it’s pouring down rain, a scary ghost story to keep you cowering under your covers, a suspenseful edge-of-your-seat mystery, or  a deep dive into the mythical origins of All Hallow’s Eve, this book list has you covered. 

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Spooky Season Books with Pictures

1. Creepy Carrots

by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown

Spooky season books: Creepy Carrots

Get it HERE.

Jasper Rabbit loves carrots more than anything in the world, but it’s not too long before he starts seeing glimpses of his favorite carrots everywhere. Are the carrots…following him? It turns out that the carrots don’t so much enjoy being eaten! Jasper learns a lesson about being too greedy, and (some) of the carrots live to see another day. If you like Creepy Carrots, you’ll also want to check out Creepy Pair of Underwear, the second spooky book in the Creepy Carrots series.

2. Bone Dog

by Eric Rohmann 

Bone Dog Halloween book

Get it HERE.

Be aware that this one is a tear-jerker! The main character, a little boy named Gus, is heartbroken when his dog Ella dies. On Halloween, Gus dresses as a skeleton, and when he passes a graveyard a gang of real-deal skeletons try to chase Gus down. But Gus’ Ella comes to the rescue – she’s a skeleton herself! – and she saves her boy one final time.

3. The Witches

by Roald Dahl

The Witches by Roland Dahl

Get it HERE.

This classic Roald Dahl story is in the vein of Matilda or The Twits. It’s darkly funny, perfect for fans of the Lemony Snicket series. In The Witches, a young boy goes to live with his grandmother after his parents die. He loves her stories about her stories of real witches who hunt children. Eventually, the boy encounters the Grand High Witch herself and realizes that his grandmother’s stories aren’t fiction at all.

4. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat 

by Lucille Colandro and Jared Lee

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat

Get it HERE.

The There Was an Old Lady series is 16 books strong, all riffing on the familiar “there was an old lady who swallowed a fly” theme. In this iteration, the lady swallows Halloween-themed items including a bat, a goblin, and even a wizard. This one isn’t scary at all so perfect for kids who love the lighter side of Halloween.

5. The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything 

by Linda D. Williams and Megan Lloyd 

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Get it HERE.

The little old lady from the title takes a walk through the dark woods when she hears rustling and clomping behind her. Is the lady who prides herself on being fearless in for the fright of her life? This classic Halloween story is an especially delightful read-aloud as the alliterative text begs for added sound effects.

6. Jampires 

by Sarah McIntyre and David O’Connell 

Jampires

Get it HERE.

Sam is not happy to discover that someone has sucked all the jam from inside his donuts. He sets out to find the culprit and is surprised to discover the jampires, tiny magical creatures that love all things sweet. They take Sam for a tour of their home, a fantasyland where donuts grow on trees and castles are made of cake.

7. Click Clack Boo 

by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

Click, Clack, Boo

Get it HERE.

The typing cows from Click Clack Moo are back at it in Click Clack Boo. Farmer Brown hates Halloween so he goes to bed early. The cows, however, have different plans. The only question is, will Farmer Brown get a trick or treat?

8. Zen Ghosts 

by Jon J. Muth 

Spooky season books: Zen Ghosts

Get it HERE.

Characters familiar from Jon J. Muth’s Caldecott Honor Book Zen Shorts reappear in Zen Ghosts. The children, Addy, Michael, and Karl, meet Stillwater the Panda after trick or treating for a ghost story. They are presented with a spooky koan that plays with the intersection of perception versus reality.

9. Bonaparte Falls Apart 

by Margery Cuyler and Will Terry  

Bonaparte Falls Apart

Get it HERE.

Bonaparte the skeleton goes to grade school with his friends Franky Stein, Black Widow, and Mummicula. His problem is that he continuously falls apart at school. His friends use what they know to try to solve his problems – Black Widow spins a web around him and Mummicula wraps him up in bandages. Nothing works until they hit on the idea of training a friendly pup to retrieve Bonaparte’s parts.

10. How to Make Friends With a Ghost 

by Rebecca Green

How to Make Friends with a Ghost

Get it HERE.

This is a picture book masquerading as a care guide for your when you stumble across a stray ghost. It includes tips about how to get your ghost to sleep (read him bedtime stories) and commons perils of ghost care (beware of your ghost being mistaken for whipping cream).

11.  Pomegranate Witch 

by Denise Doyen and Eliza Wheeler

The Pomegranate Witch

Get it HERE.

This lyrical Halloween poem is a masterpiece of spellbinding wordplay and masterful meter. In it, the neighbor’s pomegranate tree blooms with mouthwatering fruit that the neighborhood kids covet, but they can’t have it. Thus begins their Pomegranate War with their next door witch.

