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Ghosts: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about ghosts?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to ghosts. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about ghosts.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about ghosts, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Georgie to popular sellers like Northanger Abbey to some of our favorite hidden gems like Leo: A Ghost Story.

We hope this list of kids books about ghosts can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Ghosts

#1
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Leo: A Ghost Story
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can't even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo's efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. That is how Leo and Jane become friends. And that is when their adventures begin. This charming tale of friendship—from two of the best young minds in picture books: the author of the Caldecott Honor–winning Extra Yarn and the illustrator of the Bologna Ragazzi Award–winning Josephine—is destined to become a modern classic that will delight readers for years to come.
#2
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The Right One for Roderic
Written & illustrated by Violeta Noy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
What happens when one little ghost wants to stand out? All ghosts wear white sheets. That's just what ghosts do. White sheets are good for haunting people, and they make the ghosts feel like part of one big family. But one little ghost named Roderic wants to wear something different. He tries all sorts of things: a bag, a rug, a boot. Can he find the right one for him? Find out in this colorful picture book from debut author-illustrator Violeta Noy.
#3
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Ghosts in the House!
Written & illustrated by Kazuno Kohara
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
JUST THE RIGHT MIX OF SWEET AND SCARY for the youngest trick-or treaters At the edge of town lives a clever girl with a spooky problem: Her house is haunted! Luckily, she happens to be a witch and knows a little something about taking care of ghosts. She catches them, puts them in the washing machine, airs them out to dry, and gives them new lives as sofa covers, table cloths, and, of course, bed sheets to cozy up under. Fresh and charming illustrations in dynamic orange, black and white bring this resourceful heroine and these spooky ghosts to life.
#4
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Campfire Stories
Written by Andres Miedoso & illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
Desmond Cole goes camping and tells some scary campfire stories in the eighth book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series! Camping with Desmond Cole is a lot of fun, until he starts telling ghost stories around the campfire. Most kids tell creepy stories that are totally fake, but Desmond tells totally true stories that will give you goosebumps. So, settle in while Desmond, Andres, and their ghost-friend, Zax, take turns trying to tell the scariest story of all. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
#5
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A Ghost in the Castle
Written by Jordan Quinn & illustrated by Robert McPhillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
In the fourteenth fantastical book from The Kingdom of Wrenly series, Prince Lucas and Clara discover there is a ghost haunting the Wrenly Castle. There are things that go bump in the night, even in the well-protected royal palace of Wrenly. Mysterious happenings have set Prince Lucas and his dragon, Ruskin, on edge. Curtains sway next to closed windows, temperatures drop for no reason, and strange lights glow in empty rooms. Lucas and Clara are sure there is a ghost haunting the castle halls. But will they find the ghost before the ghost finds them? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.
#6
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The Ghost of Mill House
Written by Margriet Ruurs & illustrated by Claudia Davila
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Just when Josh starts to think his break from school is going to be all chores and no cheer, his best friend, Mark, invites him to spend their break helping restore a historic home and mill in Oregon. With the help of their friends Angela and Mary Jane, and under the watchful eye of Aunt Sue and Uncle Doug, the kids spend weeks fixing up the grounds, basking in the freedom of country life and learning about the surrounding area —and getting spooked by the resident ghost. Not to mention eating bugs, domesticating feral cats and starring in a movie! But it’s not all fun and filming. The mill is in financial trouble, and the kids have to figure out a way to help Aunt Sue and Uncle Doug keep it running, in spite of it being haunted. The Ghost of Mill House follows Bus to the Badlands, where we first met Josh and his classmates.
#7
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Ghosters 2
Written by Diana Corbitt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
It's been a year since Theresa and her English friend, Kerry, won the Ghosters contest. Now her little brother, Joey, has stumbled on a mystery in the school library. Blasts of cold air, lights that flicker, and books flying off the shelves start Joey and his friend, Elbie, searching for the reason. Elbie lives above his family's mortuary and is very comfortable around the ghosts that troop through its halls. He's a prankster and doesn't mind Joey's Asperger's behaviors. When the boys discover a ghost holding Joey's bug book hostage, they team up with Theresa and Kerry to decode the ghostly messages found in the titles of the books thrown by the library ghost.
#8
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Midnight Reynolds and the Phantom Circus
Written by Catherine Holt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Twelve-year-old Midnight Reynolds is a middle-school student who works undercover for the Agency of Spectral Protection, helping ghosts cross over into the afterlife and saving her town from mishaps involving spectral energy. Now school's out for the summer, and Midnight and her best friend Tabitha just want to have fun. But their plans are interrupted when a mysterious traveling circus and a ghostly ringmaster come to town. As people start getting hurt, Midnight finds herself in the middle of her most deadly mission yet. Someone's stealing spectral energy from the living! Can they be stopped before it's too late?
#9
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Ghosters
Written by Diana Corbitt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
When twelve-year-old Theresa Martinez’s mom dies, money problems force her family to move into her dead grandmother’s creepy old mansion. Immediately, strange things start to happen. The powdered sugar she’s been searching the kitchen for suddenly falls out of a cupboard. Closed curtains are mysteriously open—all fun stuff for Theresa’s new ghost-obsessed friend Kerry. When they find out the reality show, Ghosters, is hosting a contest for the best paranormal recording, Theresa remembers Dad’s money problems and vows to win the contest. Along with Joey, her little brother who has Asperger’s, the girls use Kerry’s ghost-chasing equipment to hopefully capture prizewinning evidence. They soon discover that ghosts are just the tip of the stunning mysteries the old house holds.
#10
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Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour
Written by Kat Shepherd
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The supernatural never sleeps in the second book of this spooky middle grade series! Clio has already had one brush with the paranormal, and she’s dead set on making it her last. But her new babysitting job is in a haunted house! At first, Clio’s excited to work at the historical Victorian mansion in town—until doors start closing behind her, objects move on their own, and messages appear from beyond the grave. Clio enlists the help of her three best friends, Tanya, Maggie, and Rebecca, to uncover long-buried secrets from the past. Can Clio face her fear and solve the mystery of the haunted mansion?
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Ghosts and...

Books About Ghosts and Haunted Houses

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Ghosts in the House!
Written & illustrated by Kazuno Kohara
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
JUST THE RIGHT MIX OF SWEET AND SCARY for the youngest trick-or treaters At the edge of town lives a clever girl with a spooky problem: Her house is haunted! Luckily, she happens to be a witch and knows a little something about taking care of ghosts. She catches them, puts them in the washing machine, airs them out to dry, and gives them new lives as sofa covers, table cloths, and, of course, bed sheets to cozy up under. Fresh and charming illustrations in dynamic orange, black and white bring this resourceful heroine and these spooky ghosts to life.
Add to list
The Ghost of Mill House
Written by Margriet Ruurs & illustrated by Claudia Davila
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Just when Josh starts to think his break from school is going to be all chores and no cheer, his best friend, Mark, invites him to spend their break helping restore a historic home and mill in Oregon. With the help of their friends Angela and Mary Jane, and under the watchful eye of Aunt Sue and Uncle Doug, the kids spend weeks fixing up the grounds, basking in the freedom of country life and learning about the surrounding area —and getting spooked by the resident ghost. Not to mention eating bugs, domesticating feral cats and starring in a movie! But it’s not all fun and filming. The mill is in financial trouble, and the kids have to figure out a way to help Aunt Sue and Uncle Doug keep it running, in spite of it being haunted. The Ghost of Mill House follows Bus to the Badlands, where we first met Josh and his classmates.
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She Wanted to Be Haunted
Written by Marcus Ewert & illustrated by SUSIE GHAHREMANI
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
**With whimsical, rhyming stanzas, _She Wanted to be Haunted_ offers a delightful, lyrical twist on the ever-important question of how to be _your_ very best self.** Clarissa the cottage is _adorable_ . . . bright pink, with windows that wink, and flowers growing all around. But Clarissa doesn't want to be adorable--being cute is _boring_. Couldn't she be like her father, a creepy castle home to vampires and crypts? Or like her mother, a witch's hut full of spells and smells? If only she were _haunted_! Then she'd be less ordinary . . . What will it take for Clarissa to go from _adorable_ to _horrible_?
Honorable Mentions
Midnight Reynolds and the Spectral Transformer book
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The Haunting on Heliotrope Lane book
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  1. Midnight Reynolds and the Spectral Transformer - When twelve year-old misfit Midnight Reynolds takes a job helping out eccentric Miss Appleby in the mansion down the street, she never imagined her work would involve battling ghosts. But as it turns out, Midnight and her new employer have quite a bit in common—they were both born on Halloween and have the power to see spirits of the dead. But when Midnight learns more about the history of her town, she starts to wonder if she’s fighting on the right side.

  2. The Haunting on Heliotrope Lane - Nancy’s classmate, Willa, is convinced something is terribly wrong with her friend Izzy. Nancy and her friends must try to figure out why Izzy is acting strangely after visiting a haunted house. Is Izzy possessed by the ghost of Heliotrope Lane?

