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Friday, October 18, 2019

9 Scary Books I Survived Reading (And Actually Recommend)!


I'm not really into scary books. I don't watch scary movies.

I was terrified and haunted by a Goosebumps book I read in my childhood, so I steer clear of those, but I can recommend these scary books.

Every once in a while I read a scary book and I like it!



Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

A mix of realistic fiction, fantasy and horror, Spirit Hunters has nice balance between tension and happier moments. With strong, well developed characters and a very satisfying ending, it sets up well for a series and book two is already out. Graveyards, possessions, super creepy! Ultimately a hopeful book. Late grade school and up, depending on how brave you are. Benjamin and I both read this one. More of our thoughts here.



The Underneath by Kathi Appelt 

Breaks your heart, scares you to death and  is so so read-aloud-able. Somewhat mystical, but mostly realistic. I don't even know what age to recommend this for. This is about a dog and a cat who are friends and live under the house of a very scary man. I have wanted to read it to my kids, but not sure they're ready for it . . . sounds like it's time for a re-read!



Through the Woods by Emily Carroll 

Suuuuper creepy stories in graphic novel form. I mean these ones are just "WOW!" well written and drawn. They are definitely my favorite creepy stories since I first heard Edgar Allen Poe audio productions when I was in about 4th grade. Middle school and up.

 
Suee and the Shadow by Ginger Ly 

A fun creepy graphic novel about a new girl in town who thinks there is something off about the school, and she is SO right. Friendship, bullying, suspense! Recommended for second grade and up.



Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland 

I was so fascinated and creeped out by this two-book graphic novel. I loved it. There has been a mysterious Spill of some kind. Our protagonist's parents died in the big accident, and now she takes care of herself and her sister by going into the Spill Zone and taking pictures to sell to collectors. Awesome motorcycle scenes, just the right amount of mystery and I recommend it for teens and adults.



Apocalypse Taco by Nathan Hale

The latest from Nathan Hale (of Hazardous Tale fame). When some kids take a break from drama club rehearsal to grab tacos for the group, things go wrong. I got to read an advance copy of this one and though I'm sure my science-savvy husband would roll his eyes . . .ahem . . . at the impossibility of some of the explanation for the apocalypse, I was thoroughly creeped out and finished it in one sitting.



Closed For the Season by Mary Downing Hahn 

It's been years since I read this book, but I remember thinking "Wow, that was dark! But, actually really good!" and also wondering if I had kudzu in my back yard, because of this book. I did NOT wonder if I should explore an abandoned amusement park. Mary Downing Hahn is prolific and I would definitely re-read this or try another one of her books. Closed for the season won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award. When I was at the bookstore the other day they had a table out for Halloween and it had 4 or 5 titles by Hahn on it, including this one.




Hidden by Helen Frost

This is a novel in verse, so a very quick read. The premise is that a convenience store holdup goes wrong and turns into a car heist. When the perpetrator gets home, the terrified girl who had been hiding in the back seat meets his own daughter. Years later, the two girls meet again at a summer camp. No fantasy element. I love the way that Frost's poetry activates the imagination for maximum tension. Appropriate for grade school and up, recommended for all ages.



Kindred by Octavia E Butler 

This graphic novel adaptation was absolutely unputdownable. A modern black woman is sucked into the past and back again. The mystery of why and how she time travels intertwines with the character development in such a perfect way. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole book. It would've been a top contender for me in the Cybils except I thought (and the ohter panelists agreed with me) the themes of this amazing adaptation are more "adult" than "YA." Recommended for adults.

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