12.  The Widow’s Broom 

by Chris Van Allsburg 

The Widow's Broom

Get it HERE.

Chris Van Allsburg is best known for The Polar Express, but much of his body of work is a bit more mysterious and spooky. The Widow’s Broom reads a bit like a fairy tale from an older time. Minna Shaw finds a friendly magical broom that keeps her company, but her neighbors don’t trust it. Local boys torment the broom, and when the broom fights back, Minna is forced to give it up.

13. Sir Simon 

by Cale Atkinson 

Spooky season books: Sir Simon

Get it HERE.

Sir Simon is a professional ghost who has just been given his first assignment. He’s completely prepared until he realizes his new haunt comes with a kid inside. Chester and Simon agree to help each other with their respective human and ghost chores, which doesn’t go so well. What does evolve, though, is a quirky friendship.

Spooky Season Books for Middle Grades

14. The Halloween Tree

by Ray Bradbury

The Halloween Tree

Get it HERE.

In what is Bradbury’s only spooky story, a group of boys meet Mr. Moundshroud at a haunted house. Mysteriously, one boy is swept away by a dark “something,” and Mr. Moundshroud leads the boys through time on the tail of a kite trying to track down their friend.

15. Monstrous Devices

by Damian Love

Monstrous Devices

Get it HERE.

Alex receives a robot from his grandfather in the mail, but he soon discovers that the robot is deadly. His grandfather shows up to rescue Alex from the robot in the nick of time, and soon the two are embroiled in solving an ages-old family mystery that involves the little robot.  

16. Where the Woods End

by Charlotte Salter

Where the Woods End

Get it HERE.

Kestrel lives in a dangerous forest and spends her life afraid of the Grabbers. One day, her mother, a powerful sorceress, charges Kestrel with the task of capturing a Grabber to help free the nearby village from their clutches. Accompanied by her weasel, Pippit, Kestrel faces down the darkness of the forest.

17. Small Spaces

by Katherine Arden

Spooky season books: Small Spaces

Get it HERE.

Small Spaces is an exquisite middle-grade ghost story perfect for fans of Stranger Things. In this story, eleven-year-old Ollie reads about the smiling man, a specter who grants wishes – but with a price. On a school field trip, Ollie soon learns that the smiling man might be real. As night falls, her watch displays the readout: RUN, and Ollie, along with two other classmates, heed the warning.

18. Ghost and Bone 

by Andrew Prentice

Ghost and Bone

Get it HERE.

Oscar Grimstone has a peculiar kind of Midas touch – everything he touches dies. One day, while working at his mom’s funeral parlor, strange things start happening and to escape, Oscar turns into a ghost, an ability he didn’t know until then he had. As soon as danger has passed, he turns back, leaving him with an even more mysterious power – the ability to switch between human and ghost at will. This all leaves Oscar with a powerful identity crisis, one he turns to ghosts to help him sort out.

19. Deep and Dark and Dangerous 

by Mary Downing Hahn

Deep and Dark and Dangerous

Get it HERE.

Ali can’t wait to visit her Aunt Dulcie at the lake in spite of a tales about a girl who died there in a canoe accident years before. When Ali finally arrives, she learns that both her aunt and her mother were at the lake the summer of the accident, and worse, a vengeful ghost of the girl shows up to haunt her. The book is spooky, and the cover should win awards for its creepiness.

20. The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief and Sinister 

by Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire LeGrand, and Emma Trevayne

The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief and Sinister

Get it HERE.

The Cabinet of Curiosities is perfect for fans of the beloved book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Four authors write these spooky tales. Readers are invited to “open a drawer” in the cabinet of curiosities and out pops something spooky, or in a few select stories, something genuinely spine-tingling.  

21. Lockwood and Co

by Jonathan Stroud

Lockwood & Co

Get it HERE.

Lockwood and Co is a five-book series that starts with The Screaming Staircase. In a premise reminiscent of Ghostbusters, all the spooky specters, ghosts, and ghouls in London are loosed on the city. The only people who can see these supernatural beings are young people. The Screaming Staircase follows Lucy Carlyle, a young girl who has the psychic abilities necessary to see the ghosts.  

22. Juniper Berry 

by M. P. Kozlowsky and illustrated by Erwin Madrid

Juniper Berry book

Get it HERE.

Juniper Berry has watched her parents skyrocket from unknown actors to super-famous celebrities, but she can’t help feeling that something isn’t right. When she stumbles across a tree in her backyard, her worst suspicions are confirmed. A soul-sucking demon has been living off her parents’ souls, which they traded for fame and fortune. Now it’s up to Juniper to take on the demon and get her parents back.

