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5 Spooky Halloween Books for Kids

Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

Every year my local indie curates a big display of cooky/spooky Halloween books for kids, and every year I go down there and pick out my favorites (here’s last year’s post). The best kid’s Halloween books are gloomy but fun, and not so scary that your kids are suddenly too scared to go trick-or-treating. Here are a few of my picks from this year:


Crankenstein by Samantha Berger and Dan Santat- the (very relatable) saga of a little boy who is so cranky that he’s reduced to mumbling MMMEEEHHHRRR at every social encounter.

crankenstein cover

Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett and Paul Meisel– cute little baby Tootie starts teething, breaks incisors, and suddenly starts biting her brother. She’s obviously a vampire. Let him tell you why (fans of Bunnicula will like this one).

vampire baby

The Ghost Prison by Joseph Delaney- this one’s more for school-aged kids, nine and up. It’s a Dickensian/Victorian orphan tale-meets R.L. Stine spooky ghost story, with a twisty ending I didn’t see coming (though I’m sure your kid will, I’m Bad At Guessing Twists).


Halloween Night  by Marjorie Dennis Murray and Brandon Dorman– a spooky take on Twas The Night Before Christmas, except in this one lots of things are stirring in preparation for a Halloween party. “The pumpkins all grinned with ghoulish delight, As little green creepies made treats for the night.”


Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Books by Stephen Savage– a counting book that counts down instead of up has instant suspense- throw in some mummies and spiders and witches and it’s all you need to get in the mood for trick or treating!



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