Apples, pumpkins, and colorful leaves, oh my! October is here and with it comes tasty treats, festive decor, parties, and, of course, Halloween. What better time to tuck into some books from the Boston Public Library collection. Here are a selection of six spooky picture books, informative holiday tales, and creepy chapter books that feature diverse characters and are written by diverse authors.
By Kazuno Kohara
A girl and her cat move into a new house and discover that it is haunted by ghosts. But, she is no ordinary girl, she is a witch. Can she find a way to tame the ghosts? Each page is orange and black with a little bit of white. Ghosts in the House is a gentle book for small kids and a great read aloud selection.
By Ronald L. Smith
Hoodoo is a supernatural story centered on Hoodoo Hatcher, a twelve year old orphaned boy who lives with his grandmother in a small African-American community in Alabama in the 1930s. Despite his name, the mysterious birthmark under his eye, and his family’s history of conjuring, Hoodoo seems to lack any magical ability. Hoodoo still enjoys a happy life with his grandmother, Mama Frances, who raised him. When the Stranger, a mysterious man in a dark cloak and wide-brimmed hat, comes to town Hoodoo begins to have terrifying dreams. Even worse, the Stranger wants the hand of a boy. Hoodoo is the only one who can defeat him. Smith conjures a creepy, face-paced story for middle-grade kids who love lots of action and danger.
By Tracey Baptiste
Corinne la Mer is a brave eleven year old girl growing up in the Caribbean. She is not afraid of any kid, especially the boys that tease her. She is definitely not afraid of jumbies, supernatural tricksters made up to frighten children into behaving. But, life becomes creepy when Corinne sees a pair of yellow eyes peering out at her from the forbidden forest. Could it be a jumbie? Baptiste crafts a creepy well-paced story filled with action and lore. Young readers will connect with courageous Corinne and her friends who are determined to stop their island from being overtaken by Jumbies.
The Last Kids on Earth (Series)
by Max Brallier
Illustrated by Douglas Holgate
Meet Jack Sullivan, an average thirteen year old foster kid living in a post-apocalyptic world riddled with terrifying creatures. When not holed up in his heavily fortified tree house, Jack battles shambling zombies, mutated pterodactyls, and living vines that attack. At the onset of the monster apocalypse the Robinsons, Jack’s foster family, leaves the city of Wakefield, abandoning him. Jack adjusts and begins keeping a log of all the monsters he encounters. Can Jack survive the monster apocalypse long enough to locate other survivors and save his crush June Del Toro? This book has a diverse cast of characters and is perfect for readers that love lighthearted horror without the gore.
By Marisa Montes
Illustrated by Yuyi Morales
A group of creepy figures are on their way to a spooky ball on Halloween. Las brujas are on their brooms and los fantasmas drag the chains of zombies as they march. Each Spanish term is followed by an English translation. Montes’ rhyming text works beautifully with Morales’ eerie, sometimes sinister, illustrations.
By Eric Gonzalez and Erich Haeger
This bilingual picture book teaches the reader about the Day of the Dead using the touching story of Rosita and Conchita, twin sisters who are separated by death. Conchita creates a memorial altar to guide her beloved twin sister’s spirit home. She prepares Rosita’s favorite food, plays her favorite song, and places marigolds and light on the altar.