Librarian Ivy Stover, Magdalena Public Library

October is my favorite time of the year and Halloween is my favorite holiday! Here are some great books to put you in the mood for the spooky season. All of them are available to check out at Magdalena Public Library. We have tons more, so stop by to check them out!

ABCs of Halloween by Patricia Reeder Eubank (picture book)

“A is for attics—spooky, dusty, and dark. B is for bats, blinking black cats, and broomsticks of hickory bark.”

I love fun ABC books and what better than a Halloween-themed one! The easy rhymes and lilting pace make this one a great pick for a read-aloud. The watercolor illustration is vibrant and detailed, creating the perfect spooky, cute aesthetic.

The Spooky Express New Mexico: A Haunted Thrill Ride by Eric James and Marcin Piwowarski (picture book)

“Find out what happens aboard the Spooky Express as it hurtles around New Mexico on Halloween night.”

If you’ve read my columns before, you’ll know I love New Mexico themed holiday picture

books! A fun story with wacky creatures and charming art, I love reading this rhyming book to kids. We also have one called A Halloween Scare in Albuquerque, also by Eric James with illustrations by Marina Le Ray.

Give Yourself Goosebumps: The Knight in Screaming Armor by R.L. Stine (youth)

“Your cousins come to visit you from England, each bringing a huge crate containing a suit of armor and a curse. Reader beware—you choose the scare! Give yourself Goosebumps!”

What’s scarier than the plot of a Goosebumps book? Being behind the wheel of one! In this fun book, you get to make the choices as you try to survive the night. With over 20 spooky endings, you’re sure to be hooked.

Haunted Hospital by Marty Chan (youth)

“Xander and his friends don’t really think the hospital is haunted when they set out go ghost hunting. But soon they start to suspect that they aren’t alone.”

A lot of the kids have been asking for scary books year-round and this one promises to deliver. Marked as an “ultra-readable page turner,” it’s a great pick for older elementary through middle school kids.

All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn (youth)

“Siblings Travis and Corey awaken something dangerous while prank haunting their grandmother’s inn and now must discover the secret of Fox Hill and what happened to its inhabitants years before.”

A former librarian, Mary Downing Hahn is known for her excellent middle grade ghost stories. We also have her Took and The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall at the library for even more hauntings.

Don’t Turn Out the Lights edited by Jonathan Mayberry (youth)

“A tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, presented by the Horror Writers Association. Includes 35 chilling stories from well-known authors like Barry lyga, Madeleine Roux, Kami Garcia, Sherrilyn Kenyon, D.J. MacHale, R.L. Stine, and more.”

If the authors alone aren’t enough to convince you to give this one a try, then the inspiration ought to be. Forty years after being published, kids still flock to the Scary Stories series, which we do have at the library. This collection is a perfect pick for those looking for something new, but just as terrifying.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (young adult)

“When you ask people what happened to Andie Bell, they’ll tell you without hesitation: ‘She was murdered by Salil Singh.’ But I’m just not so sure.”

Fans of True Crime will relate with Pippa’s obsessive search for the truth, full of twists and turns. Jackson’s debut novel, it made several book lists, including Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of the Year 2020.

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace (young adult)

“After waking in a shallow grave, high school senior Breezy crosses the country seeking answers about her death and resurrection, discovering a host of supernatural creatures, and the human cult determined to ‘free’ them at any cost.”

Breezy’s struggle to reconcile her humanity with the monster she’s become and overcome the trauma of her death are what really make this novel. Entertaining, intriguing and suspenseful, this is a great pick for the spooky season.

The Missing Season by Gillian French (young adult)

“Every October, a kid goes missing. Clara doesn’t believe in the bogeyman her friends claim is responsible. But as Halloween approaches, it’s hard to shake the feeling that something really does lurk in the marshes.”

The lyrical writing gives this thriller an eerie feeling as you try to solve the mystery alongside Clara. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but it’ll haunt you long after you finish.

What’s your favorite spooky book for Halloween? Come by the Magdalena Public Library and let me know!

Ivy Stover, Librarian, Magdalena Public Library