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20 Best Halloween Books For Kids

It’s that time of year again! Reading spooky stories will surely get kids excited for Halloween! Whether it’s a silly story, a cute story, a funny story, or a scary story, kids will appreciate the art of reading something good for Halloween. 

If you’re looking for some great Halloween books for your kids, look no further. We’ve got a list of 20 awesome books that will get them in the mood for Halloween. 

From classic characters like Count Dracula and stories like the “Ten Timid Ghosts” to Halloween picture books, there’s something for everyone on this list. Read on to find the perfect book for your little ones this Halloween. Plus, be prepared to be deliciously scared yourself with some of these tales!

Important Things To Remember Before Reading Halloween Books for Kids

parent and kid reading book

Even though Halloween is a holiday that has been around for centuries, it wasn’t always the fun and festive event that we know today. In fact, the early origins of Halloween are actually quite dark and mysterious. That’s why, before allowing your child to read any Halloween-themed books, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

  1. First and foremost, Halloween is a holiday that is steeped in history and tradition. For many people, the holiday is a time to celebrate the dead and honor their memory. As such, it’s important to be respectful when reading about or discussing Halloween with your children.
  2. In addition, because Halloween has its roots in paganism, some religious groups do not participate in the holiday. As a result, take into consideration your religious beliefs or affiliation before allowing them to read any Halloween books.
  3. Finally, it’s important to remember that not all Halloween books are appropriate for all children. Some may be too scary for younger readers, while others may contain mature themes that are not suitable for younger children. As a parent, it’s important to preview any Halloween book before allowing your child to read it.

By keeping these things in mind, you can help ensure that your child has a safe and enjoyable experience when reading about or discussing Halloween. Make sure that you are readily available to answer any questions they may have, and always monitor their reading material to ensure that it is appropriate for their age. 

This way, you can make sure that they are getting the most out of their Halloween reading experience.

20 Halloween Books for Kids That Are Both Spooky and Fun

halloween book prop

1. Hardly Haunted by Jessie Sima

Hardly Haunted, written by Jessie Sima, is an wonderfully illustrated story about a self-conscious house who begins to question if she’s actually haunted or not. The sparse text and soft-hued digital illustrations create an atmosphere that’s only gently spooky to the point that it’s almost comforting. 

The important lesson here is about self-acceptance. The book will appeal to young readers who will identify with the main character’s feelings of insecurity and doubt. Sima has created a charming and endearing story that celebrates individuality and embracing what makes us different. We highly recommend this book for readers of all ages.

2. Ghost Afraid of the Dark by Sara Conway

Ghost Afraid of the Dark is a sweet, reassuring story about a shy ghost who discovers that there’s nothing to be afraid of in the dark. The main character is endearing and the illustrations are eye-catching, making this a perfect book for toddlers who are just being introduced to the concept of Halloween. 

The story itself is well-paced and nicely written, conveying the message that ghosts are scared, not scary, in a way that young children will be able to understand and relate to. Overall, Ghost Afraid of the Dark is a charming addition to any child’s Halloween collection.

3. The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky by Jory John

In The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky, Jory John has created a charming tale that is perfect for Halloween. The story follows the same mischievous protagonist from The Bad Seed, as he struggles to find a costume that will top his previous year’s outfit.

John’s illustrations are expressive and full of festive color, and his writing captures the wide range of emotions that children experience during this time of year. Ultimately, the book delivers an important message about self-acceptance and the importance of perspective.

While some children may be outwardly focused on finding the perfect costume or attending the best Halloween party, John reminds us that the holiday is about so much more than that.

It is a time to celebrate our individuality, come together with friends and family, and to enjoy the simple things in life. This is a message that will resonate with readers of all ages, making The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky a must-read for this Halloween season.

4. Scaredy Bat and the Art Thief by Marina J. Bowman

The Scaredy Bat series is a popular choice among young independent readers, and for good reason. The books are well-written, fast-paced, and full of suspense. In Scaredy Bat and the Art Thief, Marina J. Bowman has crafted a thoroughly enjoyable mystery that will keep readers guessing until the very end. 

