Take 5: Creepy reads for the MG crowd
Today we are reviewing the subtly creepy ghost story Dolly Bones by Holly Black, a great read for Middlge Grade readers. So I thought I would share 5 more of my favorite creepiest reads for the MG crowd.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
The family and I are reading this out loud right now as a family bedtime story. It is an excellent look at the world of fairy tales, but I am not going to lie – it is seriously creepy. In the village where Agatha and Sophie live, one “good” child and one “evil” child are kidnapped every four years, never to be heard from again until the books arrive. If you look closely at the books, you might find that these characters look like children long gone from their village. Sophie has always wanted a way out of their dreadfully boring village and doesn’t doubt at all that she will be sent to the school for good, while the rest of the town feels certain that Agatha will be sent to the school for evil. Except, there seems to be some sort of mix-up and Sophie is deposited into the school for evil and Agatha is sent to the school for good. Will thix mix-up finally reveal the truths of the fairy tales? The School for Good and Evil is an interesting and creative look at the world of fairytales, and a unique twisted in the popular trend of twisting fairy tales.
The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks
Marcus has summer plans to play video games, but when his mother pulls in a RV trailer, his plans suddenly change. Summer gets really interesting when Marcus and co. enter a door at the bottom of the trailer and enter a world that appears to be a gateway to their greatest dreams . . . or worst nightmares. A fun read, Paradise Trap received starred reviews from both School Library Journal and Kirkus. Catherine Jinks is also the author of Evil Genius (which I enjoy) and The Reformed Vampire Support Group (which was a fun play on vampre lore).
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
Victoria finds herself trying to save her friend Lawrence from the superbly creepy Cavendish home. This is a FANTASTICALLY creepy read. Check out my full review here.
Leisl and Po by Lauren Oliver
Banished to the attic by her stepmother, Lesil’s only friend is the ghost of Po who sometimes appears. But when the sorcerer’s apprentice Will makes a huge mistake, the three of them are drawn together into an extraordinary adventure. Such a great read, and check out her MG read Spindlers as well.
Tales from Lovecraft Middle School by Charles Gilman
There are strange things happening at Lovecraft Middle School. And there are some super strange kids there as well. In the tradition of Goosebumps by R. L. Stine, Lovecraft Middle School presents an ongoing series of creepy tales for MG readers that combines your worst fears (spiders, for example) and the best of folklore, mythology, and the things that go bump in the night. Read my review of book 1 here.
This is, of course, by no means a complete and exhaustive list of creepy MG reads. So tell me, what are your favorites? And let’s never forget the fantastic Coraline and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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