Books About Ghosts and Friendship

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Leo: A Ghost Story
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can't even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo's efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. That is how Leo and Jane become friends. And that is when their adventures begin. This charming tale of friendship—from two of the best young minds in picture books: the author of the Caldecott Honor–winning Extra Yarn and the illustrator of the Bologna Ragazzi Award–winning Josephine—is destined to become a modern classic that will delight readers for years to come.
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Midnight Reynolds and the Phantom Circus
Written by Catherine Holt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Twelve-year-old Midnight Reynolds is a middle-school student who works undercover for the Agency of Spectral Protection, helping ghosts cross over into the afterlife and saving her town from mishaps involving spectral energy. Now school's out for the summer, and Midnight and her best friend Tabitha just want to have fun. But their plans are interrupted when a mysterious traveling circus and a ghostly ringmaster come to town. As people start getting hurt, Midnight finds herself in the middle of her most deadly mission yet. Someone's stealing spectral energy from the living! Can they be stopped before it's too late?
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Sir Simon: Super Scarer
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
**A delightful, funny story of friendship, ghost chores, a spooky house and a professional haunter.** Meet Sir Simon, Super Scarer. He's a professional ghost who has been transferred to his first house. And just in time! He was getting tired of haunting bus stops and forests and potatoes. And to top it off, this house is occupied by an old lady -- they're the easiest to haunt! But things don't go as planned when it turns out a KID comes with this old lady. Chester spots Simon immediately and peppers him with questions. Simon is exasperated. . . until he realizes he can trick Chester into doing his ghost chores. Spooky sounds, footsteps in the attic, creaks on the stairs -- these things don't happen on their own, you know! After a long night of haunting, it seems that maybe Chester isn't cut out to be a ghost, so Simon decides to help with Chester's human chores. Turns out Simon isn't cut out for human chores either. But maybe they're both cut out to be friends . . .
Honorable Mentions
My Weird School Special: Bummer in the Summer! book
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Goldfish Ghost book
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Boo Who? book
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  1. My Weird School Special: Bummer in the Summer! - With more than 23 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading! School’s almost out for the summer, and A.J. is dreaming about all the fun things he’s going to do on vacation. But A.J.’s dream quickly turns into a nightmare when three familiar spirits appear to show him summers past, present, and yet to come. Will they be able to convince him to leave his bad ways behind? Or will this summer end up being a total bummer? Bestselling author Dan Gutman brings his kid-friendly sense of humor to this special series of after-school chapter books featuring hilarious stories plus thirty-two pages of games, puzzles, and more. This is one weird summer vacation special you won’t want to miss!

  2. Goldfish Ghost - Goldfish Ghost was born on the surface of the water in the bowl on a dresser in a boy’s room. The boy’s room was pleasant and familiar, but Goldfish Ghost wanted company, so he set out to find a friend. He floats over the neighborhood, past the pier, and let the breeze carry him into town where he discovers that not many people pay attention to goldfish ghosts. Off he floats, searching for the perfect home and the perfect friend and then he hears a voice. . .Bestselling author Lemony Snicket and illustrator Lisa Brown brings us a fresh and funny take on what happens after your favorite goldfish crosses over to the other side.

  3. Boo Who? - A shy little ghost who’s new to the group has trouble fitting in — until his special talent comes to the fore. Boo is new. And even if the other kids are welcoming, it can be scary being new, especially for a shy ghost who can’t play any of their games. (“You tagged me? Oh, sorry. I couldn’t feel it.”) Can Boo find a way to fit in and make friends with the rest of the group? From the creator of Rex Wrecks It! comes a funny story about feeling invisible — and finding a way to be seen and appreciated for who you are.

Books About Ghosts and Social Themes

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The Right One for Roderic
Written & illustrated by Violeta Noy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
What happens when one little ghost wants to stand out? All ghosts wear white sheets. That's just what ghosts do. White sheets are good for haunting people, and they make the ghosts feel like part of one big family. But one little ghost named Roderic wants to wear something different. He tries all sorts of things: a bag, a rug, a boot. Can he find the right one for him? Find out in this colorful picture book from debut author-illustrator Violeta Noy.
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Batneezer
Written & illustrated by Obert Skye
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
For the first time, Rob Burnside knows when his closet is about to open--but he's not prepared for what emerges. A mash-up of Ebenezer Scrooge and Lego Batman, this new visitor's unusual antics are only one of Rob's problems. While enduring visits by the ghosts of books past, present, and future, Rob learns some shocking news: A battle is brewing, and his school needs a hero. What he gets is so much more (Spoiler alert: All the creatures from past books come visit!) Obert Skye doesn't let his fans down in the hilarious final installment in the Creature from My Closet series. A Christy Ottaviano Book
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Surf's Up, Creepy Stuff!
Written by Andres Miedoso & illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
Desmond and Andres battle beach bullies who also happen to be creepy monsters in the third book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series! Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond. I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and I’m afraid of everything. When you go to the beach with Desmond Cole, it isn’t all sand, surf, and sun. It’s more like, ghosts, ghouls, and gloom. And yes, being haunted while there’s sand in your swimsuit is annoying, but at least you can always count on one thing—beach life is never boring with Mersurfers around. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
Honorable Mentions
Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts book
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The Trail of the Ghost Bunny book
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The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street book
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Revenge of Superstition Mountain book
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  1. Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts - Don’t call him scaredy cat! After an unfortunate incident in the Space Museum, Sam goes on a mission to prove that he’s not afraid of ANYTHING—just like the heroes on his favorite show, Space Blasters. And when it looks like his house is haunted, Sam may just get to prove how brave he is. A funny tale of ghost hunting, escaped pet snakes, and cats with attitude!