The book is also notable for its diverse cast of characters, which helps to promote inclusivity and understanding. Overall, Scaredy Bat and the Art Thief is a great choice for any young reader who enjoys a good mystery. The title itself is sure to entice reluctant readers, making this an ideal book for Halloween.

5. Lilac Skully and the Haunted House by Amy Cesari

Lilac Skully and the Haunted House by Amy Cesari is a charming story that is sure to please tween readers. 

The story follows Lilac, a brave and determined young girl who is determined to solve the mystery of a haunted house. With the help of her best friend, Ivy, Lilac sets out to uncover the secrets of the house and its resident ghost. Along the way, she has to outwit a pesky neighbor, dodge an angry dog, and face her fears head-on. 

But ultimately, Lilac is successful in solving the mystery and banishing the ghost from the house. Just the right amount of humor, adventure, and age-appropriate spookiness make this story a perfect read. Tween readers will be enthralled by Lilac’s adventures and eager to see what she tackles next.

6. Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell

Jennifer O’Connell’s “Ten Timid Ghosts” is a counting book with a difference. Not only is it lively and engaging, but it also has a great message for kids. The story follows the adventures of ten ghosts who are ousted from their home by a mean witch. 

But instead of giving up, they band together and plot to reclaim their turf. The ending is both satisfying and empowering, and kids will love following along as the ghosts work together to achieve their goal. This is a great book for teaching kids about cooperation and perseverance, and it’s sure to become a bedtime favorite.

7. Bone Soup by Cambria Evans

Finnigan is a skeleton with an insatiable appetite who arrives in a new town just in time for Halloween. When he goes knocking on doors looking for candy, he soon realizes that the monsters in this town are not as friendly as they seem.

None of them are willing to share their food, and Finnigan will have to get creative if he wants to enjoy a feast fit for a skeleton! 

With some creativity and a touch of magic, Finnigan was able to whip up a feast fit for a skeleton. Evans’s captivating illustrations and use of ethereal vocabulary make Bone Soup an instant Halloween classic for readers of all ages.

8. The Last Kids on Earth and the Nightmare King by Max Brallier

Max Brallier’s Last Kids on Earth and the Nightmare King is a thrilling, funny, and imagination-packed book that lives up to its bestseller status.

The third book’s plot twist unveils that Jack and his friends might not be the only kids left on Earth. 

Although things are going well, a new group of villains threatens their post-apocalyptic life. The Nightmare King and ancient evil are determined to disrupt everything, so the close-knit group must band together to fight them.

With fast-paced action, laugh-out-loud moments, and plenty of heart, this is a series that continues to set the standard for middle-grade fiction.

9. Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Stumpkin is a unique and charming picture book from critically acclaimed author and illustrator Lucy Ruth Cummins. The story follows the titular character, a pumpkin who desperately wants to become a jack-o-lantern. 

However, there’s one small problem: he doesn’t have a stem. Undeterred, Stumpkin sets out on a journey to find the perfect replacement. 

Along the way, he meets a variety of interesting characters, all of whom offer their own suggestions. In the end, Stumpkin learns that it’s not what you have on the outside that matters, but what’s on the inside that counts.

With its adorable illustrations and uplifting message, Stumpkin is sure to become a Halloween favorite for many years.

10. School of the Dead by Avi

School of the Dead is a spine-tingling mystery that is sure to delight even the most reluctant tween reader. Avi weaves a masterful tale of suspense featuring a school-aged boy who must come to terms with the ghosts that are haunting him. 

The story is full of twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very end. Smart and spooky, School of the Dead is a page-turner that is sure to become a new classic in the genre.

11. The Scariest Book Ever by Bob Shea

Bob Shea is a master of comedy, and that shines through in his book The Scariest Book Ever.

The story is told from the perspective of a ghost who is scared of everything, and it is absolutely hilarious. Shea has a gift for writing witty dialogue and creating characters that are both funny and relatable.

