Spooktacular Halloween Reads

Trick or read! Halloween is coming soon, and to get you in the spooky mood, we have a list of 16 Canadian reads for young readers of all ages. Pick up one of these great books at your local bookstore or library.

Picture Books


Frankenstink: Garbage Gone Bad
Written and illustrated by Ron Lightburn
Tundra Books, 2015
ISBN 978-1-77049-694-1
IL: Ages 4-8 RL: Grades 2-3
A boy who ignores the growing pile of trash under his bed is awakened one night as the garbage transforms and mutates into a greedy, disgusting monster, devouring everything in its path! Is it just a dream? The monster that feeds on “a mountainous salad of plastic and goo” is a hilarious example of what could happen if we don’t compost and recycle!


Ghost in the House
Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette
Illustrated by Adam Record
Candlewick Press, 2013
ISBN 978-0-7636-5529-7
IL: Ages 3-7 RL: Grades 2-3
Boo! Watch out for this rollicking, cumulative counting book for a Halloween treat that’s more playful than scary. Kids will love this little ghost who “goes slip-slide with a swoop and a glide” as he meets a mummy, a monster, a skeleton, a witch and finally a little boy who sends the ghost and his friends running.


The Ghosts Go Spooking
Written by Chrissy Bozik
Illustrated by Patricia Storms
Scholastic Canada, 2015
ISBN 978-1-4431-3904-5
IL: Ages 3-8 RL: Grades 1-2
This Halloween version of “The Ants Go Marching” shows 10 little ghosts dressed up and heading to a costume party. Observant readers will find silhouettes to count along the way until each of the 10 ghosts has joined the party, and other spooky objects for counting hidden in the illustrations. This title is also available in French as Le défilé des fantômes. A perfect companion to 13 Ghosts of Halloween.


Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween: A Safety Guide for Scaredies
Written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt
Kids Can Press, 2013
ISBN 978-1-894786-87-4
IL: Ages 5-10 RL: Grades 2-3
Scaredy Squirrel helps readers prepare for the spookiest night of the year with everything from costume ideas and trick-or-treating strategies to decorations and a party-planning guide! This is the second in a series of nutty safety guides featuring everyone’s favourite worrywart. This title is also available in French as Frisson l’écureuil se prépare pour l’Halloween: Un guide de sécurité pour les stresses.

Junior & Intermediate Fiction


The Ghost and Max Monroe: Case #3, The Dirty Trick
(The Ghost and Max Monroe, Book 3)
Written by L.M. Falcone
Illustrations by Kim Smith
Kids Can Press, 2015
ISBN 978-1-77138-019-5
IL: Ages 6-9 RL: Grades 2-3
Max’s favourite author, Rhonda Remington, has called the Monroe Detective Agency looking for help! It’s the night of the big storytelling competition, and Rhonda received a note warning her of a dirty trick! The clock is ticking… can Max, 10-year-old super sleuth, and his ghost sidekick, Uncle Larry, solve the mystery? There is lots of mayhem and misunderstanding in this hilarious whodunit.


Written by Arthur Slade
HarperCollins Publishers, 2016
ISBN 978-1-44341-665-8
IL: Ages 11-14 RL: Grades 6-7
Orphaned twins Isabelle and Beatrice live in 1920s Hollywood as wards of the mysterious and influential director, Mr. Cecil. Isabelle, a beautiful actress, is starring in the first talking picture — a horror flick showcasing her famous (silent) scream. Curious Beatrice, hidden away because of baldness and birthmarks, discovers Mr. Cecil’s sinister scorpion hornets and learns their guardian has dark designs for the film and her sister.


The Inn Between
Written by Marina Cohen
Illustrations by Sarah Watts
Roaring Brook Press, 2016
ISBN 978-1-62672-202-6
IL: Ages 11-13 RL: Grades 5-6
Quinn is on one last trip with her best friend, Kara, before Kara and her family move away. They stop at a Victorian inn that gives Quinn the creeps. Disturbing things occur, then Kara’s parents and brother mysteriously disappear. The girls are left to navigate strange guests, hallways that twist back on t themselves, and something nasty lurking beneath the floorboards. Can they solve the mystery of what happened to Kara’s family and escape?


The Nest
Written by Kenneth Oppel
Illustrations by Jon Klassen
HarperCollins Publishers, 2015
ISBN 978-1-44343-862-9
IL: Ages 11-14 RL: Grades 6-7
In this beautiful, menacing novel, an anxious boy becomes convinced that angels will save his sick baby brother. But these are creatures of a different kind, and their plan for the baby has a twist. Layer by layer, he unravels the truth about his new friends as the time remaining to save his brother ticks down. Evocative, disquieting illustrations enhance this journey into one boy’s deepest insecurities and darkest fears.

