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Updated by Jen Blair on Dec 05, 2023
Headline for Horror - Middle Grade - Fall 2020
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Horror - Middle Grade - Fall 2020

Here are some spooky and scary reads - just in time for Halloween!

Beast: Face-To-Face with the Florida Bigfoot by Watt Key

Beast: Face-To-Face with the Florida Bigfoot - Watt Key

From the publisher:
"Adam says he can't remember where he was for the two months he went missing in a Florida swamp. That's not true. He does remember. The truth: He was driving with his parents, and the car crashed when his father swerved to avoid colliding with a giant Sasquatch-like creature standing in the highway. Haunted by his parents' disappearance and hounded for claiming to have seen Bigfoot, Adam sets off into the deadly wilderness on a hunt for answers as to what really happened that night. The answer he finds is more terrifying--and more fascinating--than he could have imagined"

Bury Me by K.R. Alexander

Bury Me - K. R. Alexander

From the publisher:
"No one ever leaves Copper Hollow. It's a town with a deadly history . . . but nobody ever talks about it. Kimberly thinks there might be something strange going on. She's not sure what--until the menacing doll appears with two words written across its clothes: Bury me. Kimberly and her friends try to destroy the doll . . . but every time they think it's gone, it comes back again. Is there any way to rid themselves of the evil once and for all?"

The Circus of Stolen Dreams by Lorelei Savaryn

The Circus of Stolen Dreams - Lorelei Savaryn

From the publisher:
"After Andrea's brother, Francis, disappeared, her world turned upside down. So when she discovers a magical dream world called Reveries in the woods near her home, Andrea jumps at the chance to escape her pain and go inside. But the coast of admission is high: Andrea must give up a memory in order to enter. And she knows exactly which memory she'll choose. Once inside, Andrea discovers tent after tent of drams come alive: she can fly on a gust of wind, brave swashbuckling pirates and search for buried treasure, reach for-- and wish on -- a tangible star, and much, much more. But Andrea soon realizes that not all Reverie's dreams are meant to delight and the Sandman controlling the circus tents seems to have plans of his own. When Andrea finds a tent in which her brother's darkest nightmare has been brought to life she realizes the ominous truth: Reveries is not an escape-- it's a trap."

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1) by Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) - Victoria Schwab

From the publisher:
Ever since her near-fatal drowning, Cassidy has been able to pull back the "Veil" that separates the living from the dead and see ghosts, not that she wants to, and she was really looking forward to a ghost-free summer at the beach; however her parents are going to start filming a TV series about the world's most haunted places, starting with Edinburgh with its graveyards, castles, and restless phantoms--and Cass and her personal ghost companion, Jacob, are about to find out that a city of old ghosts can be a very dangerous place indeed.

The Collector by K.R. Alexander

The Collector - K.R. Alexander

From the publisher:
Josie must discover the connection between a strange house in the woods, her grandmother's stories, and missing children, or risk losing her sister to dark magic.

The Darkdeep (The Darkdeep, #1) by Ally Condie

The Darkdeep (Darkdeep #1) - Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs

From the publisher:
Middle-schoolers Nico, Tyler, Ella, and Opal discover a hidden island in a forbidden cove that appears uninhabited, but something ancient has awakened knowing their wishes, dreams, and darkest secrets.

The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown

The Forgotten Girl - India Hill Brown

From the publisher:
When eleven-year-old Iris sneaks out at night to make snow angels, she was not expecting to raise the ghost of Avery Moore, a girl her own age; but bringing to light the segregated and abandoned black cemetery seems like the perfect way to help Avery get the recognition she craves, and it will also be a good idea for the school project about the history of her small North Carolina town, where racial tensions are never far from the surface--only it seems that if Avery gets everything she wants Iris will join her as a ghost, best friends forever.

The Gathering (Shadow House, #1) by Dan Poblocki

The Gathering (Shadow House #1) - Dan Poblocki

From the publisher:
You don't just read this ghost story. You step into it. Some houses are more than just haunted . . . they're hungry. Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus, and Azumi don't know this at first. They each think they've been summoned to Shadow House for innocent reasons. But there's nothing innocent about Shadow House...

The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills

The Ghost Collector - Allison Mills

From the publisher:
Ghosts are everywhere in Shelly's life. Recently passed people, pets, and a boy who lives in the local graveyard and lends her Smiths tapes are all part of spirit world she and her grandmother are privy to. In the tradition of their Cree ancestors, Shelly and her grandmother help these lost souls transition to the next world by catching them in their hair. But when Shelly's mom dies, her relationship to ghosts--and death--changes. Instead of helping spirits move on, she starts bringing them home and hiding them in her room. But no matter how many ghosts she collects, Shelly can't ignore the one that's missing. Why hasn't her mom's ghost come home yet?