  2. The Trail of the Ghost Bunny - Kelsey and her family have moved into an abandoned B&B that they’re fixing up. It’s a beautiful place and it even comes with its own bunny…but it also seems to come with its own ghost. With the help of their new bunny friend, Kelsey and her friends and CCSC clubmates Becca and Leo investigate the true source of the mysterious on-goings at the B&B. This story closes out the series in a satisfying way, and includes a very light ghost plot that feels seasonally appropriate. And animal fans will be thrilled to see plenty new animal capers, including the return of the lovable dogs from book 5, Dog-Gone Danger.

  3. The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street - A girl unravels a centuries-old mystery after moving into a haunted house in this deliciously suspenseful read that Kirkus Reviews calls “just the ticket for a cold autumn night.” Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones. When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. And it involves a secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years. With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!

  4. Revenge of Superstition Mountain - In the third and final book in this action-packed trilogy, the Barker brothers and their good friend Delilah secretly climb up to Superstition Mountain one last time. There are still mysteries to solve—is the creepy librarian really the ghost of Julia Thomas from a century before? What was their uncle Hank’s role in discovering the gold mine? Can they still get into the gold mine after the avalanche that nearly crushed them? Does their cat, Josie, have mysterious powers? And, most of all, who is trying to kill them?

Books About Ghosts and Multicultural

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Campfire Stories
Written by Andres Miedoso & illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
Desmond Cole goes camping and tells some scary campfire stories in the eighth book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series! Camping with Desmond Cole is a lot of fun, until he starts telling ghost stories around the campfire. Most kids tell creepy stories that are totally fake, but Desmond tells totally true stories that will give you goosebumps. So, settle in while Desmond, Andres, and their ghost-friend, Zax, take turns trying to tell the scariest story of all. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
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Ghosts Don't Ride Bikes, Do They?
Written by Andres Miedoso & illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
Desmond and Andres are in for a bike-riding adventure in the second book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series! Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond. I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and ghost patrol partner. So when Desmond and I are called to track down a ghost on wheels, Desmond is sure that ghosts don’t ride bikes. Here’s why: they float everywhere. Makes sense, right? But if there’s one thing I’ve learned during my Ghost Patrol days, it’s this: Never tell a ghost what they can or can’t do. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
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Babysitting Nightmares: The Twilight Curse
Written by Kat Shepherd
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The Baby-Sitters Club meets Goosebumps in the third book of this series about a group of girls who face down supernatural threats on their babysitting gigs. Anchored by a strong friendship between smart, savvy girls, this fun adventure story is filled with “safe scary” jump scares that will appeal to contemporary readers as well as fans of mysteries. When the town's old movie palace is converted into a theater, Maggie is thrilled to get a job helping with the first production. She may just be babysitting the director's kids, but Maggie is determined to learn everything she can about acting. Unfortunately, a devilish ghoul seems to have other plans for the performance! It’s up to Maggie and her three best friends to vanquish the threat in time for opening night.
Honorable Mentions
The Misfits Club book
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A Festival of Ghosts book
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  1. The Misfits Club - A group of small-town kids revive their childhood adventure club when they think they’ve snapped a picture of a ghost in this novel.

  2. A Festival of Ghosts - National Book Award winner William Alexander conjures up a spooky adventure full of excitement in this entertaining sequel to A Properly Unhaunted Place.

Books About Ghosts and Action And Adventure

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A Ghost in the Castle
Written by Jordan Quinn & illustrated by Robert McPhillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
In the fourteenth fantastical book from The Kingdom of Wrenly series, Prince Lucas and Clara discover there is a ghost haunting the Wrenly Castle. There are things that go bump in the night, even in the well-protected royal palace of Wrenly. Mysterious happenings have set Prince Lucas and his dragon, Ruskin, on edge. Curtains sway next to closed windows, temperatures drop for no reason, and strange lights glow in empty rooms. Lucas and Clara are sure there is a ghost haunting the castle halls. But will they find the ghost before the ghost finds them? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.
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Lumberjanes: Ghost Cabin (Lumberjanes #4)
Written by Mariko Tamaki & illustrated by Brooklyn Allen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Based on the bestselling graphic novels, this series of middle-grade novels contains all-new adventures Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin--Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley--love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella's, where the woods contain endless mysteries. Book four, the last book of the novel series, will shine the spotlight on inseparable couple Mal and Molly, who find an extra cabin at camp, one that's full of ghosts!
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Shivers!: The Pirate Book You've Been Looking For
Written by Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White & illustrated by Anthony Holden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Shivers, the pirate who’s afraid of everything, is back in his third laugh-filled, illustrated adventure from Story Pirates stars Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White. Can Shivers and his friends cure the curse cast by the most pungent ghost of all time, Quincy Thomas the Pirate? Now that Shivers has a brand-new, just built, scare-proof ship, the Groundhog, things have FINALLY taken a turn for the cozy. There’s just one problem—not a SINGLE drop of water can fall on the ship’s deck for its whole first day a-sail or the pirate who owns it will be CURSED. There’s just one more problem—on Shivers’s first night on the ship, there’s the biggest thunderstorm since ol’ Davey Jones opened his locker for the first time. Now guess who’s about to get cursed? With his best friend, Margo, and loyal fishmate, Albee, to pull him up by his bunny slippers, Shivers and his fellow buccaneers belly flop into another adventure filled with soggy socks and posh poodles to sniff out the pungent ghost of Quincy Thomas the Pirate to cast off the curse before he stinks up the Groundhog’s poop deck for all of eternity! It’s another hilarious highly illustrated adventure from the Story Pirates themselves and stars of KidLitTVs’ “The Truth About Libraries,” Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White.
Honorable Mentions
A Properly Unhaunted Place book
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Ghost Queen book
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Escape from Haunted Treasure Island book
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  1. A Properly Unhaunted Place - “In a world full of ghosts, Rosa and Jasper live in the only unhaunted town—but must spring to action when they realize the ghosts are lying in wait to take the town back”—

