Spooky Reads for Halloween

The leaves are falling and an autumnal chill is definitely in the air. This week’s recommendations are great for curling up indoors after a trip to the park (don’t forget to scan the GoParks QR code) and all have a spooky theme ready for Halloween.

For younger children, A World Full Of Spooky Stories by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Madalina Andronic, is a collection of 50 tales to make your spine tingle from all over the world. Whether you fancy a trip into the woods, down by the water, up a mountain or even to a grave yard, these short stories are perfect for snuggling up together for a safe scare! It’s a wonderfully diverse collection of spooky tales linked by their spooky theme, but I loved discovering links between stories from other countries, reminding me how myths and legends develop through time.

For our older children, The Red Gloves And Other Stories by Catherine Fisher, is a deliciously dark collection of tales that mix fear with myth, heart and magic. 

Enthralling, evocative storytelling, makes this spooky collection of nine haunting short stories a must for readers who like their books to send a shiver up their spines.

Each chilling tale is steeped in suspense and had me clinging to my cushion of comfort. Whether supernatural, mythical or unexplainable, Catherine has woven a web of stories to lose yourself in (just not at bedtime for me!). Her descriptions bring each setting to life, I could feel the silky red gloves, the hare’s fur, the silver road beneath my feet, just as much as the characters’ growing unease.

The tales conjured images from Harris Burdick in my mind as I read The Silver Road, and the Ghost In The Rain is reminiscent of the world The Clockwork Crow is set in. The Introduction gives really helpful information as to the origins and ideas behind each story and I will definitely be seeking out the traditional tale that Nettle is based on.  

For non-fiction fans, The World Of The Unknown: All About Ghosts by Christopher Maynard, is an absolute must! Originally published in 1977, this has been reissued for a new generation of ghost-hunters. I read my childhood copy until it fell apart so am delighted to see it back in print.  This book is for anyone who has shivered at shadowy figures in the dark, heard strange sounds in the night, or felt the presence of a mysterious ‘something’ from the unknown. Ghost stories are as old as recorded history and exist all over the world. Many of the different kinds of ghosts that are thought to haunt the Earth and their behaviour are described here. You will meet haunting spirits, screaming skulls, phantom ships, demon dogs, white ladies, gallows ghosts and many more. This book also explains the techniques and equipment of ghost hunting and tells how lots of ‘ghosts’ have been exposed as fakes or explained away as natural events. Also included are some theories that attempt to explain the possible existence of ghosts. With a brand new foreword by BAFTA-winning writer, comedian and actor Reece Shearsmith, otherwise the book remains unchanged from the original.

And finally, the monsters are back this half-term in Coventry so I thought a monstrously good book recommendation was in order to welcome them. The Maker Of Monsters by Lorraine Gregory is a multi-layered, mesmerising dystopian fantasy, and an epic adventure, all packed into a short read, brimming with heart, humour and horrifying monsters. Themes of power and corruption, love and loss, and self-worth and the monster we carry with us run subtly beneath the action packed plot, which make this a fabulous read for empathy. 

Brat has always lived in the isolated castle on the island, taking care of the vicious creatures that his master creates, waiting in terror for the moment when they are ready to be put to use. But then the unthinkable happens. The monsters get out. Now Brat must overcome his fears, and venture into the world he has hidden from his whole life. For the fate of everyone rests on his shoulders alone. . .

You can find out more about the monster trail here: Beware! The Monsters are back | Coventry City Council

Have a spooktacular half-term!