By Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinkis
Putnam, Ages: 14+
Genre: YA Horror Fantasy Fiction, Ages 14+
Dark horror (as in, it’s creepy factor is enough to get your heart pumping), psychological thriller, survival tale, aliens, dystopian-futuristic alter-planetary-tale
This one kept me turning the pages until I was done—late in the evening! A totally different concept made me pick up the book and kept me intrigued throughout, with a satisfying (though not ideal) ending. Mild enough I’d let my advanced middle-grade reader read, but the idea of being watched at night while sleeping is creepy enough to make younger readers need a light—or may send to the sleeping bag in Mom and Dad’s room..
The Dead I Know
By Scot Gardner
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Age: 14+
Genre: Dark Horror
Recurring nightmares of a dark event, a new job at a funeral home, and caring for his sick grandmother are things that mark Aaron's tragic but triumphant coming of age tale.
"Despite the heavy topics explored in the novel . . . Gardner writes with sensitivity and in a way that is accessible to teens. With humorous interactions and their unwavering belief that Aaron is worthwhile, Mr. Barton and his daughter, Skye, help him appreciate life in the midst of death and tragedy. A darkly funny book." —School Library Journal, starred review
Serafina and the Black Cloak
By Robert Beatty
Disney-Hyperion, Ages: 9-12
Genre: Middle grade fantasy, mystery
Welcome to the Dark House
By Laurie Faria Stolarz
Genre: Ultra-creepy Haunted-House Horror
Scary story a-la-Ammityvile Horror Style, I loved this and couldn't wait for the sequel, but now the sequel is out and available!
The Poe Estate
By Polly Shulman
Penguin Random House $16.99, Ages: 10+
Genre: Supernatural Fiction involving ghosts and haunted houses, good for middle grade with appeal for older readers, depending on child
Sukie braves the twists and turns of spooky Poe Annex at the New-York Circulating Material Repository to untangle ancient family secrets, hide hidden treasure, and help the ghost who are haunting her house.
Anyone But Ivy Pocket
By Caleb Krisp
Greenwillow Books, Age: 8-12
Genre: Humor, Mid Horror, Fantasy
Tell the Story to Its End
By Simon P. Clark
St. Martin's Press, Age: 14+
Genre: Magically Haunting Fiction
I love books that make you think, and The Hiding is one that will keep you reading and continue to linger in your mind for some time. Usually I can catch twists, but this one kept me hooked and surprised me enough I had to go back and re-read certain parts. The narrative is stylistically different, and could be considered choppy or confusing for younger readers, but reluctant readers should be hooked from the start, gradually getting to know 16-year-old Danny Preston, as he comes to find himself stuck in his ex-girlfriend's house after sneaking in an open window. Laura's parents never approved of Danny, and he was never allowed in her home while they dated,. Readers enter the house with Danny and gradually discover more about him and his relationship with Laura, through flashbacks which gradually lead to an unexpected ending that will satisfy, provoke conversation, and most-likely have readers re-reading with new understanding.
By Lauren Oliver
HarperCollins, Age: 13+
Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction, Social & Family Issues, Siblings, Romance
Nick and Dara miss their lives as inseparable sisters, “the Dynamic Duo,” before the car accident and Parker came between them. But neither can overcome the aftermath of the accident, especially when Parker renters the scene. When Dara disappears, Nick is convinced her disappearance is related to another local girl gone missing. With a brilliant twist, the bond of sisterhood is absolute.
Six of Crows
By Leigh Bardugo
Henry Holt, $18.99, Ages: 10+
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kez’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction-if they don’t kill each other first.
Okay... This one took me two sittings--but only because I had to sleep! I will also confess at this point that ever since the eighth grade, Horror is my favorite genre--when done right. I love books that hook me in, and right away I knew this book was different. A completely unique story about a family whose women all have a secret power, which they work to conceal (think black widow spider). Now it is Val's turn to carry on the family legacy, but she has different ideas of what she would like to do with her love life--and her powers. Brilliant writing against a fully-developed setting that will keep you reading until you find out the secrets of the Sawkill girls.
By Claire Legrand
Katherine Tegan Books, 2018, Ages: 14+
Genre: YA Contemporary-Realistic Fiction with a Paranormal Twist, Gothic, Horror, Mystery Thriller, Suspense, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Relationships, Friendship, Social and Family Issues, Family Secrets, First Love, Coming-of-Age, 2018 Favorite
I’m Trying to Love Spiders
Written & Illustrated by Bethany Barton
Penguin Random House, Ages: 4 & up
Genre: Children’s Scientific Nonfiction
Fun story and whimsical illustrations will help readers see arachnids in a whole new light.
Fell of Dark
By Patrick Downes
Philomel, Age: 10+
Genre: YA, Adult Interest, Literature & Fiction, Paranormal, Psychological Thriller, Social & Family Issues
Guaranteed, this book will keep you up all night and haunt you long after. A dark story with a psychological twist about Erik, who performs miracles and believes he’s an angel; and Thorn, who hears voices and is controlled by demons. When the two are led to each other, the unexpected meets terrifying. Freakiest book ever!
Horror for All mwhahaha
By Kenneth Oppel, illustrations by Jon Klassen
Simon and Schuster, Age: 10+
Genre: YA, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Spine-Chilling Horror
This utterly twisted tale takes scary stories to a new level, and creepy illustrations “up” the fear-factor. The queen first appears to Steve in his dreams, where she promises to help the BABY. He keeps the arrangement secret and does the Queen’s bidding, though she isn’t the angel he thought.
Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods:
20 Chilling Tales from the Wilderness
By Hal Johnson, Illustrated by Tom Mead
Workman, Age: 9-12
Genre: Creepy American Folklore
Great fun for camp-outs and sleepovers!
A Curious Tale of the In-Between,By Lauren DeStefano
Bloomsbury, Age: 8-12 years
Genre: Middle Grade, Paranormal, Ghost story
Ghost-story enthusiasts will die for Pram, a “ghost-whisperer” whose friends have all been ghosts since her mother died— until Pram meets Clarence. They embark on a mission to find Pram’s father, but they are duped by a sinister spiritualist named Lady Savant, who has her own plans for Pram’s unique talents.
By Henry Turner
Clarion, 2018, Age: 12+
Genre: YA fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Paranormal, Relationships, Class, Stereotyping, Family, First Love, Twist- endings, Horror, 2018 Favorite, Read in one sitting