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Blood and gore (for Halloween!)


Bedell, J. M.  So, You Want to Work with the Ancient and Recent Dead?: Unearthing Careers from Paleontology to Forensic Science Gr. 4–6, middle school     248 pp.     Simon/Aladdin/Beyond Words Be What You Want series. “Think your Goth lifestyle is a predictor of your future vocation”? This broad series installment examines fields centered on dead things […]

If There’s Something Strange in the Neighborhood…

charlie brown pumpkin ghost

I’ve been collecting Halloween-y type books for a few years, and when my kids were old enough to understand the significance of the candy-fueled holiday, they really got into reading about ghosts and goblins and trick-or-treating mishaps. We’ve actually made something of a tradition of bringing out the Halloween books at the beginning of October, […]

Ghosts and witches and wizards, oh my!


What better time of year to curl up with a creepy book and a cup of cocoa to ward off the supernatural shivers? These middle-school novels provide just the right balance of adventure and eeriness — along with a few magical villains (or are they?) — for deliciously spooky fall reads. Set in late-nineteenth-century imperial […]

Historical horror stories

berry_passion of dolssa

History buffs and horror fans alike will appreciate these YA books about characters facing their own demons — of the metaphysical, metaphorical, or, most disturbingly, human varieties. In The Passion of Dolssa, author Julie Berry tells the story of (fictional) Catholic mystic Dolssa de Stigata after she escapes being burned as a heretic in 1241 […]

Monster mash


What goes bump in the night? Maybe it’s a monster, but maybe it’s a new friend — or maybe it’s both! These monstrously silly picture books are perfect treats for a Halloween story time. In Monica Brown’s Marisol McDonald and the Monster / Marisol McDonald y el monstruo, the little-girl protagonist explores words beginning with […]

Horn BOO! 2016

caswell_boo haiku

Not sure what to read on Halloween? Never fear! 
We’ve got you covered with picture books about ghosts, bats, and…trucks? Boo! Haiku by Deanna Caswell; illus. by Bob Shea Preschool    Abrams Appleseed    24 pp. 8/16    978-1-4197-2118-2    $12.95 Caswell and Shea return to the format of their earlier book, Guess Who, Haiku, and make it spooky […]

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 […]