Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halloween Books for Kids

Ghosts and goblins and spooks ... oh my! Last year, about this time, I was thinking candy.  This year my Halloween post is leaning towards the otherworldly.  I found some wonderful books for Halloween that include a set of  eerie ghost stories,  a haunted house with some rather funny occupants, and an early reader to help kids get control of their Halloween frights!

So here is to some fun and ghoulish reading as we get closer to the most frightful holiday of all!

Title:       Princess Posey and the Monster Stew

Author:   Stephanie Greene

Target:    Kindergarten - Grade 2

Series:     Yes

What this book is about:
Just in time for Halloween, Princess Posey takes on a new challenge.  Halloween can be scary when you are in first grade - frightful costumes, creepy treats and trick or treating in the dark - as Posey discovers.  Can she find a way to overcome her fears and really enjoy the holiday? (I hate to be a spoiler but ... surprise ... she gets over her fears)

Why I love this book:
I really enjoy the Princess Posey series for girls.  It takes on some of the real issues that concern first graders, even though they may not feel as serious to an adult.  Posey is always well written and the illustrations are charming.

Who this book is for:
Girls just starting chapter books will like Posey.  Chapters are not long and although there are not pictures on every page, they are plentiful throughout the story.  

Final thoughts:
Spot on early chapter book for girls.

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Princess Posey and the Monster Stew  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog.

Title:        43 Old Cemetery Road: Dying to Meet You

Author:    Kate Klise

Target:     Grades 3-5

Series:      Yes

What this book is about:
First let me say this is an epistolary novel.  This makes me sound quite intelligent, but I had no idea what that meant either.  It is simply a book written as a series of letters or documents.  That’s right, there is no traditional text, but each page contains either a letter, a newspaper clipping, a floor plan or a drawing.  

The basis of the book centers around Ignatius B. Grumply, a children’s author, who quite appropriately despises children.  In an effort to get over his writer’s block, he rents an old house, which it turns out comes with an eleven year old boy and the ghost of the original owner.

Why I love this book:
This book is just plain fun and dare I say quite puny!  Our real estate agent is Anita Sale, the book publisher is Paige Turner - you get the idea.  While I was nervous that the gimmick of the documents might get old, the author did a wonderful job in getting me invested in the characters and used the letter format quite well.

Who this book is for:
This book is a fast read.  Strong readers will complete it in one day.  It is also a good choice for reluctant readers because the format never makes the reader feel overwhelmed.

Final thoughts:
A ghost tale that delights!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:        On the Day I Died

Author:    Candace Fleming

Target:     Grades 4 -7

Series:      No

What this book is about:
Mike is driving way too fast, when a girl suddenly appears in front of his car.  He offers her a ride, only to discover that she died fifty six years ago.  When he goes to her grave, he meets the fellow inhabitants of this Chicago cemetery, all young people who lived from the mid 1800’s to the present.  They need their stories to be heard, and so Mike listens to all the “ghosts” who recount the way they died.

Why I love this book:
First off the writing is great.  I was completely caught up in each story, and each tale of death has a tie-in to history or famous ghost stories/urban myths.  As the author says, “the best ghost stories should always include a kernel of truth.”  This is what makes the premise just believable enough to be bone chilling.

While the book will raise the hairs on the back of your neck, it is suspenseful and creepy, like a ghost story told at camp, never gory or gross.  The characters are also so well developed, despite the short vignettes of their lives.

Who this book is for:
Any kid who likes a good scare without being grossed out.

Final thoughts:
This book is fun because it’s not typical of kid’s fiction.  It really is a compilation of short stories, but tied together nicely for a unique reading experience for kids.

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

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