Spooky Books from Lerner

LPP - Spooky featured image

It’s the season of monsters and haunted houses. Soon, people will begin planning scary costumes and stocking up on candy corn. Neighborhoods will be decorated with dancing skeletons, glowing tombstones, and thick spiderwebs. Stores will be filled with containers of fake blood, palates of zombie makeup, and collections of heavy pumpkins.

As you’re cutting eyeholes in bedsheets and buying plastic fangs this fall, we want to make sure you have the perfect list of Halloween titles! Read below to learn about some of our favorite spooky options.

Crayola ® Halloween Colors by Robin Nelson

From the Series Crayola ® Holiday Colors

  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 3

Glowing orange pumpkins, spooky black cats, slimy green treats—colors are everywhere during Halloween! Explore the colors and customs of this slightly scary and fun-filled holiday. Crayola ® colors and a reproducible coloring page inspire readers to notice and celebrate the colors of their world.

Monstrous: The Lore, Gore, and Science behind Your Favorite Monsters by Carlyn Beccia

A Booklist Editor’s Choice

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 8

Bursting with blood, guts, history, and science, this book is a must-have for monster lovers of all ages

Could Dr. Frankenstein’s machine ever animate a body? Why should vampires drink from veins and not arteries? What body parts are best for zombies to eat? (It’s not brains.)

This fascinating encyclopedia of monsters delves into the history and science behind eight legendary creatures, from Bigfoot and the kraken to zombies and more. Find out each monster’s origin story and the real-world history that informed it, and then explore the science of each creature in fun and surprising ways.

“A fantastically researched, absolutely delectable approach to science education.” — starred, Booklist

“Informative and entertaining throughout for readers undead or otherwise.” — starred, Kirkus Reviews

Gallows Hill by Lois Ruby

Gallows Hill cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12

Salem, Massachusetts – 1692

Thomas is marked as an outcast the moment he steps off the ship from England. As a Quaker, he’s outnumbered and distrusted by Salem’s Puritans. And as an orphan without any useful skills, he has nowhere to live and no way to earn his keep.

Patience has tried all her life to be a good Puritan—obedient to God and to her elders—and all her life, she has come up short. But her orderly world is upended when her younger sister, Abigail, falls victim to a mysterious affliction. The same torments have stricken other Salem girls, who claim they’re being bewitched by servants of the Devil.

As the community becomes consumed by suspicion and fear, Thomas and Patience search for the truth. To protect those they care about, they will have to question everything they think they know: their faiths, their loyalties, and their places in Salem.

“Effective historical fiction revisiting a fascinating and complicated time in American history.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Both immersive and timely.” — Susan Kaplan Carlton, author of In the Neighborhood of True

Night and Dana by Anya Davidson

Night and Dana cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12

A creative coming-of-age story for the climate-change generation

Dana Drucker fights boredom in her Florida beach town by crafting special-effects makeup—the more gruesome, the better. But when a messy prank with Dana’s best friend Lily gets the wrong kind of attention, the girls have two choices: find a new creative outlet or leave high school without graduating.

To save their shot at diplomas, Dana and Lily join a community college film class. It gives Dana a chance to keep practicing her monster makeup, as she and Lily start work on a horror movie inspired by local ocean warming. And a search for filming locations puts Dana in the path of Daphne Ocean, an activist and self-proclaimed water witch—the perfect kind of inspiring outsider.

Soon, tempers are flaring, and Dana’s pushing away old friends and her new mentor. But as everything starts going up in flames, Dana also begins to forge her voice. Night and Dana is a creative coming-of-age story for the climate-change era, a graphic novel about making art and growing up when it feels like the world is on fire.

“In a retro style reminiscent of Archie comics, Davidson. . . fashions characters who are convincingly relatable.” — Publishers Weekly

Funeral Girl by Emma K. Ohland

A Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year

Funeral Girl cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12

Sixteen-year-old Georgia Richter feels conflicted about the funeral home her parents run—especially because she has the ability to summon ghosts.

With one touch of any body that passes through Richter Funeral Home, she can awaken the spirit of the departed. With one more touch, she makes the spirit disappear, to a fate that remains mysterious to Georgia. To cope with her deep anxiety about death, she does her best to fulfill the final wishes of the deceased whose ghosts she briefly revives.

Then her classmate Milo’s body arrives at Richter—and his spirit wants help with unfinished business, forcing Georgia to reckon with her relationship to grief and mortality.

“[G]ive Ohland’s first novel high marks for its unusual premise and vivid characterization of its imperfect protagonist.” — Booklist

Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery by Mary Amato

Open Mic Night at Westminister Cemetery cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12

When Lacy wakes up dead in Westminster Cemetery, final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, she’s confused. It’s the job of Sam, a young soldier who died in 1865, to teach her the rules of the afterlife and to warn her about Suppression—a punishment worse than death.

Lacy desperately wants to leave the cemetery and find out how she died, but every soul is obligated to perform a job. Given the task of providing entertainment, Lacy proposes an open mic, which becomes a chance for the cemetery’s residents to express themselves. But Lacy is in for another shock when surprising and long-buried truths begin to emerge.

“[A] unique read that fans of Poe, poetry, or stage plays will find something to grab onto.” — Booklist

“Mary Amato’s inventive Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery finds humor in the grave.” — Shelf Awareness

Ever After by Olivia Vieweg

Winner of the Global Literature in Libraries Translated YA Book Prize

Ever After cover
  • Interest Level: Grade 9 – Grade 12

Stranded between safe zones, Vivi and Eva are two travelers in a countryside filled with the undead. The survivors of their world live behind barricades—and live in fear of the next attack.

After their train breaks down, the young women partner up to stay alive. Vivi is struggling with grief—and guilt—over the loss of her sister. Eva is hiding the start of a horrifying transformation. Together they’ll face heat, zombie hordes, and their own inner demons, searching for signs of life in a land of the dead. This graphic novel addition to an enduring genre is thoughtful and emotion-driven, but also full of zombie scares and action.

“Both thoughtful and terrifying, and an unexpected take on a familiar premise.” — School Library Journal

Lightning Bolt Books ® — That’s Scary! Series

  • Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 3

Treat young readers to this delightfully scary yet fun and kid-friendly series about ghosts, haunted places, mummies, and more. Each book takes a nonfiction approach to these spooky, high-interest topics.

Lightning Bolt Books ® — Spooked! Series

  • Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 3

Who doesn’t love a good spooky story? Chilling tales of sea monsters, haunted houses, and more will keep readers turning pages as they discover what’s fact and what’s fiction.

Sinkhole Series

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12

Ever since the first sinkhole appeared in Foggy Creek, Texas, weird things have been happening. Unexplained phenomena—power surges, a purple mist, a glowing coin—seem to precipitate strange behaviors in this creepy, paranormal series, sure to hook reluctant and striving readers.

Explore more spooky books here!

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