The following booklist was featured in the Fall 2014 issue of Canadian Children’s Book News (get your copy here). Enjoy this selection of creepy tales for Halloween, compiled by CCBC Library Coordinator Meghan Howe.
Picture Books & Beginning Readers for Kindergarten and Up
| 13 Ghosts of Halloween
written by Robin Muller
illustrated by Patricia Storms
(Scholastic Canada, 2007)
Children visit a haunted funhouse, encounter a host of funny, spooky creatures and then vanish one by one. Sing the story to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” for maximum enjoyment.
Easy-to-Read Spooky Tales
| Ghost in the House
written by Ammi-Joan Paquette
illustrated by Adam Record
(Candlewick Press, 2013)
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 Haunted House that Jack Built
written by Helaine Becker
illustrated by David Parkins
(Scholastic Canada, 2010)
This fun twist on the classic rhyme is sure to enchant young audiences. Meet a host of characters dressed up in spooky costumes that scare and chase one another around the house that Jack built until they all settle in to eat their treats and reveal their true selves. A perfect Halloween read-aloud.
| Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween: A Safety Guide for Scaredies
written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt
(Kids Can Press, 2013)
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 stressés.
| A World Full of Ghosts
written by Charis Cotter
illustrated by Marc Mongeau
(Annick Press, 2009)
From skeleton spirits in Alaska to wandering gauchos in Argentina, tour the globe to discover what ghosts are up to, be it playful or spooky. Featuring luminous illustrations, this book gives young children a not-too-scary glimpse into the unknown.
Junior & Intermediate Non-Fiction and Fiction for Grades 2 to 8
| Alison’s Ghosts
written by Mary Alice Downie and John Downie
Alison is held captive by the powers of a mysterious pipe bowl belonging to a Mi’kmaq shaman. She must uncover the history of the pipe before she, too, is consumed by the grim fate of the pipe’s beholders.
| A Bad Case of Ghosts
(Barnes and the Brains)
written by Kenneth Oppel
illustrated by Victor Rivas Villa
(HarperCollins Canada, 2010)
Giles Barnes’s new house creaks and rustles though his mother insists there are no such things as ghosts. Giles enlists the help of his new neighbours, "local geniuses" Tina and Kevin Quark, and their quot;ghostometer" to get rid of the ghosts for good! Young readers will also like Oppel’s A Creepy Case of Vampires.
| The Dead Kid Detective Agency
written and illustrated by Evan Munday
(ECW Press, 2011)
Thirteen-year-old October Schwartz spends most of her time in the cemetery, where she meets five dead teenagers. When October’s French teacher dies in a suspicious car accident, October enlists the aid of her friends to solve the mystery. They soon find themselves involved in a murder plot and on an adventure to uncover the truth about a 40-year-old explosion.
| The Giant Bear: An Inuit Folktale
written by Jose Angutinngurniq
illustrated by Eva Widermann
(Inhabit Media Inc., 2012)
One of the most frightening creatures to be found in traditional Inuit stories is the nanurluk, a massive bear that lives under the sea ice. Its monstrous size and ice-covered fur make it a terrifying foe. But when a lone hunter spots the breathing hole of a nanurluk on the sea ice near his iglu, he uses his quick thinking and excellent hunting skills to hatch a plan to outsmart the deadly bear.
| Haunted Canada Ghost Stories
written by Pat Hancock and Allan Gould
(Scholastic Canada, 2014)
Turn the lights down low, lock the door and prepare to be spooked! This collection of ghostly tales will send chills up your spine. The top 15 stories from Grim and Ghostly Stories and Strange and Spooky Stories now revised and updated, plus a creepy new story by Pat Hancock.
| Sinister Scenes
(The Joy of Spooking)
written by P.J. Bracegirdle
(Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011)
Spooking, the terrible town on the hideous hill, has been overrun by an army of disruptive outsiders. But Joy Wells doesn’t mind because the interlopers have come to shoot a horror movie. When the star of the movie disappears, Joy steps into the role and into a real-life horror when her co-star gives a terrifying, unscripted performance. Will Joy’s old enemy, Mr. Phipps, be willing to help her out? Young readers will also want to read the first two books – Fiendish Deeds and Unearthly Asylum.
| That One Spooky Night
written by Dan Bar-el
illustrated by David Huyck
(Kids Can Press, 2012)
There can only be one night a year when a broom will go in search of a witch, when mermaids might swim in a bathtub and when a house party could get a little too batty. Here are three strange stories about that one spooky night!
| This House is Haunted
written by Maureen Bayless
illustrated by Janet Wilson
(Scholastic Canada, 2011)
Howard has moved into a new house. Well, a new old house. It has 29 creepy rooms and even a ghost! Howard will do anything to get rid of the ghost—even if that means facing a bully. Originally published in 1993, by Scholastic Canada as Howard’s House is Haunted in the Shooting Stars series.
Senior Fiction for Grades 7 and Up
| End of Days: Night Runner II
written by Max Turner
(HarperCollins Canada, 2010)
As Zachariah Thomson, his best friend, Charlie, and the lovely Luna all learn how to cope with being vampires, a mysterious creature appears. As it dismantles the network of support around Zack, he learns he is the subject of an ancient prophecy that relates to the End of Days. Zack is forced to re-examine what it means to be good at a time when only the strong and ruthless can survive. This is the sequel to Night Runner.
written by Barbara Haworth-Attard
Like her Gran, Dee has “the Sight,” the skill to see spirits from the afterlife and experience their earlier deaths — something that grows more terrifying as events take sinister turns. While trying to aid with the investigation of girls who have gone missing, Dee is pulled into a mystery that soon strikes frighteningly close to home.
written by Kathleen Peacock
(Katherine Tegen Books, 2012)
After Mackenzie’s best friend, Amy, is brutally murdered by a white werewolf, Mackenzie begins to be haunted by Amy in her dreams. Desperate to put an end to the nightmares, Mackenzie decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself, but this puts her own life at risk. Will the secrets she discovers about her friends Kyle and Amy and her hometown of Hemlock give her the answers she seeks?
| The Horrors: Terrifying Tales, Book One
edited by Peter Carver
(Red Deer Press, 2005)
A collection of 15 spine-tingling tales written by some of Canada’s leading writers for teens, including Don Aker, Brian Doyle, Kathy Stinson, Martine Leavitt and Karleen Bradford. Teen readers will also want to read The Horrors: Terrifying Tales, Book Two.
| The Night Wanderer: A Graphic Novel
written by Drew Hayden Taylor
adapted by Alison Kooistra
illustrated by Michael Wyatt
(Annick Press, 2013)
Tiffany is having relationship problems and issues with both her mom and dad. She feels hopeless and alone — until a mysterious stranger, Pierre L’Errant, enters the picture. Little does Tiffany know that Pierre is a vampire who has returned home to die. Her chilling encounter with the dying Pierre, however, helps her come to terms with her own troubles.
| Plain Kate
written by Erin Bow
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2010
Plain Kate lives in a world of magic and curses, where cats can talk and shadows can reincarnate the dead. It is a hostile place that strips her of everything she holds dear. But when that world falls prey to a vengeful madman, Kate knows she must become the heroine within her.
| The Summoning
written by Kelley Armstrong
(Doubleday Canada, 2008)
Chloe Saunders used to have a relatively normal life. But now she finds herself in the middle of some really strange situations. When she suddenly starts seeing dead people, she gets locked up in Lyle House, a group home for unstable teens. But the group home isn’t quite what it appears to be. Teens will also want to read the sequels – The Awakening and The Reckoning.