I’m the type of mom who makes sure we have books on every subject to go with every event that could possibly come up. So of course, we’ve been enjoying a few good Halloween books lately to get us in the holiday spirit. Here’s a list we’ve compiled of some of our favorites. We’ve got stuff from all across the board, from picture books to classics, so there’s sure to be something for everyone in your family!
The Hallo-wiener Dav Pilkey has brought us so many hilarious stories. From the Dumb Bunnies to Captain Underpants, Pilkey provides my children with hours of entertainment. This is the story of Oscar the Dachshund, who wants to be something really scary for Halloween and ends up dressing up as….. a hotdog.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! My Little Man has loved all the “Old Lady” books. We read them for every season. They’re short and sweet, rhyme, and kids are always fascinated by what else this crazy old lady can fit in her body. A great, fun read for little ones who might not be ready for too much creepy ghost talk.
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery The Monroe family finds a stray bunny in the movie theater when they went to see Dracula. Join Chester the cat and Harold the dog as they try to figure out if this is just a harmless little animal that just happens to sleep during the day and avoid sunlight, or a rabbit vampire come to take over the world! This is one of the first chapter books I remember reading as a child. It is funny, witty, and engaging. I recently picked it up again to share with the boys, as we are now a household with our own creepy little rabbit, and they loved it! They found it hilarious and even started forming their own arguments as to Bunnicula’s “true” identity.
A Good Night for Ghosts Number 42 in the Magic Tree House series, this adventure sends siblings Jack and Annie to New Orleans where they encounter a young Louis Armstrong, and some ghosts! We love the Magic Tree House books. They’re educational and fun, and they’re one of the few chapter series that hold Little Man’s attention through an entire book!
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark This book came out when I was eight, and nothing has ever scared me quite like this cover. I couldn’t help myself, I had to subject my kids to that terror as well. Unfortunately, newer copies seem to have a less terrifying cover, but that doesn’t make the tales inside any less creepy. Read if you dare.
My Weird School Special: It’s Halloween, I’m Turning Green! Big Boy’s first chapter book series that he read on his own was My Weird School, and he still loves them to this day. These funny books follow A.J. and his elementary school buddies on their wacky adventures. For Halloween, they are on a mission to get as much candy as humanly possible. This fun, easy read is great for kids who don’t want to be scared.
The Witches What happens when one little boy comes face to face with real life witches? And not just any witches, but the Grand High Witch herself! Roald Dahl takes us on a fantastical, twisted journey that is slightly disturbing but fun at the same time.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Washington Irving’s classic tale of the Headless Horseman is a pretty big deal around here. One of our favorite Halloween traditions is visiting Conner Prairie for their take on the story. Because we’ve grown up with Conner Prairie and cartoon & puppet show versions of this story, I felt it was important to learn what the actual author said. It’s a great, creepy and humorous story.
Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness
– The Master of the Macabre is abridged in a middle-school-friendly way. This book includes four of Poe’s best loved stories, “The Black Cat,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “Hop-Frog,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” with gorgeous and creepy artwork from illustrator Gris Grimley. This is a great introduction into the dark world of Poe. For more advanced readers, or for a more authentic experience, check out Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems