YA supernatural baddies


Looking for a book to send a chill down your spine? These four new novels involving creepy paranormal characters are perfect for the occasion. Abandoning university for a (failed) archaeological dig in the Carpathian Mountains, Abigail Rook, star of William Ritter’s Jackaby, finds herself aboard a ship bound for America. Landing in the town of […]

Off-the-wall picture books


Here are some off-the-wall books for the Halloween season, from funny and not-very-scary for younger readers to suspenseful and weird for older readers. In Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Dog and Bear: Tricks and Treats, best friends Dog and Bear prepare for and enjoy Halloween. They go shopping for costumes (Bear gets distracted when he spies “another […]

Eerie places

lindelauf_nine open arms

A creepy space can go a long way toward creating the tone for a scary story. These novels all transport readers to places that are likely to give them the willies. A building is the main character in Benny Lindelauf’s Dutch import Nine Open Arms. A family of nine moves into the titular rundown brick […]

Five questions for Julie Berry

Photo: Bruce Lucier

Julie Berry’s 2013 book All the Truth That’s In Me (Viking, 14 years and up) is a dark, claustrophobic — and beautiful — novel set seemingly out of time and narrated (in her own head) by a young woman whose tongue was cut out by a captor she escaped. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place […]

Happy Halloween!

art by Abigail Larson

It may not be known as “the most wonderful time of the year,” but we happen to think Halloween-time is pretty great. If you haven’t already heard about All Hallow’s Read, it’s definitely time you did! Created by Neil Gaiman in 2010, “All Hallow’s Read is a Hallowe’en tradition. It’s simply that in the week […]

Braaaaiiiiiiiin busters

plants vs zombies game

I’m a little — okay, a lot — addicted to the recently released Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time by developer PopCap Games. The original Plants vs. Zombies has been steadily expanding from computers and home gaming consoles to Facebook and various mobile platforms since its introduction in 2009 — apparently I am the […]

Baby Horn BOO!

five black cats

We’ve recommended lots of Halloween-y picture books, easy readers, chapter books, and YA novels in the last few weeks (see “From the Guide: Slightly Spooky Middle-Grade Tales,” our updated recommended Halloween reading list, and “Horn BOO!“). But what about the board-book crowd? Here are four recent silly and sweet choices for the youngest trick-or-treaters. In […]

Ghoulies and ghosties…

trick or treat a happy haunter's halloween

…and beasties of many kinds can be found on our newly updated Halloween reading list. From silly picture books to spine-tingling YA, there’s something festive for every young reader. All of the titles included were published in the last few years and recommended by The Horn Book Magazine. What are you reading — and sharing […]

Recommended reading for Halloween

click clack boo

The books recommended below, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine, were published within the last several years. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For even more spooky recommended reads, click on the tag Halloween books.   Picture Books Suggested grade level listed with each entry. Click, Clack, Boo! […]


october notes

October’s Notes from the Horn Book is all Halloween, all the time. Mwa-ha-ha-ha! In this issue, I ask vampire queen Holly Black five questions about her new YA novel, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Other treats in store for you: • more YA with dark, well-developed characters • silly Halloween picture books • primary books […]