Ghost Hunter's Daughter by Dan Poblocki

Ghost Hunter’s Daughter - Dan Poblocki

From the publisher:
Claire doesn't believe in ghosts, even though her dad is a ghost hunter on TV. But then her dad disappears. And a strange boy in her class, Lucas, knows something about ghosts. One of them has a message for her: Her dad has been taken, and he's in grave danger. Together, Claire and Lucas set out for the town of Hush Falls, where her dad was last seen. Legend says that a tall man in a dark tattered coat lurks near the reservoir in town, and anyone who gets too lose to old Lemuel Hush is never heard from again. Claire and Lucas are determined to rescue Claire's father. But how can they save him from the ghost of Hush when everyone knows that seeing him means that you're destined to die...

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

Ghost Squad - Claribel Ortega

From the publisher:
Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd's witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely's firefly spirits before it's too late.

The Girl in the Locked Room: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn

The Girl in the Locked Room: A Ghost Story - Mary Downing Hahn

From the publisher:
Told in two voices, Jules, whose father is restoring an abandoned house, and a girl who lived there a century before begin to communicate and slowly, the girl's tragic story is revealed.

Guest: A Changeling Tale by Mary Downing Hahn

Guest: A Changeling Tale - Mary Downing Hahn

From the publisher:
Young Mollie traverses eerie, perilous lands to retrieve her baby brother, Thomas, from the Kinde Folke, malicious sprites who snatched him and left a hideous changeling in his place.

The Horrifyingly Haunted Hack-A-Ween (The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants TV: Young Graphic Novel)

Horrifyingly Haunted Hack-A-Ween - Dav Pilkey

From the publisher:
George Beard and Harold Hutchins are getting ready for the best holiday ever: Halloween, of course. But their dreams of costumes, candy, and haunted houses go down the drain when Mr. Krupp and Melvin make Halloween illegal! That's when George and Harold come up with Hack-A-Ween, a totally legal spin-off of Halloween. But will disguises, hack-e'-lanterns, and sneak-or-snacking fill the pumpkin-shape holes in their lives? And, more importantly, can Captain Underpants defeat the living Halloween decorations that are trying to destroy the town?

The List by Patricia Forde

The List / The Last Lie - Patricia Forde

From the publisher:
In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world. On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan tosuppress language and rob Ark's citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it's up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.

The Mallow Marsh Monster (The Goolz Next Door, #2)

The Mallow Marsh Monster (Book 2) - Gary Ghislain

From the publisher:
Harold is now an official member of the Goolz team, comprised of eccentric horror author Frank Goolz and his daughters Suzie and Ilona (who is also Harold's kinda-sorta girlfriend). A set of twins has come to the Goolz for help in finding their missing mother, whom they believe has been taken by the monster rumored to live in the Mallow Marsh. When the (very real) monster bites Harold, his bizarre symptoms cause him to fear he is transforming into a monster himself. Then Suzie is taken, and it's up to Harold and Ilona to save her, prevent the formation of future marsh monsters, and stop Harold's own frightening transformation.

One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

One for Sorrow - Mary Downing Hahn

From the publisher:
When unlikeable Elsie dies in the influenza pandemic of 1918, she comes back to haunt Annie to make sure she'll be Annie's best--and only--friend soon.

Out to Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe by Josh Allen

Out to Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe - Josh Allen

From the publisher:
Get ready for a collection of thirteen short stories that will chill your bones, tingle your spine, and scare your pants off. Debut author Josh Allen masterfully concocts horror in the most innocent places, like R.L. Stine meets a modern Edgar Allan Poe. A stray kitten turns into a threatening follower. The street sign down the block starts taunting you. Even your own shadow is out to get you! Spooky things love hiding in plain sight.

The Puppet's Payback and Other Chilling Tales by Mary Downing Hahn

The Puppet's Payback and Other Chilling Tales - Mary Downing Hahn

From the publisher:
Each tale turns something ordinary--a pigeon, a white dress, a stranger on the bus, a puppet--into a sinister link to to the supernatural. For the human characters, secrets from the past or careless behavior in the present can lead to serious trouble. All the stories have a young person as the central character, so all will resonate with young readers who enjoy the eerie, the creepy, and the otherworldly.

