Saturday, October 25, 2014

Happy Hauntings!

With Halloween less than a week away -- here are my favorite horror books for kids . . .

Seer of Shadows by Avi
In New York City in 1872, fourteen-year-old Horace, a photographer's apprentice, becomes entangled in a plot to create fraudulent spirit photographs, but when Horace accidentally frees the real ghost of a dead girl bent on revenge, his life takes a frightening turn.

Zombie Chasers by John Kloepfer
When zombies take over Phoenix, Arizona, Zack Clarke, his best friend Rice, and his older sister's mean friend Madison Miller team up to try to defeat the undead, or at least survive one another.

Curse of the Winter Moon by Mary Casanova
In sixteenth-century France, ruled by a Church that overtaxes peasants and burns heretics, Marius must postpone his apprenticeship to care for his six-year-old brother, whose birth took their mother's life, and who the villagers, backed by the Church, believe will become a "loup garou" -- a werewolf.

A Taste for Red by Lewis Harris
When some of her classmates disappear, sixth-grader Svetlana, along with her new friends go in search of the missing students using her newfound ability as an Olfactive, one who has heightened smell, hearing, and the ability to detect vampires.

Scare Scape by Sam Fisher
Morton, James, Melissa, and their father have just moved into an old house in a new town, and when Morton finds a creepy gargoyle buried in the yard, he and his siblings each make a wish--and find out that they have unleashed chaos.

More Horror Chapter Books --
Curse of the Night Wolf by Paul Stewart
A Field Guide to Monsters by Johan Olander
Half-Minute Horrors by Susan Rich
The Improbable Cat by Allan Ahlberg
The Monstrous Memoirs of Mighty McFearless by Ahmet Zappa
The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
The Stone Child by Dan Poblocki
Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dare to Be Scared (Part 4)

This week, I am focusing on horror books for teens that feature witches . . .

Stolen by Vivian Vande Velde
A girl finds herself running through the forest at the edge of a village with no memory of anything, even her own name, and later learns that she might be twelve-year-old Isabelle, believed to be stolen by a witch six years before.

Half Bad by Sally Green
In modern-day England, where witches live alongside humans, Nathan, son of a White witch and the most powerful Black witch, must escape captivity before his seventeenth birthday and receive the gifts that will determine his future.

Jinx by Meg Cabot
Sixteen-year-old Jean "Jinx" Honeychurch, the descendant of a witch, must leave Iowa to live with relatives in Manhattan after the first spell she casts goes awry, but she will have to improve her skills to stop her cousin from practicing black magic that endangers them and the boy they both like.

Witch Child by Celia Rees
In 1659, fourteen-year-old Mary Newbury keeps a journal of her voyage from England to the New World and her experiences living as a witch in a community of Puritans near Salem, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monster-rific Books

Halloween is fast approaching which means that I am bombarded with requests for books for the holiday.  Here are my favorite monster picture books for young children . . . .

Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler
Ghost tries to help Skeleton get rid of the hiccups.

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere
A hungry monster seeks a different type of bedtime snack.

The Skeleton in the Closet by Alice Schertle
A scary skeleton terrorizes a boy in his bedroom while it searches his closet for clothes to wear.

Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio
Mortimer, a zombie, is looking for love, but when all of his attempts to locate a sweetheart fail, Mortimer decides to place an ad in the newspaper.

The Monsters' Monster by Patrick McDonnell
Grouch, Grump, and little Gloom 'n' Doom spend much of their time arguing over who is the "biggest and baddest" until they build a monster together that turns out to be very different that what they expect.

More Monster Books --
Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin
Boogie Knights by Lisa Wheeler
Dick and Jane and the Vampire by Laura Marchesani
Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody by Rick Walton
Hush Little Monster by Denis Markell
Jumpy Jack and Googily by Meg Rosoff
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone
Monster Mama by Liz Rosenberg
Sally and the Some-Thing by George O'Connor
Where's My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Trip Around the World

I have found myself this past week really dreaming about going on a trip . . . somewhere . . . anywhere.  So I decided to share some great books that will take us around the world.

Caddy's World by Hilary McKay (England)
Twelve-year-old Caddy's world turns upside down when her father, Bill, temporarily becomes a stay at home "mom" and her best friends since kindergarten, Ali, Beth, and Ruby, begin to move in different directions.

Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin (Soviet Union)
In the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, ten-year-old Sasha idolizes his father, a devoted Communist, but when police take his father away and leave Sasha homeless, he is forced to examine his own perceptions, values, and beliefs.

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park (Korea)
With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.

Truth and Salsa by Linda Lowery (Mexico)
Having moved temporarily from Michigan to live with her grandmother in Mexico, twelve-year-old Hayley tries to sort out her feelings about her parents' separation while also helping some townsmen who have run into trouble while working in the United States.

Nicholas by Goscinny (France)
Presents a collection of nineteen short stories about the adventures of a young school boy, Nicholas, and his friends who always seem to end up in trouble.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dare to be Scared (Part 3)

There is just something about vampires that intrigues us . . . the eternal youth, the hypnotic powers, and the evil that lurks below the beautiful exterior.  Here are some of my favorite vampire books for teens . . .

The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce
The servant girl Aeriel must choose between destroying her vampire master for his evil deeds or saving him for the sake of his beauty and the spark of goodness she has seen in him.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Seventeen-year-old Jessica, adopted and raised in Pennsylvania, learns that she is descended from a royal line of Romanian vampires and that she is betrothed to a vampire prince, who poses as a foreign exchange student while courting her.

Vampire High by Douglas Rees
When his family moves from California to New Sodom, Massachusetts and Cody enters Vlad Dracul Magnet School, many things seem strange, from the dark-haired, pale-skinned, supernaturally strong students to Charon, the wolf who guides him around campus on the first day.

Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde
When sixteen-year-old Kerry Nowicki helps a young man escape from a group of men who claim he is a vampire, she finds herself faced with some bizarre and dangerous choices.

Bloodline: A Novel by Kate Cary
Nineteen-year-old John Shaw returns from World War One and is haunted by nightmares of not only the battles but the horrifying discovery that his regimental commander is descended from Count Dracula.

More Vampire Books --
Blue Bloods by  Melissa de la Cruz
Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
Evernight by Claudia Gray
Gemini Bites by Patrick Ryan
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
In the Forests of Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
My Swordhand Is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick
Suck It Up by Brian Meehl
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Sweet-Blood by Pete Hautman
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Thicker Than Water: A Novel by Carla Jablonski
Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Boys Will Be Boys

This week, I'm sharing some great picture books featuring boys . . .

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by  Judith Viorst
On a day when everything goes wrong for him, Alexander is consoled by the thought that other people have bad days too.

Hiccup, The Seasick Viking by Cressida Cowell
Unlike his large and brave fellow Vikings, Hiccup is small and afraid of everything until he helps steer his ship to safety during a storm.

David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon
When David gets in trouble, he has excuses right up until bedtime, when he realizes he really is sorry.

I Am SO Handsome by Mario Ramos
A vain wolf takes a stroll through the woods and intimidates everyone he meets into admitting he is the handsomest of all, but the wolf encounters a dragon who has a surprise in store for him.

Pete's a Pizza by William Steig
When Pete is in a bad mood, his father turns him into a pizza by first rolling him like dough and then pretending to top him with ingredients until the final personal touch.

More Books About Boys --
Another Brother by Matthew Cordell
Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka
Hugless Douglas by David Melling
Let's Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile
The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown
Me Want Pet! by Tammi Sauer
Mitchell's License by Hallie Durand
Parts by Tedd Arnold
The Retired Kid by Jon Agee
Straight to the Pole by Kevin O'Malley

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

Two brothers fell into the river.  The wrong one survived.

When Ned and his twin tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives.  The villagers are convinced that the wrong boy lived and spend their time either mocking or ignoring him.  Ned spends his time alone and not speaking.  But when the Bandit King comes to steal the magic that Ned's mother, Sister Witch, protects, it is Ned that finds a way to keep the magic safe.

The wrong boy will save your life, and you will save his.

Meanwhile, in the enchanted forest that borders Ned's village lives Aine, the practical and resourceful daughter of the Bandit King.  She is haunted by her mother's last words to her about "the wrong boy".

When Ned and Aine's paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to stop the war that's beginning between their two kingdoms?

This was a great fantasy story for kids.  The elements of magic, adventure, family drama, grief, and friendship are weaved together seamlessly for a story that you can't put down.