Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Ghosties and Ghoulies and Long-Leggedy Beasties

Top Ten Tuesday:  Books for Getting in the Halloween Spirit

I have to confess I really haven’t read many dark and scary books that would suit a more grown up Halloween list. That’s fine because I think I’d pick most of my favourite Halloween books for nostalgic reasons anyway.  To me, Halloween has always been a celebration of childhood: costumes, candy, and everything pumpkiny. It’s a time for creativity and letting your imagination see ghosties and ghoulies and long-leggedy beasties lurking behind every tree.

These are some of my favorites (at least the ones I could think of without rooting through our entire book collection).  I know it’s Top Ten Tuesday, but seeing as I included a few series my list is a bit shorter.

1.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Every year when fall hits I get in the mood for Harry Potter—me and three quarters of the planet. Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite in the series and it seems especially suited for Halloween considering the Shrieking Shack and the whole Buckbeak fiasco in Hagrid’s pumpkin patch.

2. Skeleton Creek 

The Skeleton Creek series by Patrick Carman is categorized as middle grade but the characters are teens, so I’d recommend it to anyone who likes YA as well. Too be honest, I think these books are a little on the scary side for younger middle graders. The night I finished Skeleton Creek my husband was out, so I made my son stay up late to keep me company. Yes, I’m a total chicken. The concept of this series is great. After reading segments of the book, you’re rewarded with passwords for unlocking online videos. These directly tie in with the plot. So creepy and fun!  I have yet to read The Raven (book four) but it’s definitely on my TBR list.

3. Coraline

Neil Gaiman has quite the imagination.  When Coraline goes through a magical door in her new-old house, it leads to a world that’s a sinister mirror of her home and family. This book is full of suspense, creepiness and bizarre characters. I will never look at buttons the same after reading it. I have to admit the illustrations in our copy freaked me out a little—but in a fun way.

4. Araminta Spookie

I read this series to my son a number of years ago and he loved it. These are some of the cutest books we have on our shelves.  Just the right amount of spookiness for the younger crowd and the pictures are adorable. Nothing too scary here, just funny ghosts, a knitting vampire and lots of bat guano. I wish Angie Sage had written more of these.

5. Leaf Magic

This was one of my absolute favourite stories when I was little. It’s really more of an autumn book than a Halloween book, although the part where the leaf follows the boy home and tries to get in his window is kind of eerie. Not realizing how much it meant to me, my parents accidentally sold my copy at a garage sale. A few years ago I was thrilled to find a used copy.

6. Mousekin’s Golden House

Who could resist a story about a mouse that hibernates in a jack-o-lantern? The artwork in this book is beautiful and the ending is so cosy. Perfect for reading to little ones.

7. Georgie’s Halloween

Love this story about a shy little ghost that is more afraid of children than they are of him. The illustrations--mostly black and white with a smidge of orange--are wonderful and leave lots of room for imagination. A sweet book for wee ones at Halloween.

Have any childhood favourites or spooky recommendations you’d like to share?


  1. New follower! I almost put HP on my list, but decided against it.

    Check out my TTT.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by! I suspect half the people taking part in TTT will have at least one Potter book on their list. Couldn't resist :)

  2. As you know, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE is my favourite Potter book, but really the whole series would be on my list. And as for GEORGIE'S HALLOWEEN, I'm looking at the copy on my bookshelf right now! Will have to bust that out for some cute Halloween fun. I read the first SKELETON CREEK book, and because of the video aspects of it I'd definitely rank it as more YA than MG. There's something even creepier about seeing something versus just reading it. Case in point: the animated portions of the Dire Grove game. O_O

    P.S. I am the farmer. I am the farmer. I am the farmer. Bahhahaha!

    1. I didn't know you had a copy of Georgie's Halloween. When I looked through all our Halloween picture books I was tempted to read a bunch. They bring back fun memories.

      Never thought of the similarities between Skeleton Creek and the Dire Grove game until now. That makes it even creepier. If you're the farmer, then I guess I'm the fisherman. Snort.

  3. Prisoner of Azkaban is the best hp book for Halloween:). Dementors. Creepy!

    1. And it was a lot of fun reading it to you :)