It’s that time of year again! When we all enjoy, or not, the crazy world of spooky spectres, ghostly pumpkins, and general eerie stuff!👻 I’ve always loved Halloween, all the fun of it, dressing up as witches, zombies, cats and whatever else you want to. I’m not huge on getting too spooked out over the holiday, but everything that typifies the more fun and silly aspects of Halloween celebrations, with just a touch of eeriness, I just love!
Unfortunately, due to things that have happened in the world this year, many of us may not be able to ocelebrate Halloween in the way we had hoped. If you’re one of those who feels as if you can’t celebrate Halloween or trick or treating this year then it’s still possible to have some fun, making up your own decorations at home and enjoying some fun at home with the kids, friends or just yourself and close family. You can play some party or board games, watch scary movies and maybe make some spooky fun food. But for those of you who want a quieter night in, I have a list of some of my favourite books to recommend for this spooky season, so if reading is something you’d rather do this year then here are some great books for younger children, older kids and teens (although anyone of any age can read these!) to get your spooky teeth into! 😀 🎃
Beast Feast by Emma Yarlett (Picture book)
This is such a funny picture book with a lovely story and fun interactive letters to open and read. Beast has invited all sorts of other monsters for his Beast Feast. The other monsters have all agreed to come, but in their invitation replies they all ask that Beast cook the food differently, for example one wants the food to be extra slimey! But despite his best effots Beast has trouble cooking Dinner, especially as Dinner (a child) keeps giving him alternate ways to ‘cook’ him to make him more more ‘tasty’.
The story is very funny and ends in a way that puts a smile on your face. There’s a lot of fun illustrations in the story, including some, er, interesting recipes. It’s the interactive letters and flaps that really make this book so fun to look at and read. There are lots of letters from the other monsters which attached inside the book and you can open them up and read. It makes the book feel so much more fun and will keep kids, and adults reading it, entertained.
The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggit-Phillips & Isabella Follath (Younger children’s)
This is a brilliant first book of a series I was lucky enough to read for a blog tour back in August. Ebenezer Tweezer, a 511 year old man, keeps his youth by constantly feeding a beast in his attic who in return, gives him a youthful potion every year. The Beast likes to eat all manner of different things, but having tried so many different foods, he wants something new, a human child. Ebenezer manages to find a child, Bethany, but this girl isn’t so easy for the Beast or Ebenezer to deal with.
This book is so funny and written in a creative way. I loved the author’s descriptions of things, which sound funny and strange like the width of a building being so many elephants. The story is bizarre and funny and Bethany’s character is one you grow to like, as well as Ebenezer’s. The ending of the story is one I loved and ends with an amazing twist that you won’t see coming. It’s the perfect story for Halloween and I’m sure once you’ve read it you’ll be desperate for the sequel!
The Ghouls of Howlfair by Nick Tomlinson (Older childrens/middle grade)
This is such an amzing read! Molly Thompson likes to investigate the town of Howlfair and it’s residents, but her investigations aren’t always welcome, so much so that her mum puts a ban on her doing any more investigating. But things start happening in the town, strange ghoulish sightings, a note left by one someone staying at the guest house Molly’s mum runs, and her friend’s insistance that there’s something supernatural in her own family. Molly feels she needs to investigate what’s happening, despite her mother’s wishes.
This is such a well thought out story and is one you just can’t put down. There are a lot of interesting things happening and a lot of humour throughout the story. I love the different characters including molly’s cat Gabriel who plays a bigger role than you first think. The tale leads up to a brilliant ending which is so tense and gripping and I remember feeling all emotional over what happened. It’s the perfect story with a supernatural vibe but plenty of humour that kids and adults will love.
Scream All Night by Derek Milman (Teen/young adult)
This is an interesting contemporary story following seventeen year old Dario Heyward who has been emancipated from his family for years. Living in a children’s home he gets a call from his older brother Oren to attend an important event at the family’s movie studio/castle, but Dario is reluctant, he left his family and the world of Moldavia Studios behind. Promising to stay only one day, for what turns out to be his father’s funeral, though his father isn’t quite dead yet, he ends up inheriting the whole movie studio and has to stay longer. But the world of Moldavia Studios hides a dark past and Dario is forced to confront what happened to him when he was younger.
This is a great story, unlike any I have ever read before and it’s got a lot of great humour along the way. Although it’s a contemporary story, it has a humerous twist. The story deals with some very serious issues like abuse and mental health. Dario is emancipated from his family for reasons we only find out later, and there are some dark things that have happened. But along with these darker parts, the story also has some very good humour, with Moldavia Studios being a typical B-movie studio (think Hammer Horror) and the crazy things that happen when trying to film a movie there. The story is a great coming of age tale with a deep ending. A great book which I can’t help but think about re-reading whenever I think of Halloween and horror movies!
Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare (Teen/young adult)
This is a great horror book featuring a classic character type now synonymous with horror: clowns! Quinn Maybrook has recently moved to the small town of Kettle Springs, a place that’s gone down hill since the factory has shut. There is a clear divide between the young teens of Kettle Springs who just want to have fun and leave as soon as they can, and the older townsfolk who blame the teenagers for all the town’s problems.
While Quinn gets to know some of the teens, and gets into some early trouble at school, she’s soon invivted to a huge party held by all the teenagers in the middle of a cornfield. As you can probably guess, things soon take a dark turn when the town’s mascot, a clown in a pork-pie hat, decides to take revenge on teens. This is a brilliant slasher horror story with quite a few deaths, some twists and some gory moments, but it all feels like a great horor story and one I felt was playing out like a movie in my head!
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather (Teen/young adult)
This is such an amazing story I just couldn’t stop reading it! Samantha Mather has recently moved to Salem with her stepmother while her dad is in a coma. But being in Salem isn’t easy for Sam, especially as she’s related to Cotton Mather, a man responsible for some of the Salem Witch Trials. While at school Sam meets a group of teens called The Descendants, all related to those that died because of Sam’s ancestor. As you can imagine they hate Sam and are hostile towards her. But Sam encounters more than just high school bullying and soon her connection with her family’s past becomes more inportant than first thought.
This story is so well written and is about more than just simple high school bullying. The story takes on a supernatural twist, Sam encounters a ghost called Elijah, and it culminates in an amazing ending which left me feeling so emotional, and smiling at the last line of the story. This book is made even more interesting as it focuses on real life events from the past, the authors notes are interesting in finding out more about it, and it also tackles the subject of mass bullying and I felt it did this in a good way. A great book I just couldn’t put down!
So those are my recommended reads for Halloween! There might be more great boks I’d add to the list after reading them, and I have some more spooky, halloweeny type books coming up for review, but for now I hope you enjoyed all of these and I hope you might want to try some of them out too! Let me know if you do! 😀
What do you think of these books? Have you read any of them? What books would you recommend for Halloween? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