Pumpkins on stoops? Leaves littering the sidewalks? Candy and costumes sitting front-and-center in all your favorite shops? These signs can only add up to one thing: It’s October, the best month of the entire year in this humble librarian’s opinion!
Scary books make the perfect accompaniment to this season, so I’ve asked some of my favorite librarians to share their October reading recommendations. From picture books to novels and even a bit of nonfiction, we’ve got you covered for spine-chilling titles to share with your patrons.
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone
After hearing about the monster at the end of the book, lovable Grover urges readers not to turn any pages. Will they listen?
Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies by Megan and Jorge Lacera
Mo Romero loves vegetables, but his parents insist zombies don’t eat veggies! What’s a kid to do?
Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex
In this companion to Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, Adam Rex once again takes poetry-lovers on a silly journey through the lives of literary horror greats such as Dracula and the Headless Horseman.
Sipping Spiders Through a Straw by Kelly DiPucchio
A delightful collection of campfire songs turned spine-chillingly spectacular.
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
After a supernatural being bewitches her father, Corinne La Mer must do whatever it takes to save him and the rest of her island community.
Warren the 13th by Tania del Rio
Orphan Warren has one goal in life: to restore his family’s ancient hotel. But first he’ll have to contend with creepy creatures, mysterious visitors, and secrets galore.
Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
After moving to a new city, twelve-year-old Harper Raine discovers her family’s home is haunted and must take on the evil spirit inhabiting it before it’s too late.
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox
Set during World War II, this supernatural adventure pits four young children against evil forces both old and contemporary.
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
Struggling with the loss of her mother, eleven-year-old bibliophile Ollie Adler finds herself trapped inside a terrifying ghost story she may not be able to escape.
The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away by Ronald L. Smith
When twelve-year-old Simon is pulled deeper and deeper into a chilling conspiracy involving aliens and the government, will he be able to convince anyone else that what he believes is real?
One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn
During the Spanish influenza outbreak, a girl who ostracized a classmate before her death is haunted by the other girl’s ghost and soon finds herself ostracized as well.
The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
On Halloween, thirteen-year-old Moth Hush finds out she’s descended from a long line of witches.
Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
A middle schooler attempting to impress his crush by adopting a vampire persona finds himself in a difficult spot when he learns she’s actually a vampire hunter.
The Big Book of Monsters by Hal Johnson
Meet some of literature’s greatest monsters in this who’s who of bad guys and gals.
Killer Style by Alison Matthews David and Serah-Marie McMahon
A fashion journalist and fashion scholar team up to examine trends that proved to be deadly in this macabre nonfiction title.
Looking for even more recommendations? Check out these lists:
Boo!: What to Hand Them When the Halloween Shelves Are Bare (ALSC)
50 Must-Read Scary Books for Kids (Book Riot)
Horror Books for Kids and Teens (Common Sense Media)
Scary Book List for Kids (Monster Librarian)
“Scary” Picture Books (Seattle Public Library)
The Best Scary Middle Grade Books for Kids (Some the Wiser)
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: IV. Knowledge, Curation, and Management of Materials