Books mentioned in the October 2013 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Holly Black Doll Bones written by Holly Black, illus. by Eliza Wheeler, McElderry, 8–12 years. The Spiderwick Chronicles series written by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, illus. by Tony DiTerlizzi, Simon, 8–12 years. Modern Faerie Tales series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside) by Holly Black, McElderry, 13–16 years. The Good Neighbors series (Kin, […]

More silly than spooky

ten orange pumpkins

Cheery colors, gentle humor, and friendly monsters (or pals in costume!) keep these picture books for the youngest trick-or-treaters light on tricks and heavy on treats. Halloween book meets counting book in Stephen Savage’s Ten Orange Pumpkins. Rhyming text counts down through a mildly “spooky night” as, one by one, nine pumpkins disappear; the last […]

Darkness inside

hideous love

Horror fans rejoice! In addition to plenty of thrills and chills, these four books for teens offer protagonists with complex motives and dark impulses. Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein follows Mary Godwin Shelley’s life from her infatuation with Percy Bysshe Shelley through their scandalous elopement, penury, travels, the writing of […]

Boo! Participation encouraged

spooky friends

An easy reader, a seek-and-find, and two poetry books bring Halloween silliness to early elementary readers. Eager participation is anticipated. “Scarlet and Igor were very good friends. The trouble was, they could never agree on anything,” begins early reader Spooky Friends by Jane Feder. In three brief stories, vampire Scarlet and mummy Igor first argue, […]

Non-gory scary stories

wicked cruel

Many middle graders and middle schoolers like their scary books creepy… but not terrifying. The following titles fit the bill, incorporating some humor, some shivers, and a minimum of gore. The star of John Bemelmans Marciano’s The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddenfield comes from a long line of miscreants (“To say that the Baddenfield family […]

Deck Z

deck z

Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon’s adult novel Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead. (Chronicle, September 2012) begins in early April, 1912, when German pathologist Theodor Weiss is summoned to Manchuria to investigate what appears to be a particularly virulent strain of plague. Weiss takes a recently infected victim to a laboratory to study the disease, […]

Review of Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat by Leo Landry; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Houghton     32 pp. 8/12     978-0-547-24969-8     $12.99 Landry’s cheery watercolor and pencil illustrations and calm palette signal that this Halloween story is more treat than trick; together, the straightforward text and simple compositions build suspense and inject humor […]

New Halloween recommended reads

Trick or Treat

‘Tis the season for ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties, so we’ve updated our Halloween reading list with lots of books that go bump in the night. These titles were all published within the last few years and recommended by The Horn Book Magazine. There’s something for everybody, whether you’re looking for silly, scary, or […]

October Notes is creepy and kooky

notes october 2012

…mysterious and spooky for Halloween! This month we’ve got 5 questions for Libba Bray on her spine-tingling new supernatural novel The Diviners, plus – more quirky fantasy for YA – four new not-creepy picture books – silly (and a little scary) chapter books – human body—dead and alive—nonfiction books Read our monthly newsletter Notes from […]

Books that go bump in the night: recommended Halloween reading

The Graveyard Book

The books recommended below were published within the last several years. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.   Picture Books Suggested grade level listed with each entry. There’s No Such Thing as Ghosts! by Emmanuelle Eeckhout (Kane/Miller) A boy, armed with his trusty butterfly net, goes ghost-hunting at a […]