Top 5 Halloween Reads for Grownups, Young Adults and Kids

Halloween is approaching, which means it’s that time of year when people love to get scared. So why not kick things off with a good scary book. CV Happening went to the librarians at Agoura Hills Library and asked what their top five book suggestions are for adults, young adults and kids. Consider these both your tricks and treats!

(The following descriptions come directly from Amazon.com)

Spooky Adult Reads, suggested by Nina Hull, community library manager:

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 2.15.07 PMThe Shining, by Stephen King

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

Pet Sematary, by Stephen King

When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son—and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly car. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth—more terrifying than death itself—and hideously more powerful. The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better.

The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty

The Exorcist is a novel of supernatural suspense by William Peter Blatty, first published by Harper & Row in 1971. It was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University, a Jesuit school.

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 2.20.16 PMInterview With a Vampire, by Ann Rice

Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force–a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses.

Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Hardy

As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknames “Buffalo Bill,” FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. She must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him. That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs–an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.

Scary Young Adult Books, suggested by Amy Trulock, teen librarian

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 2.38.32 PMEvie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

Break My Heart 1,000 Times by Daniel Waters

Living in the aftermath of the Event means that seeing the dead is now a part of life, but Veronica wishes that the ghosts would just move on. Instead, the ghosts aren’t disappearing—they’re gaining power. When Veronica and her friend, Kirk, decide to investigate why, they stumble upon a more sinister plot than they ever could have imagined. One of Veronica’s high school teachers is crippled by the fact that his dead daughter has never returned as a ghost, and he’s haunted by the possibility that she’s waiting to reappear within a fresh body. Veronica seems like the perfect host. And even if he’s wrong, what’s the harm in creating one more ghost?

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. And once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave. One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 2.25.40 PMMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
An abandoned orphanage.

 A strange collection of very curious photographs.

 It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
The city of light just got a little darker … Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots. But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette. Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is in danger … Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this tale of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.
Not-too-scary Picture Books for Kids, suggested by Grace Bernard, children’s librarian
Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 2.28.06 PMBig Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can’t get it off the vine.
It’s so big the ghost can’t move it, either. Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there’ll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day. How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You’ll be surprised!
Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming
It’s Halloween night! The rising moon lights the way for trick-or-treaters and sets the mood for a spooky celebration where imagination rules. Award-winning author/artist Denise Fleming turns her talents to every child’s favorite holiday.
Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 2.29.59 PMHalloween Hustle by Charlotte Gunnufson
In the dark, a funky beat. Something white with bony feet. Skeleton dancing up the street, Doing the Halloween Hustle. Skeleton is dancing his way to a Halloween party—but as he grooves across town, he keeps stumbling, tumbling, and falling apart! Can Skeleton stay in one piece long enough to make it to the party?
Dem Bones by Bob Barner
Colorful torn paper collages bring to life this classic African American spiritual. The frolicking skeletons will captivate children and adults while they sing along with this well-known, catchy song. Accompanied by interesting, informative “bone facts” this book makes a wonderful addition to both home and classroom libraries and a fun treat for Halloween!
The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by Ben Mantle
Count from One Spooky Bus up to Ten Goofy Ghosts as this Halloween ride races through town picking up a few unsuspecting passengers along the way.

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