  2. Ghost Queen - Luey, Miri, and Phil don’t need a babysitter, but they might need an exorcist. With dad out of town and mom hosting an emergency yoga retreat everything was junk food and scary movies until the ghosts popped up. Now it’s up to the kids to banish the banshees. Britt Wilson presents another rollicking romp in this fun-filled, phantasmagorical fantasy. Ghost Queen marks the second installment of Wilson’s Elsewhere series that takes the trappings of the fantasy genre and modernizes them. Moreover, these are stories devoid of any overt moralizing or lessons, rather they are wondrous, child-sized slices of escapism.

  3. Escape from Haunted Treasure Island - The Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates sail to a secret treasure island where they come face to face with pirate ghosts! Will they escape or will they walk the haunted plank?

Books About Ghosts and Family

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Ghosters
Written by Diana Corbitt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
When twelve-year-old Theresa Martinez’s mom dies, money problems force her family to move into her dead grandmother’s creepy old mansion. Immediately, strange things start to happen. The powdered sugar she’s been searching the kitchen for suddenly falls out of a cupboard. Closed curtains are mysteriously open—all fun stuff for Theresa’s new ghost-obsessed friend Kerry. When they find out the reality show, Ghosters, is hosting a contest for the best paranormal recording, Theresa remembers Dad’s money problems and vows to win the contest. Along with Joey, her little brother who has Asperger’s, the girls use Kerry’s ghost-chasing equipment to hopefully capture prizewinning evidence. They soon discover that ghosts are just the tip of the stunning mysteries the old house holds.
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Griffins Of Castle Cary
Written & illustrated by Heather Shumaker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A charming, adventure-filled debut novel that’s perfect for fans of The Penderwicks series. Siblings Meg, Will, and Ariel Griffin are off on an adventure! They can’t wait to spend a week visiting their eccentric aunt and her giant, tongue-drooling Newfoundland dog in England. But when they finally arrive, they’re faced with a few local secrets that stir up more than a little trouble. Add in some very peculiar lights, strange new friends, a police chase and some stampeding sheep, and the Griffin kids are in over their heads—literally. Apparently this town has a ghost problem and the three children must race to solve the mystery before the ghosts take something that doesn’t belong to them.
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Elizabeth and Zenobia
Written by Jessica Miller & illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13
Abandoned by her mother and neglected by her scientist father, timid Elizabeth Murmur has only her fearless friend Zenobia for company. And Zenobia's company can be very trying! When Elizabeth's father takes them to live in his family home, Witheringe House, Zenobia becomes obsessed with finding a ghost in the creepy old mansion and forces Elizabeth to hold séances and wander the rooms at night. With Zenobia's constant pushing, Elizabeth investigates the history of the house and learns that it does hold a terrible secret: Her father's younger sister disappeared from the grounds without a trace years ago. Elizabeth and Zenobia is a wonderfully compelling middle-grade story about friendship, courage, and the power of the imagination.
Honorable Mentions
Grandpa's Witched Up Christmas book
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Trace book
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Madeline and the Old House in Paris book
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  1. Grandpa's Witched Up Christmas - James Flora’s final children’s book picks up where Grandpa’s Ghost Stories left off; Grandpa is telling a hair-raising tale of how Santa Claus saved Christmas from three horrible, no-good witches.

  2. Trace - In a debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Erin Entrada Kelly, award-winning author/illustrator and educator Pat Cummings tells a poignant story about grief, love, and the untold stories that echo across time. Trace Carter doesn’t know how to feel at ease in his new life in New York. Even though his artsy Auntie Lea is cool, her brownstone still isn’t his home. Haunted by flashbacks of the accident that killed his parents, the best he can do is try to distract himself from memories of the past. But the past isn’t done with him. When Trace takes a wrong turn in the New York Public Library, he finds someone else lost in the stacks with him: a crying little boy, wearing old, tattered clothes. And though at first he can’t quite believe he’s seen a ghost, Trace soon discovers that the boy he saw has ties to Trace’s own history—and that he himself may be the key to setting the dead to rest.