Scare Me by K.R. Alexander

Scare Me - K.R. Alexander

From the publisher:
Every year, the town of Happy Hills holds its haunted house contest. In a spooky old manor, teams of kids come up with new ways to frighten people. The scariest team wins. But this year, all the teams are going to lose. Because this year the house itself has awakened . . . and it won't be happy until it's devoured all the people inside. What started out as a game has turned into something much more deadly.

The Sisters of Straygarden Place by Hayley Chewins

The Sisters of Straygarden Place - Hayley Chewins

From the publisher:
Seven years ago, the Ballastian sisters' parents left them in the magical Straygarden Place, a house surrounded by tall silver grass and floating trees. They left behind a warning saying never to leave the house or go into the grass. "Wait for us," the note read. "Sleep darkly." Ever since then, the house itself has taken care of Winnow, Mayhap, and Pavonine--feeding them, clothing them, even keeping them company--while the girls have waited and grown up and played a guessing game: Think of an animal, think of a place. Think of a person, think of a face. Until one day, when the eldest, fourteen-year-old Winnow, does the unthinkable and goes outside into the grass, and everything twelve-year-old Mayhap thought she knew about her home, her family, and even herself starts to unravel.

Small Spaces (Small Spaces, #1) by Katherine Arden

Small Spaces / Dead Voices - Katherine Arden

From the publisher:
When eleven-year-old Ollie lost her mother in a plane crash, she sought solace in her books. So when she stumbles upon a distraught woman standing on the banks of the river intent on throwing a book into the water, Ollie stops her, steals the book and rides away on her bike. Upon reading, Ollie discovers a chilling ghost story about a girl, Elizabeth Morrison, who is being chased through cornfields filled with scarecrows by two brothers with deadly intent. When she finds the graves of Elizabeth Morrison and her tormentors, Jonathan and Caleb, on a farm during a school trip, on a day already full of odd occurrences, Ollie starts to think this book is more than just a book. On the ride home, the school bus breaks down along the side of the road and none of the kids or their teacher can get service on their cell phones to call for help. And then Ollie's digital wristwatch starts a mysterious countdown, with the word RUN spelled out on the face. She and two unlikely new friends are the only ones to heed its warning. As night begins to fall, they head out into the woods, bracketed by fearsome scarecrows. The bus driver gives them a word of advice. In order to survive whatever is coming, they'll need to keep to small spaces.

The Stitchers (Fright Watch #1) by Lorien Lawrence

The Stitchers - Lorien Lawrence

From the publisher:
Something strange is happening on Goodie Lane . . .

Thirteen-year-old Quinn Parker knows that there's something off about her neighbors. She calls them "the Oldies" because they've lived on Goodie Lane for as long as anyone can remember, but they never seem to age. Are they vampires? Or aliens? Or getting secret experimental surgeries? Or is Quinn's imagination just running wild again?

If her dad were still around, he'd believe her. When he was alive, they'd come up with all sorts of theories about the Oldies. Now, Quinn's determined to keep the investigation going with the help of Mike, her neighbor and maybe-crush. They'll have to search for clues and follow the mystery wherever it leads--even if it's to the eerie pond at the end of the street that's said to have its own sinister secrets.

Tales from Beyond the Brain by Jeff Szpirglas

*Tales From Beyond the Brain - Jeff Szpirglas *

From the publisher:
Imagine walking home from school one day and seeing a brain on the side of the road, a brain that, it turns out, is looking for a new home. Or instead of paying attention to the teacher, you shoot a paper airplane across the room and accidentally rip a hole in the fabric of the universe. And what would you do if you discovered that your class reading group was actually recruiting kids with telekinetic powers?

Thirteens by Kate Alice Marshall

Thirteens - Kate Marshall

From the publisher:
Eleanor has just moved to the quiet, prosperous Eden Eld. When she awakes to discover an ancient grandfather clock that she's never seen before her new room, she's sure her eyes must be playing tricks on her. But then she spots a large bird, staring at her as she boards the school bus. Anda black dog with glowing red eyes follows her around town. All she wants is to be normal, and these are far from normal. And worse--no one else can see them. Except for her new friends, Pip and Otto, who teach her a thing or two about surviving in Eden Eld. First: Don't let the 'wrong things' know you can see them. Second: Don't speak of the wrong things to anyone else. The only other clue they have about these supernatural disturbances is a book of fairytales unlike any they've read before. It tells tales of the mysterious Mr. January, who struck a cursed deal with the town's founders. Every thirteenth Halloween, he will take three of their children, who are never heard from again. It's up to our trio to break the curse--because Eden Eld's thirteen years are up. And Eleanor, Pip, and Otto are marked as his next sacrifice.