It’s almost Halloween time, so I think this week I’ll feature some spooky middle-grade novels that I really want to read. I don’t just read darker books in October, it’s kind of an all year around thing for me and I think middle-grade has some of the best offerings for spooky novels. Lots of atmosphere, great characters and cool adventures. I can’t wait to dig into these!
Head’s up, some of these can only be bought from Book Depository at the moment. Not sure if they have only been released in the UK and will be coming to North America eventually or what, but if you are interested in any – you might want to check there. They also have the cuter covers LOL No, I’m not an affiliate.
* All synopsis snippets were taken from Goodreads.
Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
We Need Diverse Books founder Ellen Oh returns with Spirit Hunters, a high-stakes middle grade mystery series about Harper Raine, the new seventh grader in town who must face down the dangerous ghosts haunting her younger brother. A riveting ghost story and captivating adventure, this tale will have you guessing at every turn!
This one caught my eye because Ellen Oh wrote it, so I know their will be some fantastic diverse representation and I love a good sibling story.
A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan
Who wants to live in a town where everyone has to wear glasses to stop them going blind? And who wants to be neat and tidy and perfectly behaved all the time?
Ok, the cover was the thing that drew me in initially – how freaking cute is that cover? The synposis is what sold it to me though. I love creepy, perfect neighbour, where not everything is what it seems stories.
The Ghouls of Howlfair by Nick Tomlinson
Molly Thompson has lots of questions. Questions like, is her Aunt Carol an undead fiend who drinks the blood of the living? Is she secretly lurking in the attic? And is Molly’s friend Lowry a descendant of a long line of Kroglin werewolves?
The wonderful Lilyfae gave this a great review on her site and when she says it’s good, I know it’s good. I love monster type stories and this one just seems like a fun and light one.
The Switching Hour by Damaris Young
Amaya lives with her grandmother, her small brother Kaleb and
her pet goat in a land suffering a terrible drought.
Every night, the doors must be locked after twilight, the Switching
Hour, because the drought has awoken Badeko, a creature that snatches
people away to eat their dreams.
I mean this one just sounds kind of terrifying honestly. A creature that is an eater of dreams – if that isn’t the stuff of nightmares, I don’t know what is! I’m so in! Also, Lilyfae directly recommended this one to me, so it’s one I’ll be getting for sure.
Bag of Bones by Marina Cohen
Twelve-year-old Kallie despises nonsense. She believes there’s a rational explanation for everything, despite the good-natured prodding of her Grandpa Jess, who takes her to frivolous wastes of time like their town’s local Festival of Fools. There, Kallie meets a faceless man (must be some kind of mask) who gives her a strange wooden puzzle box (must be some kind of gimmick). Intrigued despite herself, Kallie sets to work on unlocking its secrets and…lets something out.
This one looks a little more like dark fantasy but I’ve read Marina’s past two books and this author goes DARK, like really dark. Her reviews are always mixed because of the fact that you don’t always get happy endings with her and that is why I’m so into this author’s work.
Malamander by Thomas Taylor
No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander.
Unsure how creepy this one will be but you can tell it will be lots of great atmosphere and anything underwater honestly creeps me out, so it has that going for it from the start. I know Owlcrate Jr picked it as their book of the month recently, I’m just dying to read it.
Potkin and Stubbs by Sophie Green
In the corrupt metropolis of Peligan City, Lil Potkin, a determined young reporter, is on the lookout for a scoop. One rainy night she meets Nedly, the ghost of a boy that no one else can see. Nedly has been looking for someone to believe in him ever since the investigation into his disappearance went cold. When they discover that his death is connected to a series of mysterious murders, Lil and Nedly set out to expose those responsible, with the help of a down-on-his luck private investigator, who might hold a clue to Lil’s hidden past.
I love supernatural detective stories with children or young adults, so I’m really looking forward to this one. Also, love the film noir vibes the cover gives me. I actually just ordered it off Book Depository recently.
The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner
Made of dust and bone and imagination, Irréelle fears she’s not quite real. Only the finest magical thread tethers her to life—and to Miss Vesper. But for all her efforts to please her cruel creator, the thread is unraveling. Irréelle is forgetful as she gathers bone dust. She is slow returning from the dark passages beneath the cemetery. Worst of all, she is unmindful of her crooked bones.
I mean the title alone makes me want to read it, gives me chills. I honestly don’t even know much about this book. I just know it looks creepy as hell and there are cool illustrations inside!
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab (Cassidy Blake #2)
When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.
I adored the first book, so I’m excited to read the second one. I’ve asked for it for Christmas, so fingers crossed!
Dead Spaces (Small Spaces #2) by Katherine Arden
Ollie, Coco, and Brian are determined to make the best of being snowed in, but odd things keep happening. Coco is convinced she has seen a ghost, and Ollie is having nightmares about frostbitten girls pleading for help. Then Mr. Voland, a mysterious ghost hunter, arrives in the midst of the storm to investigate the hauntings at Hemlock Lodge. Ollie, Coco, and Brian want to trust him, but Ollie’s watch, which once saved them from the smiling man, has a new cautionary message: BEWARE.
This is another one where I read the first book and loved it, so I’m dying to read the second one. Frostbitten girls sounds pretty creepy, so I’m predicting a five star read for me on this one.
Ok, that is my list for now! Have you read any of these? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations for me? I’m all ears! I love finding out about new spooky middle -grade novels, or even olders ones I may have overlooked!! Give me those recs!