  3. Madeline and the Old House in Paris - Madeline and her favorite companion in mischief, Pepito, embark on their wildest adventure yet. When ghostly moans lead them to the attic of the old house in Paris, they discover Felix de La Morte, who has lingered there for hundreds of years, waiting for the return of a certain comet. With the comet due to return the very next day, the poor fellow’s telescope has been stolen by mean Lord Cucuface, and it is up to Madeline and Pepito to get it back. A nighttime trip across Paris, a midnight apparition, and all is happily resolved in time for the three new friends to view the comet on a starry night.

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Books About Ghosts and Monsters

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The Odyssey
Written by Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature, and little ones will love The Odyssey: A BabyLit® Monsters Primer. Monsters don’t have to be scary; meet ten monsters from Odysseus’ epic journey home, illustrated in funny, friendly ways. Featuring moaning, groaning ghosts; a silly Cyclops; goofy lotus eaters; and two colorful sea monsters. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library. Collect all twenty-four classic literature-inspired BabyLit® primers!
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Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour
Written by Kat Shepherd
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The supernatural never sleeps in the second book of this spooky middle grade series! Clio has already had one brush with the paranormal, and she’s dead set on making it her last. But her new babysitting job is in a haunted house! At first, Clio’s excited to work at the historical Victorian mansion in town—until doors start closing behind her, objects move on their own, and messages appear from beyond the grave. Clio enlists the help of her three best friends, Tanya, Maggie, and Rebecca, to uncover long-buried secrets from the past. Can Clio face her fear and solve the mystery of the haunted mansion?
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Ghost in the House
Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette & illustrated by Adam Record
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Boo! Watch out for this rollicking, cumulative counting book for a Halloween treat that's more playful than scary. There's a ghost in the house, In the creepy haunted house, On this dark spooky night all alone. When a little ghost goes slip-sliding down the hallway, he suddenly hears...a groan! Turns out it's only a friendly mummy, who shuffles along with the ghost, until they encounter...a monster! As the cautious explorers continue, they find a surprise at every turn -- and add another adorably ghoulish friend to the count. But you'll never guess who is the scariest creature in the house!
Honorable Mentions
Treasure of the Golden Skull book
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The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin book
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Night of the Zombie Zookeeper book
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The Haunted House Next Door book
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  1. Treasure of the Golden Skull - Mildew and Sponge don’t think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloom-laden, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when they are told the school might close, our heroes realize being apart and somewhere else could be even worse! What starts out as a secret hunt for buried treasure quickly becomes weirder than Mildew and Sponge could ever have imagined. Who is that new boy who can get people to do whatever he wants just by looking them intently in the eye? (A hypnotist!) Why does that strange teacher have tattoos and a beard? (He’s really a pirate also looking for the treasure!) Could their heartbroken English teacher hold the key to this riddle of riddles? (Just maybe…) Most importantly, can Mildew and Sponge save the day – and the school – once more?

  2. The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin - This gently spooky twist on “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” makes a favorite nursery rhyme just perfect for Halloween! The itsy bitsy pumpkin rolled down the spooky street. He passed a ghoulish ghost and some stinky goblin’s feet. A little pumpkin is trying to find his way back home! And with a little help from a friendly witch, he is soon safe and sound, back on his porch—where there are no spiders to be seen! Little ones will love this fresh fall spin on a classic nursery rhyme!

  3. Night of the Zombie Zookeeper - It’s Desmond and Andres versus the Zombie Zookeeper in the fourth book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series! Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond. I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and ghost patrol partner. For this case, we’re off to the zoo! Zoo field trips are the best. You get to ride in a bus, you get to spend the day outside, and all the animals are safely far away in their enclosures. Nothing scary here, right? Wrong! Leave it to Desmond Cole to find the one zookeeper who’s also a zombie. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  4. The Haunted House Next Door - Meet Desmond Cole! A fearless eight-year-old who runs his own ghost patrol, looking for ghosts, monsters, and mischief makers everywhere. Oh, and he just so happens to be my new best friend…and thank goodness! Because I’m afraid of everything. Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. Desmond is the hall monitor of ghosts and monsters. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond. I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend. We do everything together…including catch ghosts. Seems cool, right? There’s only one problem: I’m afraid of everything. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

Want to see books about monsters?

