The Halloween season is upon us, and what better time to talk about spooky books for young readers? Children love to be frightened by a scary tale, but in a safe and comforting environment, which is why ghost stories have always been so well-loved - they are a perfect childhood escape!
You might remember the author Dave Shelton from his Carniege medal shortlisted book 'A Boy and a Bear in a Boat', but his new novel 'Thirteen Chairs' delves into darker territory.
This wonderfully creepy book is aimed at ages 12+. As you might expect from the title, it contains thirteen dark and chilling tales, but rather than just your average collection of short stories, it becomes one complete narrative overall. Our main character, Jack, is present throughout, even if he remains on the sidelines for each individual story. I was altogether impressed that Shelton managed to make each respective story unique with its own distinctive voice; that in itself is the mark of a talented writer. As an adult and perhaps not the intended audience, I still wholeheartedly enjoyed this book.
'A World Full of Spooky Stories: 50 Tales to Make Your Spine Tingle' tells short supernatural tales from around the world. This culturally inclusive collection of mysterious folktales is perfect for a young advanced reader. Each story is no more than a page or two long, yet detailed and intriguing enough to captivate school-age youngsters. You might be intrigued by 'The Grave Mound' a story which hails from Germany, or 'The Red Skeleton' from Alaska, or the 'The Cold Lady' from Japan - there are all manner of enchanting tales wrapped up in this beautifully illustrated book.
For slightly younger readers, 'Mary and Frankenstein' is a picture book that does a fantastic job at introducing children to the imaginative wonder that was Mary Shelley. Reminiscent in style to the 'Little People, Big Dreams' series, this book tells a short and accessible story of how Mary Shelley came to write Frankenstein. It's a wonderful introduction to the incredible woman behind such a well-loved classic horror book.
As Halloween approaches, you might have some exciting ghoulish plans, you might not celebrate at all, but over here we can't wait to curl up with a warm blanket and a scary book. However, stay tuned, because later this month we may have some more spooky books to share with you.