Here Are The 2024 Summer Scares Titles For a Summer of Excellent Horror Reading

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Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

In celebration of National Library Lover’s Day, the Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, Booklist, and NoveList®, a division of EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO), is delighted to announce the sixth annual Summer Scares reading list, which includes titles selected by a panel of authors and library workers and is designed to promote Horror as a great reading option for all ages, during any time of the year.

summer scares logo 2024

This year, Summer Scares welcomes author Clay McLeod Chapman as the 2024 spokesperson. “Our bookshelves are getting haunted this summer!” exclaims Chapman. “Every last one of the books selected for this year’s Summer Scares is a beautiful little nightmare just waiting for the right reader to come along and crack it open. The outright honor of amassing this awesome roster of authors cannot be overstated. I love each and every last one of these books and I can’t wait to shout about how terrifying they are all summer long.”

Each year, three titles are selected in each of three categories: Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. For 2024 the selected titles are:

collage of adult summer scares 2024 book covers

Adult Selections

  • Jackal by Erin E. Adams (Bantam, 2022)
summer scares cover collage for ya book titles

Young Adult Selections

  • Dead Flip by Sara Farizan (Algonquin Young Readers, 2022)
summer scares middle grade book cover collage

Middle Grade Selections

  • The Nest by Kenneth Oppel (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015)

The goal of Summer Scares is to introduce Horror titles to school and public library workers in order to help them start conversations with readers that will extend beyond the books from each list and promote reading for years to come. In addition to the annual list of recommended titles, the Summer Scares Programming Guide, created each year by the Springfield-Greene County (MO) Library — and free for libraries anywhere to access, is back with the tools libraries need to connect with their patrons.

“The 2024 guide is packed with ideas that library workers can use to engage their communities with these great titles, whether they’re putting up book displays, hosting author events, or planning an entire Summer Scares program series,” states Konrad Stump, co-creator of the programming guide. The guide will be available beginning March 1, 2024, on the Summer Scares Resource page at https://raforallhorror.blogspot.com/p/summer-scares.html

Along with the guide, the Summer Scares committee will work with both the recommended list authors and Horror authors from all over the country to provide free programming to libraries. Any library looking to host horror-themed events any time of year is encouraged to email libraries@horror.org to get started.

2024 summer scares book cover collage

Once again, Summer Scares will be included as part of iRead, a summer reading program that is used by libraries in the United States and across the globe by the Department of Defense for libraries on military bases. “While there is nothing scary about Summer Reading, there is no better time than summer to scare up some great books. iREAD is thrilled (and chilled!) to partner once again with Summer Scares to introduce Horror titles to school and public library workers in order to help them start conversations with readers that perfectly align with our mission to bridge the summer gap while inspiring literacy and life-long learning,” shares iREAD Content and Development Manager Becca Boland. “We look forward to working with Summer Scares to help people find their voice — even if it is to scream!”

Booklist is helping to kick off Summer Scares 2024 in March with a series of three free webinars with this year’s featured authors in conversation with the committee members:

  • Monday, March 11, 2024, at 4 p.m. Eastern, featuring our Middle Grade authors and moderated by Sarah Hunter
  • Thursday, March 21, 2024, at 2 p.m. Eastern, featuring our Young Adult authors and moderated by Yaika Sabat
  • Monday, March 25, 2024, at 2 p.m. Eastern, featuring our Adult authors and moderated by Clay McLeod Chapman

Each webinar lasts one hour. Anyone may register to participate for free at https://www.booklistonline.com/webinars. Recordings will be available for on-demand viewing after the live events at https://www.booklistonline.com/webinars-archive.

All are welcome to join the Summer Scares committee and featured authors at the HWA’s Librarians’ Day, taking place in person on May 31, 2024, in San Diego as part of StokerConⓇ. Details at: https://www.stokercon2024.com.

The HWA is a non-profit organization of writers and publishing professionals and the oldest organization dedicated to the Horror/Dark Fiction genre. One of the HWA’s missions is to foster an appreciation of reading through extensive programming and partnerships with libraries, schools, and literacy-based organizations.

The 2024 Summer Scares program committee consists of author Clay McLeod Chapman, HWA Library Committee Co-Chairs Becky Spratford and Konrad Stump, as well as Academic Librarian Carolyn Ciesla, Book Riot Editor and YA specialist Kelly Jensen, Booklist Editor and Middle Grade specialist Julia Smith, and Manager of Reader Services at NoveList Yaika Sabat.

For more information about the Summer Scares reading program, including committee member bios and how to obtain promotional materials and schedule events with the authors/committee members, please visit The Summer Scares Resource Page (https://raforallhorror.blogspot.com/p/summer-scares.html) or email HWA Library Committee Co-Chairs Becky Spratford and Konrad Stump at libraries@horror.org.