Books About Ghosts and Sleuthing

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The Case of the Crooked Carnival
Written by Michele Torrey
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Fourth-graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve cases involving a crooked carnival barker, a mysterious ghost, an alien plant species invading wildlife habitats and a wobbly bridge. Original.
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Midnight Reynolds and the Agency of Spectral Protection
Written by Catherine Holt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Twelve-year-old Midnight Reynolds has a huge secret—she’s a spectral protector, someone who helps ghosts cross over into the afterlife. Alongside her best friend Tabitha, Midnight is busy juggling the wilds of middle school with her undercover ghost-hunting job. When mysterious and dangerous robberies start happening in their small town, all signs point to some sort of spectral manipulation, and Midnight’s boss asks her to take over the investigation. Can Midnight find the culprit and stop them before the spectral energy endangers their town? This series has twists and turns galore for budding mystery lovers, all seen through the lens of a lovable and smart heroine. And the positive female friendships and hysterical writing will keep series fans coming back for more.
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Boo Crew (Nancy Drew Clue Book)
Written by Carolyn Keene & illustrated by Peter Francis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Help Nancy and her friends find the truth behind a haunted theater in the tenth book in the interactive Nancy Drew Clue Book mystery series. The hit TV show Twinkle Little Stars is coming to River Heights to audition contestants for their upcoming Halloween show. They’ll choose talented kids from all over the country to compete for prizes. Nancy, Bess, and George are dressing up as witches and are planning to create a special potion onstage for the judges. The recently renovated Heights Theatre has opened its doors for the auditions. The old theatre had been abandoned for fifty years but is now restored to its original beauty. But on the day of the auditions, everything seems to go wrong; the girls’ cauldron over bubbles, a werewolf mask makes its owner sneeze, spider webs fall on the dancers. That’s when the clue crew learns the Heights Theatre is rumored to be haunted—people say ghosts are the reason it stayed empty for so long. But Nancy knows better than to believe in ghosts. She’s sure that the culprit is of the human variety. Then Bess sees monsters dancing around a piano playing on its own—the keys moving but no is playing it. Could the rumors be true? Is the Heights Theatre really haunted? It’s up to the clue crew—and you—to find out!
Honorable Mentions
The Case of the Graveyard Ghost book
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The Hidden Window Mystery book
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Hidden Staircase #2 book
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The Haunted Bridge book
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  1. The Case of the Graveyard Ghost - Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey, who are now in fifth grade, continue to combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve a variety of cases, involving a noisy laundry chute, a ruined flower show, and a ghost.

  2. The Hidden Window Mystery - A magazine article offering a large reward to anyone who can find a missing medieval stained-glass window intrigues Nancy. She asks Bess and George to join her on a search in Charlottesville, Virginia. Before the three friends leave River Heights, their adversary tries to get them to postpone the trip. But no luck. Nancy is determined to carry through her plans. During the girls’ investigation of old southern mansions, they encounter a ghost who turns the tables and makes them disappear. Eerie sounds come from a beautiful estate that is surrounded by a high brick wall. Why will the owner allow no one to enter?

  3. Hidden Staircase #2 - A special treat for Nancy Drew fans, and any reader who’s new to the series! We’re releasing a stunning new edition of an old favorite: The Hidden Staircase, the second book in the incredibly popular, long-running series. It’s the same exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for more than 80 years—Nancy Drew has to find the mysterious ghost that seems to be haunting Twin Elms, and make sure no more prized possessions disappear under her nose. Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss!

  4. The Haunted Bridge - Mr. Drew is on the trail of an international ring of jewel thieves and asks Nancy to assist him. The trail leads to a summer resort area. Before Nancy has a chance to start work on her father’s case, a golf caddy tells her a frightening tale–in the dense woods nearby is an old wooden footbridge guarded by a ghost! Intrigued by the caddy’s story, Nancy decides to investigate. Several riddles confront the young detective as she attempts to solve the mystery of the haunted bridge and track down a woman suspected of being a key member of the gang of jewel thieves.

Want to see books about sleuthing?

Books About Ghosts and Culture

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Spirit Hunters #2: The Island of Monsters
Written by Ellen Oh
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The thrilling sequel to the Texas Bluebonnet Award-nominated Spirit Hunters! We Need Diverse Books founder Ellen Oh delivers the next haunting tale in her acclaimed middle grade series Spirit Hunters, a mix of captivating mystery and chilling ghost story. The perfect spooky read for Halloween, this pulse-pounding adventure will leave you shocked at every twist. Harper Raine faces new challenges ahead when her parents take the whole family to a remote tropical island for vacation. As Harper starts to have visions of the resort’s history of disappearances and discovers more about the island’s dark and fabled past, she must use her newly acquired spirit hunting talents to save everyone on the island from murderous spirits on the attack. An exciting and spooky middle grade series, perfect for Halloween reads.
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The Mystery of Ireland's Eye
Written & illustrated by Shane Peacock
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Dylan is twelve years old and embarking on his first ocean kayaking trip with his parents. He has spent the last year convincing them that he is ready for the challenging--and very dangerous--adventure. In fact, he has been determined to go ever since he heard about the destination: Ireland's Eye. The small island off the coast of Newfoundland is the easternmost settlement in Canada. Or it was. It is now hauntingly empty, a ghost town clinging to the edge of the unforgiving Atlantic. What is it about Ireland's Eye that so captivates Dylan he is willing to take such risks to get there? Does the ghost town have anything to do with the dreams Dylan keeps having of his favourite grandfather who has just passed away? And why does the old man on St. John's docks grimly whisper, "Don't go to Ireland's Eye" when he hears of Dylan's plans?
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The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery
Written by Allison Rushby
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Flossie Birdwhistle is the Turnkey at London’s Highgate Cemetery. As Turnkey, it’s Flossie’s job to ensure that all the souls buried in the cemetery stay at rest. Not an easy job for a young ghost, but a task made especially difficult by World War II: London is being attacked every night by enemy bombers, and even the dead are unsettled. When Flossie encounters the ghost of a German soldier carrying a mysterious object that seems to exist in both the living and spirit worlds, she becomes suspicious—what is the officer up to? Before long, Flossie uncovers a sinister plot that could destroy not only her cemetery, but also her beloved country. Can Flossie and her ghostly friends stop the soldier before it’s too late? History collides with the supernatural in this exciting, ethereal mystery from Allison Rushby.
Honorable Mentions
Northanger Abbey book
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Boy Dumplings: A Tasty Chinese Tale book
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  1. Northanger Abbey - Catherine Morland has little experience of the world. When a neighbor takes her to visit the fashionable city of Bath, her naiveté leaves her vulnerable. Who should Catherine trust? Whose friendship is genuine and whose will be harmful? Catherine’s adventure becomes sinister when she visits Northanger Abbey. What is hidden in the locked cabinet? Why are the General’s children afraid of him? What terrible secrets does he keep in his dead wife’s bedroom? Guided only by the gothic horror stories she so loves reading, Catherine stumbles through her adventures. Will hers be a happy ending? Will she find a hero to share her “happily ever after?”

