A Round of MG/YA Book Duos: Creepy Edition
Afoma Umesi is one of my favorite people doing RA and she did a fantastic post about Middle Grade books to try if you liked certain YA books. It’s posted over at Buzzfeed and you can (and should!) read it here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/afomaumesi/middle-grade-books-to-read-if-you-liked-young-adult-titles. I loved the concept so much I am inspired to try my hand at it. Today I’m talking about creepy, crawly, ghost busting, monster hunting books. The kind of books that might keep you up at night if you dare to read them without the lights on. Oh, and secret historical societies, because who doesn’t love a secret historical society.
On the left, you’ll see my middle grade recommendation. And on the right, my young adult recommendation. Though teens can always read down and enjoy the middle grade books, the young adult books may be darker or contain more mature content for middle grade readers. Adults will enjoy them all.
If You Like Ghost Hunting
In Ghost Squad, ghosts are Lucely Luna’s family business. The ghost tour business, that is. But the ghosts are real and she’s going to have to with some malicious spirits to save her family – and their family business. Hotel Horror features a group of ghost hunting teens who run a podcast. Their next stop: the horror hotel. I enjoyed both of these books. Hotel Horror is incredibly dark, and the Ghost Squad cover is super cutesy, but if you love ghost hunting stories you will probably enjoy them both. Also check out City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab and the Spirit Hunters series by Ellen Oh.
If You Like Stephen King
At the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, kids go in but they come out very different. In Rules for Vanishing, there is a path that opens every year and some who take the path never make it out of the woods. In both of these books you have kids/teens looking for friends and family member who have disappeared into eerie spaces and trying to find a way to bring them home.
If You Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer
What happens if you are babyistting and suddenly find yourself having to fight monsters? That’s what happens in The Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, a book where a group of kids have a calling to help save the world – well, at least the kids they baby sit – from monsters. In Every Other Day, Kali is a normal 16-year-old girl. Well, she is every other day. And on the other days, she’s a superpowered teen with a calling to fight monsters. You’ll also want to check out the Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee.
If You Like Stranger Things
Paraffin, Vermont is known for its candle factory. But this small town holds secrets, and you just might find them if you look beneath the wax. Something dark is waking in Oleander, Kansas – something dark, and hungry. The people in the small town of The Waking Dark are finding themselves full of a hunger for vengeance. If creepy small towns are your things, here are some great recs for you.
If You Like National Treasure
A mysterious man with a tattoo is just the beginning when it’s announced that the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner has been stolen and a group of kids learn that things are not always what they seem in a world trying to reclaim a stolen treasure. In Sawkill Girls, girls on Sawkill Rock often go missing. And the who and why of it involves long lost history, secret societies, and so much more.
And there you have it, my creepy collection of recommended MG/YA book duos.
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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