Young Adult Spooky Season Books

23. Practical Magic

by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic

Get it HERE.

The bonds of family are paramount in this novel that was turned into a movie in 1998. In this story, the Owens sisters, Gillan and Sally, are outcasts in their Massachusetts town. For centuries, their family has been accused of witchcraft, and every little thing that goes wrong in the town must be their fault. Both women want to put the town behind them for good, but they find that home has a powerful – even magical – draw on them.

24. An Acceptable Time

by Madeleine L’Engle

An Acceptable Time

Get it HERE.

Madeleine L’Engle is best known for her Newbery Medalist book A Wrinkle in Time. Fewer people know that Wrinkle was the first in L’Engle’s Time Quintet. An Acceptable Time is the final book in this series, though it could be read as a standalone. In a story that is not spooky at all, but is instead steeped in the druidic origins of All Hallow’s Eve, Polly visits her grandparents in New England and accidentally finds she has opened a time portal transporting her to 3,000 years before, where a tribal people prepare for their annual harvest festival.

25. Salt and Storm

by Kendall Kulper

Salt and Storm

Get it HERE.

Salt and Storm is pure spooky season magic, atmospheric without venturing toward scary. In this book, Avery Roe longs to take her proper place as the Witch of Prince Island where she will help the islanders by making them magic charms for whaling voyages and magically protecting ships from storms. Her mother refuses to allow her to embrace her magic, instead insisting on a magic-free life. She meets a sailor named Tane, whose magic derives from his nautical tattoos, and together they help Avery meet her destiny.

26. Drift and Dagger

by Kendall Kulper

Drift and Dagger spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Drift and Dagger is a companion prequel to Salt and Storm, though it can be read by itself as a stand-alone story. In it, Mal is the central character. Mal’s childhood best friend is Essie Roe, Avery’s mother. The story world is filled with magic, but Mal is a “blank,” meaning magic doesn’t affect him. His condition is feared and shunned the world over, forcing Mal to find work where he can. When Essie rejects him after finding out he’s a blank, he’s determined to take her magic forever.

27. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane 

by Katherine Howe

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Connie Goodwin planned to spend her time researching for her doctoral dissertation on the Salem Witch Trials when her mother asks for her help cleaning out her grandmother’s home. While there, Connie discovers a fragment of paper with the name Deliverance Dane written on it. Connie researches the name and discovers that her connection to the Salem witches is much more intimate than she previously suspected. A sequel, Daughters of Temperance Hobbs, is also not-to-be-missed.

28. A Secret History of Witches

by Louisa Morgan

A Secret History of Witches book spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Five generations of women descended from Grand-Mere Ursule, a woman who is persecuted for practicing witchcraft. The Orchire women honor Ursule by keeping the craft alive, each facing hardships and challenges related to their own times in history. This book is not about dark magic; instead, the Orchires practice healing magic for healing. When the darkness of World War Two rears its head, the youngest Orchire channels her magic to help change the world.

29. The Witch’s Kind

by Louisa Morgan

The Witch's Kind  spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Set against the atmospheric backdrop of the misty Pacific Northwest coast, Barrie Anne Blythe lives with her Aunt Charlotte. Barrie stumbles across an abandoned baby and discovers the young child’s secret powers at the same time that her aunt reveals a family lineage of witchcraft.

30. The Age of Witches

by Louisa Morgan

The Age of Witches  spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Bridget Bishop was hanged as a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. Louisa Morgan uses this historical fact to create a world where two lines of her power live on in her descendants in 1890s New York. One side wants power, but the other simply wishes to heal. The youngest family member, Annis, just coming into her own power, is caught in the middle. 

31. The Crucible

by Arthur Miller

The Crucible  spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Arthur Miller, victimized by the McCarthy-era Communist witch hunt, wrote this powerful play about the Salem Witch Trials as a parable about the dangers of mob mentality. The play is based on historical truths, though Miller does take some artistic license. It is as excellent as it is disturbing. Prepare to feel deeply unsettled at the end.

32. House of Salt and Sorrows

by Erin A. Craig 

The House of Salt and Sorrows  spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

This eerie and atmospheric tale is a retelling of the fairy tale Twelve Dancing Sisters. In House of Salt and Sorrows, Annaleigh is one of twelve sisters from Highmoor, but four of her sisters have died tragically, leaving the house in mourning for years on end. Wishing to join high society and live life instead of mourn death, the remaining girls find a secret door that transports them to balls all around the kingdom. Annaleigh begins to suspect foul play in her sisters’ deaths as something about the balls seem…off. This one is not to be missed. 

