Halloween’s coming and so are some magical, mysterious or somewhat spooky books. So let’s begin with chapter books geared for ages nine and older.
The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan, is a brand new series, much like his fantastic “Lightening Thief” series, but this book is set in Brooklyn, New York. This page-turner begins with an explosion and the mythical gods that his new characters, Carter and Sadie, are dealing with are Egyptian. The adventures that follow are as exciting and thrilling as the author’s last series – and are humorous as well. Just give yourself enough time to read this book because you won’t want to stop!
Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road), by Kate Klise, and illustrated by M. Sarah Klise, is the first in a planned series about a worn-out writer who moves to an old haunted house already inhabited by an abandoned boy, his cat and a very bossy female ghost. This house sets the stage for a very fun, funny and exhilarating story all told uniquely through letters, newspaper articles and drawings.
Brixton Brothers: The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity, by Mac Barnett, and with great illustrations sprinkled throughout by Adam Rex, is a case that’s waiting to be cracked. Twelve-year-old Steve Brixton is about to become a crime-fighting detective when he discovers some most unusual and highly trained agents in the library! Get ready for this page-turner from beginning to end!
Notes From a Totally Lame Vampire (Because the Undead Have Feelings Too!), by Tim Collins, and illustrated by Andrew Pinder, is a funny look into an untypical teen, Nigel, who’s also a vampire. And he’s not anything like the typical vampire being very slow and having little strength. The story is written from Nigel’s perspective and written in a journal fashion along with pencil drawings that match the storyline.
Something Upstairs, by Avi, is a thriller with an historical aspect. Twelve-year-old Kenny has just moved to Rhode Island where he finds that his house is haunted. He soon discovers that a ghost, whose name is Caleb, was a slave who lived over a hundred years ago and was murdered. Now Kenny is about to go back in time to try to solve this mystery. The events are constantly changing and are exciting all the way to the end.
A Zombie’s Guide to the Human Body, by Tom Becker and Mercer Mayer, is a non-fiction illustrated book looking inside the human body and all of the intricate and important parts and how they fit together. The complete layout of this amazingly kid-friendly book is so extraordinary and interesting that chances are everyone who opens it, will learn much, and read to the very end before putting it down!
Zombiekins, by Kevin Bolger, and illustrated by Aaron Blecha, is a hilarious story about a boy, Stanley, and the small stuffed bunny bear he buys at a yard sale. He’s about to discover that bunny bear isn’t just any normal stuffed animal but a zombie and so the adventure begins. There is a bit of unfortunate and inappropriate gross-out humor in the storyline, but the story is a fun and funny read that kids are sure to enjoy.
Now for two early chapter books that might scare, or humor, ages six to eight. Ant and Honey Bee: A Pair of Friends at Halloween, by Megan McDonald, and illustrated by G. Brian Karas, is a fun and funny beginning chapter book for the earliest readers of this venue. Ms. McDonald is an expert in moving a story along in the most interesting way. (She’s also the author of the popular “Judy Moody” series.) Ant and Honey Bee are great friends and Ant is attempting to find a different pairing of costumes this year for both. The dialogue between both characters, and the humor and adventures that await them, is a great beginning for early readers. This is the first book in a planned series.
Andy Shane and the Barn Sale Mystery, by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, and illustrated by Abby Carter, has Andy getting ready to give Granny her un-birthday present when he realizes he has no money. But when he comes up with the idea to have a barn sale to get money he finds someone has stolen something of value during the sale. This story continues in the Andy Shane series with a number of repeating, fun and endearing characters.