  2. Boy Dumplings: A Tasty Chinese Tale - Enjoy this hilarious and fun-filled tale, now with extra illustrations! In long ago China, a ghost can’t wait to sink his teeth into his next meal. Luckily he finds a plump boy! But can the child think fast enough to avoid becoming a midnight snack? Maybe so, if the ghost tries cooking the tricky recipe for “boy dumplings”…

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Ghosts and Halloween

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Magic for Sale
Written by Carrie Clickard & illustrated by John Shelley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
On the corner of Hemlock and Blight, the magic shop of Miss Pustula Night is open for business. Creepy curiosities and endless enchantments fill the shelves, but it’s the rumor of a shop ghost that really has kids excited. Brave Georgie McQuist has been double-dared to find the phantom, and he's up to the task-- but he never expected that he'd give the ghost a fright! Together, boy and ghost take on the task of cataloging every last treasure in Miss Pustula's crowded and cavernous cellar, down to the last spell and skeleton-- but what will the witch do when she catches them there? The deliciously spooky, tongue-twistingly clever rhymes in this story are illustrated in lavish detail-- each creep and kraken crawls across the pages, and Miss Night's shelves are crowded with pickled elves and dusty potions. From the first friendly fright to the last lurking ghoul, this adventure is perfect for Halloween. . . and beyond.
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Georgie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The classic story about Georgie, the gentle little ghost is back in hardcover! Beloved by generations, Georgie is the amiable little ghost who haunts the Whittaker house. Every night he creaks the stairs and squeaks the parlor door to remind Mr. and Mrs. Whittaker that its time to go to bed. But one day, Mr. Whittaker fixes the stairs and oils the door. What's a ghost to do? First published in 1944.
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The Scariest Book Ever
Written & illustrated by Bob Shea
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Reader beware! This is the scariest book ever! Or so claims its melodramatic ghost narrator. You can go ahead and turn the page, but don't expect him to come with you. Anything might pop out of that black hole in the middle of the forest. What do you mean it's just a bunny? Well, it's probably a bunny with big fangs. Watch out, it's—picking pumpkins with its friends, you say? Actually, despite the ghost's scare-mongering, none of the animal characters in the illustrations seem scary at all. . . . What's up with that? Many delights, such as surprises after the page turn, an alarmist narrator, and punch lines to anticipate make this book a scream for both kids and parents.
Honorable Mentions
Five Silly Ghosts book
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Zip! Zoom! On a Broom book
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Maze Book: Follow Me Halloween book
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  1. Five Silly Ghosts - “Five silly ghosts floating by a gate. The first one said, ‘Oh my, it’s getting late.’” This board book features a classic rhyming read-aloud text with the five silly glittery ghosts in Halloween costumes as they peer through a die-cut cover. Each page turn provides a playfully ghoulish reveal. Join five silly ghosts in this fun counting caper!

  2. Zip! Zoom! On a Broom - “One goes zip.Two go zoom.Three witches glide from room to room.” ​So begins this witchy counting story. Count up from one to ten and back down again, when you join ten very feisty witches — and one little kitten — on their journey through a haunted graveyard, a scary forest, a spooky castle, and more in this adorably eerie tale. This book hits the mash-up sweet spot between an important concept and Halloween fun!

  3. Maze Book: Follow Me Halloween - Follow Me Halloween is a fantastically busy Halloween finger trail book for young children. They will love to follow Boo the ghost through each of the seven Halloween scenes, using their fingertips to trace along the grooved mazes. Each scene is full of funny little Halloween characters to spot in the Ghost Town, the Count’s Castle, the Witches’ Wood, and more. And at the end of every trail is a hole going through to the start of the next exciting maze adventure. This little board book is packed full of fun, making it an ideal Halloween gift for under fives.

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