Happy (almost) Halloween from The Horn BOooOOooOOk

roger with masquerade mask

Tomorrow’s Halloween, which means it’s time for a few of our favorite bookish Halloween traditions! Namely… All Hallow’s Read This tradition — started by author Neil Gaiman waaaaayyy back in the olden days of 2010 — simply consists of giving scary books in the week leading up to Halloween. (Instead of candy?!, you ask. No, […]

The Boy Meets Girl Massacre (Annotated)

hogarth_boy meets girl massacre annotated

I was initially drawn to Ainslie Hogarth’s The Boy Meets Girl Massacre (Annotated) because it’s almost Halloween, and I was in the mood for something spooky or unsettling. I was also intrigued by the nonlinear format. This gross-out YA paperback original did turn out to be unsettling…but not quite in the way I had hoped. […]

Toca Boo app review

toca boo candle

Just in time for Halloween, little ones can play Toca Boo (Toca Boca, 2014), a virtual version of that thing where you sneak up on someone and yell “Boo!” A little red-spectacled girl pulls a sheet over her head and floats around her dark-and-shadowy house looking for victims; readers use their finger to lead her […]

Cuckoo’s song


I discovered the podcast “Lore” yesterday, and I’m already eleven episodes in. Created by supernatural thriller author Aaron Mahnke, “Lore” tells real-life stories behind or informed by scary folklore, urban legends, and other creepy tales. Thus far, it’s covered the requisite vampires (this particular case taking place in colonial Massachusetts), werewolves (in medieval Germany), and […]

Halloween 2015: tricks and treats for all ages

#AuthorAskYourself: IF THIS WAS THE EFFECT YOU INTENDED. -Roger Sutton

“When witches clean their closets out / and find their riding brooms…” You know it’s Halloween! Here are some recommended new books from The Horn Book that are sure to please trick-or-treaters of all ages. Tiny pumpkins: Board book roundup fall 2015: Halloween books for toddlers Little ghosties: Horn Boo! 2015: recommended new picture books […]

Board Book Roundup: Fall 2015 Edition: Halloween

henkes_kitten's first full  moon

This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine. Halloween ABC by Sarah Albee; illus. by Julia Woolf […]

October’s Notes from the Horn BoooOOOOoook

oct 2015 nfthb

The October issue of Notes from the Horn Book is here! This month (just in time for El Día de los Muertos!) we’ve got 5Q for Duncan Tonatiuh on Funny Bones, plus (just in time for Halloween): picture book tricks and treats books on mixed-up magic for intermediate readers creepy middle-grade fantasy YA horror short […]

Not-scary magic

heppermann_sadie's story

Not everyone wants the pants scared off of them on Halloween. Some people like their witches sweet and their HobGrackles cuddly. Sadie’s Story, the first in the Backyard Witch series by Christine Heppermann and Ron Koertge, introduces readers to nine-year-old Sadie, her cat — and the small witch who takes up residence in the plastic […]

Tricks and treats

seeger_i used to be afraid

Spiders, trolls, mummified cats, and monsters with three heads. Oh, my! Perfect for Halloween story hours, here are four new picture books that will give young audiences something to be (not too) frightened about. For more new recommended Halloween picture books, see 2015 Horn Boo! I Used to Be Afraid by Laura Vaccaro Seeger is […]

From the Guide: YA Horror


This year’s “Horn BOO!,” our annual roundup of Halloween-y books, will satisfy the spook-loving picture-book set. Teen readers — those with a more mature taste in fright, greater immunity to fear, and, in some cases, seriously strong stomachs — should check out these horror novels from the spring and fall 2015 issues of The Horn […]