Theme Guide: Halloween

October isn’t just any month, it’s the month of Halloween! If you’re like us and love everything spooky, you’ll love these Halloween reads by Canadian creators.

Picture Books

The Ghosts Go Spooking
Written by Chrissy Bozak
Illustrated by Patricia Storms
Scholastic Canada, 2015
ISBN 978-1-4431-3904-5
IL: Ages 3-8 RL: Grades 1-2

It’s Halloween night and the ghosts are marching in! Little ghosts go trick-or-treating by ones, twos and up to 10 in this spooky and fun-filled take on “The Ants Go Marching.” Young readers will find ghostly silhouettes and other spooky objects hidden in the illustrations to count along the way! This title is also available in French as Le défilé des fantômes.

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Go To Sleep, Little Creep
Written by David Quinn
Illustrated by Ashley Spires
Crown Books for Young Readers, 2018
ISBN 978-1-1019-3944-4
IL: Ages 2-5 RL: Grade 1

Even monsters have to go to sleep. But before little trolls turn out the light and werewolves settle in to dream, there’s fur to be brushed, pajamas to find, and moons that need howling. So grab your cuddly critter and snuggle in for this new bedtime tradition. Debut storyteller David B. Quinn teams up with bestselling author/illustrator Ashley Spires to create a wondrously funny and supremely sweet picture book sure to charm little creeps who aren’t quite ready to fall asleep.

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Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween
Written and illustrated by Melanie Watt
Kids Can Press, 2013
ISBN 978-1-8947-8687-4
IL: Ages 4-8 RL: Grades 2-3

“Halloween is creeping up quickly,” warns everyone’s favourite worrywart, “and it’s time to gather the courage to face the ghoulish festivities!” From costume ideas to trick-or-treating strategies, Scaredy Squirrel helps readers plan for the spookiest night of the year!

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Sir Simon Super Scarer
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Tundra Books, 2018
ISBN 978-1-101-91909-4
IL: Ages 4-8 RL: Grades 2-3

A delightful, funny story of friendship, ghost chores, a spooky house and a professional haunter. Meet Sir Simon, Super Scarer. He’s a professional ghost who has been transferred to his first house. And just in time! He was getting tired of haunting bus stops and forests and potatoes. And to top it off, this house is occupied by an old lady — they’re the easiest to haunt! But things don’t go as planned when it turns out a KID comes with this old lady.

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Junior & Intermediate Fiction

The Doll’s Eye
Written by Marina Cohen
Illustrated by Nicolette Ceccoli
Roaring Brook Press, 2017
ISBN 978-1-62672-204-0
IL: Ages 10-12 RL: Grades 4-5

Hadley wants her old life back. She doesn’t want to live in this musty old house with her new stepfather and stepbrother. Skulking in the attic one night, Hadley finds a lone glass eye and a mysterious dollhouse with a family of perfect dolls. Holding the eye, Hadley wishes her family were more like those lovely dolls! Her wish will change her world forever.

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The Ghost Road
Written by Charis Cotter
Tundra Books, 2018
ISBN 978-1-101-91889-0
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grade 5

For the first time, Ruth is heading to Newfoundland to stay with family she’s never met instead of spending the summer travelling with her dad. Ruth’s cousin Ruby is also staying for the summer, and the two discover they have a lot in common: they both lost their moms when they were two years old, they’re the same age and they even like the same food. When they find ominous information on some tombstones in the local cemetery, Ruth and Ruby start investigating their family’s past and the rumours of a family curse.

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Laura Monster Crusher
Written by Wesley King
Puffin Canada, 2017
ISBN 978-0-670-07002-2
IL: Ages 10-12 RL: Grades 4-5

When Laura’s family moves to a fixer upper in a new town for grade eight, she expects more of the same: kids bullying her about her weight. What she doesn’t expect is making real friends for the first time or being given the most important job in the world: Monster Crusher. Her new role? To protect the world from the horrors beneath the Earth.

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The Nest
Written by Keneth Oppel
Illustrated 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.

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Young Adult Fiction

Moments after several huge earthquakes shake every continent on Earth, something strange starts happening to some people. An inner rage has been released and some people cannot fight it. For those who can, life becomes an ongoing battle to survive — at any cost!

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The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim
Written by Shane Peacock
Tundra Books, 2016
ISBN 978-0-7352-6311-6
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grade 7

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 ragtag crew of friends, Edgar sets out on his dark mission.

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This Dark Endeavor : The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein
Written by Kenneth Oppel
HarperCollins Publishers, 2011
ISBN 978-1-5546-8339-0
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 7-8

In this prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor’s twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling to give up on his brother, Victor enlists his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and best friend Henry on a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life. Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn.

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Through the Woods
Written and illustrated by Emily Carrol
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2014
ISBN 978-1-4424-6596-1
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 9-10

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection featuring five hauntingly beautiful, spine-tingling graphic stories, including webcomic sensation “His Face All Red.” These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll. Come, take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you.

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Non-Fiction

Haunted Canada 8: More Chilling True Tales
(Haunted Canada)
Written by Joel Sutherland
Illustrated by Mark Savona
Scholastic Canada, 2018
ISBN 978-1-4431-4883-2
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 5-7

The eighth book in the bestselling series of hauntingly true Canadian stories — back, and scarier than ever! These chilling true tales from across Canada will keep you up at night. Moody black-and-white illustrations and archival photos bring these shockingly compelling true stories to life.

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Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein
Written by Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Tundra Books, 2018
ISBN 978-1-77049-559-3
IL: Ages 8 and up RL: Grades 3

The inspiring story of the girl behind one of the greatest novels — and monsters — ever, perfectly timed for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein. For fans for picture book biographies such as I Dissent or She Persisted. A riveting and atmospheric picture book about the young woman who wrote one of the greatest horror novels ever written and one of the first works of science fiction, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein is an exploration of the process of artistic inspiration that will galvanize readers and writers of all ages.

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