Young Adult Fiction


The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim
(The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim, Book 1)
Written by Shane Peacock
Tundra Books, 2016
ISBN 978-1-77049-698-9
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 7-8
Edgar Brim has always suffered from nightly terrors, exposed to tales of horror by his father. As a frightened orphan he is sent to a gloomy school in Scotland where he is bullied for his fears. Years later, Edgar finds his father’s journal and learns that monsters from famous works of literature are real. Along with a rag-tag crew of friends, Edgar sets about on his dark mission.


Dead Girls Don’t
Written by Mags Storey
ChiTeen, 2015
ISBN 978-1-77148-306-3
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 9-10
Liv can talk to the dead, so it should be easy to discover who’s killing her classmates. But all the clues lead to Adam — the oh-so-hot fugitive she’s been hiding in a coffin. As bodies pile up, she’ll have to match wits with the ghosts of the dead bullies — some with deadly agendas of their own. Liv needs answers before she ends up the next bloody victim!


Written by Natasha Deen
Great Plains Teen Fiction, 2016
ISBN 978-1-927855-39-3
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 8-9
After solving her first murder, Maggie Johnson and her soul brother, Serge Popov, need some peace and quiet to figure out… well, everything. But the dead won’t wait. Especially a dead guy like Kent Thomas — a good kid who excelled at school and whom everybody liked. Who tossed him off a cliff? Maggie’s determined to find the killer… without ending up just like the soul she’s trying to save.


The Unquiet Past
Written by Kelley Armstrong
Orca Book Publishers, 2015
ISBN 978-1-4598-0654-2
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 7-8
Tess has always been tormented by waking visions. After the orphanage she lives in burns down, she follows the single clue she has to her parentage and travels to a crumbling mansion in rural Quebec. There she discovers evidence of mistreatment of mental patients. She makes an unlikely ally and unearths her family’s sad history — finally accepting the truth about her paranormal powers.



Haunted Canada 6: More Terrifying True Stories
(Haunted Canada)
Written by Joel A. Sutherland
Illustrated by Norman Lanting
ISBN 978-1-4431-4878-8
IL: Ages 9-14 RL: Grades 4-5
(Scholastic Canada, 2016)
Don’t turn out the lights! Joel Sutherland returns for the frightful sixth instalment of the Haunted Canada series. These terrifying true stories from across Canada will keep you up at night. A supernatural sea hag haunts an eerie marsh, a used book conjures up a ghostly figure, phantom hands terrorize children in a school playground… Prepare to be haunted!


Monster Science: Could Monsters Survive (and Thrive) in the Real World?
Written by Helaine Becker
Illustrated by Phil McAndrew
Kids Can Press, 2016
ISBN 978-1-77138-054-6
IL: Ages 8-12 RL: Grades 3-4
Frankenstein, vampires, bigfoot, zombies, werewolves, sea monsters — they’re not real, right? But what if they were? How would science explain their existence? In this totally original book, these mythical creatures are put under the microscope, one by one, and the scientific principles that prove or disprove their plausibility are explained.


Strange Light Afar: Tales of the Supernatural from Old Japan
Written by Rui Umezawa
Illustrated by Mikiko Fujita
Groundwood Books, 2015
ISBN 978-1-55498-723-8
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 6-7
A samurai who makes the ultimate sacrifice, a cold-hearted husband, a monk who mistakes desire for piety, a fraudulent merchant who meets his match in a supernatural river otter — these strange, eerie and unforgettable stories take their inspiration from Japanese storytelling traditions. Master storyteller Rui Umezawa revisits eight Japanese folktales, delving beneath their plot lines to highlight the psychological motivations behind the characters’ actions.


Those That Cause Fear
Written by Neil Christopher
Illustrated by Germaine Arnaktauyok
Iqaluit: Inhabit Media, 2016
ISBN 978-1-77227-085-3
IL: Ages 7-10 RL: Grades 3-4
This book introduces kids to the spine-tingling, hair-raising creatures found in Inuit myths. From the mahahaa, a fearsome creature that tickles people to death, to the palraijuq, a reptilian creature said to have six legs and the body of a snake, this book introduces kids to all the creepy, spooky and downright scary creatures that populate Inuit traditional myths.