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Nightmares: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about nightmares?

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

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. 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.

When it comes to children’s stories about nightmares, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Gossamer to popular sellers like Dont Go To Sleep.

We hope this list of kids books about nightmares can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Super Spooked
Written by Gina Bellisario & illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-8

Although she has battled supervillains, Ellie has recently become scared of the dark, so when she is invited to a Halloween sleepover at her best friend’s house she is apprehensive–but when the villainous Fairy Frightmare sprinkles the girls with bad dream dust, trapping them all inside their nightmares, Ellie must squash her own fears to rescue her friends.

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Tiger Vs. Nightmare
Written & illustrated by Emily Tetri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Tiger is a very lucky kid: she has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it’s time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger—that’s not what best friends do. But Monster needs to scare someone…it’s a monster, after all. So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. Thanks to her friend, Tiger has nothing but good dreams. But waiting in the darkness is a nightmare so big and mean that Monster can’t fight it alone. Only teamwork and a lot of bravery can chase this nightmare away. In this charming graphic novel for young readers, cartoonist Emily Tetri proves that unlikely best friends can be an unbeatable team, even agianst the scariest monsters.

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Jack Frost
Written by William Joyce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

The Guardians’ powers are put to the ultimate test in their final battle in this conclusion to the epic chapter book series from William Joyce. When we last saw the Guardians, they were celebrating their victory during Bright Night, the final great Battle of the Moon, where they defeated Pitch once and for all. Or so they thought. Now, many years later, the Guardians have settled into their final selves, embracing their public images and the Earth Holidays. But the world has not been without evil since Pitch’s imprisonment. First there was the World War, then The Crash which has led to what the humans call a Great Depression. All the Guardians feel the weight of these events, but Jack Frost—now half human, half of his former self Nightlight—feels it the most. Jack’s transition from Nightlight to Guardian was not an easy one. Always inclined to keep to himself, Jack has become especially isolated from the other Guardians since his transformation. Yet it is Jack who Ombric Shalazar (once a great wizard, now known as Father Time) trusts with a tremendous secret. But for Jack to fully understand this secret, he must revisit his past—and finally tell his story. Jack’s story, however, isn’t the only one to be reopened; an old enemy whose chapter we thought closed will reappear and with him bring a darkness and destruction that will test the Guardians like never before. It’s a battle of superlatives—the worse fighting the greatest, but where, oh where, is Jack?

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E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core!
Written by William Joyce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

E. Aster Bunnymund uses his martial arts skills, his network of tunnels, and the help of MiM, Sand Mansnoozy, and Nicholas St. North to battle the Nightmare King, Pitch, who has sent a venomous serpent to attack Bunnymund’s royal guard of warrior eggs.

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Babysitting Nightmares: The Shadow Hand
Written by Kat Shepherd
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Baby-Sitter’s Club meets Goosebumps as a diverse group of friends encounter supernatural problems on their babysitting gigs in this spooky new middle-grade series.

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  • The Boy and the Cloth of Dreams - In a mystical parable, a boy sleeps peacefully under a brilliant quilt made by his grandmother, until the cloth accidentally tears, nightmares escape, and the child must find within himself the courage to mend the tear.

  • Gossamer - From the two-time Newbery Award winning author of Number the Stars and The Giver, comes a novel about how even the smallest of dreams can break through the darkest of nights.
     
    Littlest One is a tiny creature slowly learning her job of giving dreams to humans. Each night she and her teacher, Thin Elderly, visit an old woman’s home where she softly touches beloved objects, gathering happy memories, and drops of old scents and sounds. Littlest One pieces these bits together and presents them to her sleeping human in the form of pleasant dreams. But the dreaded Sinisteeds, dark fearsome creatures that plague their victims with nightmares, are always at work against the dreamgivers. When the old woman takes in John, an angry foster child with a troubled past, the Sinisteeds go after him with their horrifying nightmares. Can Littlest One, and her touch light as gossamer, protect John’s heart and soul from the nightmare of his dark past?

  • There's a Nightmare in My Closet - The pesky nightmare in the closet won’t stay in there at night, even with the door closed all the way. When he gets out, what do you do? Comfort him and put him to bed, of course! The ultimate afraid-of-the-dark story has helped generations of kids deal with the nightmares in their own closets.A perennial favorite.

  • Dont Go To Sleep - Young Matt does not know what to do when he spends a series of nights sleeping in the guest room, which propels him into a reality warp and causes him to wake up a different person every morning. Original.

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