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What to Read Next: October Books Bring Thrills and Chills

Common Sense Media logo Common Sense Media 9/25/2015 Regan McMahon

What's the buzz on new books this month? Scary reads for kids and teens, along with new series by kids' favorite authors.

Age 2 to 6

  • Otter Loves Halloween!, by Sam Garton, shows the adorable star of the Otter series excitedly preparing for a scary Halloween. But when the trick-or-treaters come, she's so scared she hides under the bed.
  • Carl's Halloween, by Alexandra Day, isn't a great parenting manual, but it's loads of fun for kids. Carl, the babysitting Rottweiler, takes toddler Madeleine trick-or-treating after Mom goes out to see Grandma.
  • Mummy Cat, by Marcus Ewert and illustrated by Lisa Brown, brings Egyptian history to Halloween. Solid archaeological facts blend with a cute story about a mummified cat who comes to life in his pyramid and searches for his beloved queen, with whom he's entombed.

Age 7 to 12

  • A Curious Tale of the In Between, by Lauren DeStefano, strikes the right balance between suspenseful chills and heartwarming lessons about the nature of friendship in this story of a girl who can see ghosts but longs to see her father.
  • Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, edited by April Genevieve Tucholke, is an anthology filled with serial killers, zombies, ghosts, revenge plots, and monsters. All 14 stories are inspired by classic and modern horror tales.
  • Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, by Rick Riordan, is a hefty gift-size volume featuring Percy Jackson narrating profiles of 12 heroes of Greek mythology. Like the companion Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, it offers exciting, often violent stories with Percy's sly spin on the action.
  • "Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?": All the Wrong Questions, Book 4, by Lemony Snicket, is the final installment in this clever noir-mystery series starring Snicket as a 12-year-old apprentice investigator. Here he finally unmasks the evil Hangfire and learns the cost of his own actions.
  • The Marvels, by Caldecott Medal-winner Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret), offers the intertwined, centuries-spanning sagas -- told mostly in pictures -- of a shipwrecked boy in 1766, the theatrical dynasty he founded, and a teen runaway in 1990.

Age 13 to 17

  • Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo, begins a fantasy series that's a spin-off of her Grisha trilogy. It's equal parts nail-biting Mission: Impossible-style excitement and intimate, compelling portraits of flawed, complex characters involved in a struggle for a magical drug.
  • Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between, by Jennifer E. Smith (The Geography of You and Me), zeroes in on a couple's last night before they leave for colleges 3,000 miles apart, as they try to decide if they should break up or stay together.
  • The Dead House, by Dawn Kurtagich, is a chilling thriller that mixes mental illness and the supernatural in ways that leave the reader guessing until the end. It's an intense horror story with lots of unexpected twists and turns.


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