Everyone likes a scary story and a good mystery, right? October brings out the stories that might keep us up at night. Here are some great reads good for ages nine and up.
43 Old Cemetery Road: Over My Dead Body, by Kate Klise, and cleverly illustrated by M. Sarah Klise, is Book Two in the Cemetery Road Series, but there’s no need to read the first book to enjoy this delightful and clever story. An agency has just removed eleven-year-old Seymour from the Spence Mansion at Old Cemetery Road and puts him in the Ghastly Orphanage. He has to wait there until his parents return from Europe, but meanwhile he meets a most unusual friend: a ghost. And the story goes from interesting to exhilarating and page-turning as you can hardly wait to see what will happen at this unusual orphanage and surrounding town. The entire story is told through newspaper clippings, letters and much more. This is a very ingenious and enjoyable read!
The Joy of Spooking: Unearthly Asylum, by P. J. Bracegirdle, is the second book in a series with number three and the final book, “Sinister Scenes”, synonymously published. Joy Wells is curious about unusual sounds coming from an old asylum. She’s heard many strange tales and legends concerning this old building. But she doesn’t realize that she’s about to discover more about it when she loses her pet frog, Fizz. As she explores the sewers in search of Fizz, she comes up from underneath right inside the gates of this haunted building. And so begins her adventures of fright and discovery about what holds this place together. The final book, “Sinister Scenes”, recreates a movie as the residents of this small town help by becoming part of the extras. But Joy becomes involved in helping solve the mystery when the lead actress suddenly vanishes.
School of Fear Series, by Gitty Daneshvari, has just published the last of the planned trilogy and it won’t disappoint. But I recommend starting with the first book and then following with book two, “Class is not Dismissed” and ending with “The Final Exam”. The premise is about twelve and thirteen year old kids who suffer greatly from fears that terrify them. Madeline is frightfully scared of bugs and sprays herself incessantly with bug spray. And then there’s Garrison, who’s frightened beyond belief of water. So parents send their phobic children to the School of Fear. There is much humor found throughout each book, along with each child learning to overcome their various fears.
The Mysterious Four, by Dan Poblocki, is a series of three mystery paperbacks with more planned in the future. In the first book, “Hauntings and Heists”, you meet the four friends who organize a mystery-solving club called The Question Marks and they meet at the four corners where their yards meet. Viola has just discovered a tunnel leading to a haunted house across the street. In the second book, “Clocks and Robbers”, the four friends solve a mystery concerning three broken clocks. But in solving this mystery, they bring attention to themselves and some other devious characters who are looking for a forgotten treasure that The Question Marks may have just discovered. In book three, “Monsters and Mischief”, the four friends have seen something very peculiar skulking in the woods. Could it be some kind of a monster? In all three of the mysteries, the reader is invited to help solve each case.
Ghost Hunt 2: More Chilling Tales of the Unknown, by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, with Cameron Dokey, is a collection of stories that contain mysteries of possible ghost sightings and other mysterious occurrences observed at various locations throughout the country. Each tale is told with gripping anticipation so readers beware.
Witch Catcher, by Mary Downing Hahn, has an exciting adventure and mystery waiting for Jen when she and her widowed father move to a recently acquired castle. What she finds in a remote tower is so extraordinary and magical, others come to attempt to retrieve it. The story starts out slow, but don’t let this stop you from reading further because patience will pay off. By one quarter of the way into the story, you’ll be hooked. (And if you’re not familiar with this author, she is one of the best at spinning shivery mysteries!)
3:15: Things That Go Bump In the Night, by Patrick Carman, encompasses ten tales that you can easily read in 15 minutes or less. Each story contains a chilling ending but also features a video introduction that sets the stage. The time in the title of the book deals with the possible time in the night when things might “go bump in the night”. The author also wrote the popular “The Skeleton Creek”.
100 Scariest Things on the Planet, by Anna Claybourne, features real creatures and events that will surprise you. Some included are UFO’s, the Loch Ness Monster, sharks, spiders, black holes and giant wave surfing. Each colorful subject is photographed and described on one page making this a quick, interesting and kid-friendly read.