33. The Grace Year

by Kim Liggett

The Grace Year spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

The Grace Year is a dystopian nightmare, not about witchy women per se, but rather about a community gripped by fear of the unknown. Residents of Garner County believe that young girls possess dangerous magic powers, so the women are banished to the wilderness for a year when they turn sixteen, where they can shed their powers without it impacting the community. Every girl must go on her “grade year” but not every girl returns. This is the account of Tierney James’ dangerous journey from childhood to adulthood during her sixteenth year. 

34. Witches of Ash and Ruin

by E. Latimer

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Dayna Walsh cares about nothing more than ascending and finally becoming a witch in her full power in this book that collides modern witchcraft with Celtic mythology. She has her own problems, including recently having been outed as being bisexual, a big deal in her conservative community. A rival coven moves to town just at the time of her ascending, and Dayna immediately clashes with their leader, Meiner King. When a witch ends up murdered, the two teens must join together to track down a serial killer. 

35. His Hideous Heart

edited by Dahlia Adler

His Hideous Heart  spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Drawn together here are 13 of Edgar Allen Poe’s stories and poems. Each story is printed in its original form, and is then reimagined by a popular YA author. Tiffany D. Jackson reimagines The Cask of Amontillado, for example. Poe’s stories deal with themes that are surprisingly relevant to teens today. The audiobook version of this book is an excellent spooky listen, too. 

36. The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus  spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

The Night Circus, or Le Cirque des Rêves, appears mysteriously and only opens at night. It is a place of magic and mystery and guests leave feeling like they have witnessed something luminous. As it turns out, the circus is the backdrop to a wizard’s battle, a duel to the death between Celia and Marco, who take turns enchanting various parts of the circus. The two magicians, though forced to be in competition with each other, fall in love and must find a way to gracefully exit from their predestined battle to the death. 

37. Ten

by Gretchen McNeil 

Spooky season books: Ten  spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Inspired by Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None, Ten is spine-tinglingly perfect teen horror. Friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to the exclusive house party on Henry Island, but once there, they find themselves in the middle of a storm cutting them off from the mainland. One by one, partygoers are disappearing, and Meg must find the killer quick before she herself winds up a victim. 

38. Iron Cast

by Destiny Soria 

Iron Cast book spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Corinne and Ada are “hemopaths,” each with blood that gives them the power to create illusions. By night, they perform at the Cast Iron Club, and by day, they work as con women. But when a con goes wrong and police start closing in, the two friends go looking for answers to questions better left unasked.  

39. The Bone Houses

by Emily Lloyd-Jones 

The Bone Houses spooky season books for kids _ Bored Teachers

Get it HERE.

Ryn works as a gravedigger after the death of her parents, scraping together enough money to support her siblings. Sometimes, though, the dead don’t stay dead – they wake and are said to be part of a curse. These walking dead, called Bone Houses, rise with vengeance when an apprentice mapmaker named Ellis arrives in town. Ryn and Ellis team up to track down the origins of the curse and break it once and for all. 

40. The Year of Witching

by Alexis Henderson 

The Year of Witching spooky season books

Get it HERE.

Immanuelle Moore is disgraced from birth, thanks to the unholy union of her parents. She keeps her head down in the town of Bethel until one day, she stumbles into the Darkwood, where the spirits of four dead witches still lurk. Upon Immanuelle they bestow the journal of her dead mother, from which she learns that maybe the church she has obeyed her whole represents darkness, rather than the light she was taught to believe in. The novel is a feminist-fantasy page turner. 

41. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

by Kiersten White

The Dark Decent of Elizabeth Frankenstein _spooky season books

Get it HERE.

This reimaging of Frankenstein follows destitute Elizabeth Lavenza, who befriends the Frankenstein family. As the family adopts Elizabeth into their fold of wealth and privilege, she and Victor become fast friends. But her comfortable new life comes at a price as Victor begins to descend into madness and her job to cater to his every whim starts becoming dangerous. Elizabeth is nothing if not a survivor, though, and is determined to stay alive. 

Other Book Lists From Amy’s Bookshelf You’ll Love:


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AuthorAmy

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I am an unrepentant lover of words - and lucky me, I spend all day, every day immersed in them. When I'm not teaching, I'm reading. Or writing. Or teaching eager (and sometimes not-so-eager) adolescents about the power of the written word. I live on the scenic Oregon Coast with my dog, two cats, and five-year-old son.

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