The Scariest Book Ever is a great read-aloud for kids as long as the delivery is suitably theatrical. This is a book that will have kids laughing out loud from beginning to end.

12. Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago is a charming ghost story with a message of self-acceptance.

Gustavo is a ghost who struggles to fit in and feels unseen by his ghoulish peers. However, he eventually learns to accept himself for who he is and makes friends in the process. 

The story ends on a positive note, with Gustavo gaining the courage to be himself. The illustrations in the book are vivid and add to the charm of the story. Overall, Gustavo, the Shy Ghost is a heartwarming tale that children will enjoy.

13. Leo a Ghost Story by Mac Barnett

Barnett’s Leo a Ghost Story is a delightful and heartwarming picture book about a ghost named Leo who befriends a human girl named Jane.

The book contains powerful messages about friendship, family, and understanding, wrapped up in a charming and whimsical ghost story.

Though the book is geared toward children, it will surely resonate with readers of all ages. Leo’s story is one that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.

14. Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell

Will Hubbell’s Pumpkin Jack is a charming story that explores the life cycle of a pumpkin in a relatable way. The story follows the young boy who carved the pumpkin as it slowly starts to rot and become mush.

However, instead of getting rid of it, the boy hangs around to watch as it becomes a brand new plant. 

The illustrations are beautiful and capture the pumpkin’s transformation in a detailed and delightful way. Pumpkin Jack is a great book for kids of all ages, as it not only teaches them about the life cycle of a pumpkin, but also helps them to see the value in all stages of life.

15. Hocus Pocus: The Illustrated Novelization by A.W. Jantha

Hocus Pocus: The Illustrated Novelization by A.W. Jantha is a magical retelling of the cult classic film. Featuring stunning illustrations from renowned artist Gris Grimly, this novel is sure to be a hit with tween and young adult readers. 

The story follows the Sanderson sisters, who are resurrected on Halloween night and must perform a series of tasks in order to return to their graves.

With its captivating illustrations and fast-paced storyline, Hocus Pocus: The Illustrated Novelization is sure to be a Halloween favorite for many years.

16. Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories is an anthology of some of the best ghost stories from around the world. The stories in this book were all hand-picked by the author, Roald Dahl. 

If you’re a fan of his work, you’ll know that he has great taste when it comes to spine-chilling tales. Just note that some of these selections are from older works, so they might be better suited for more advanced readers. 

Nevertheless, this is a fantastic collection of ghost stories that is sure to send a chill up your spine.

17. What Was I Scared of? by Dr. Seuss

What Was I Scared of? by Dr. Seuss is a delightful Halloween story with a message that is sure to resonate with children. The book follows a young character who is scared of the “Things” he encounters in the dark. 

However, as he comes to realize, there is nothing to be afraid of. The Things are just as scared of him as he is of them! Dr. Seuss’s signature rhyming text and whimsical illustrations bring the story to life, while the glow-in-the-dark feature adds an extra touch of fun. 

With its timeless message of courage in the face of fear, What Was I Scared of? is definitely a great book to read this Halloween.

18. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline by Neil Gaiman is a gripping novel that is sure to enthrall both tweens and teens. The story centers around a young girl who discovers a passage to a parallel world within her new home. At first, this other place seems both familiar and benign. 

However, it quickly becomes clear that this is not the case. The novel is full of suspense and eerie moments, making it impossible to put down. Gaiman’s use of language is masterful, and his ability to create a believable and scary alternate world is second to none. 

If you’re looking for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, look no further than Coraline.

19. In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz is a classic horror book that has been recently updated with new illustrations. The book contains a series of short stories, each one more chilling than the last. 

The first story, about a girl who wears a ribbon around her neck, is particularly eerie. The illustrations in this new edition help to bring the characters and setting to life, making the book even more suspenseful. 

Whether you’re looking for a scary bedtime story or just want to introduce your kids to the genre, In a Dark, Dark Room is sure to send a shiver up their spine without going overboard.

20. The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling

The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling is a delightful fairytale that will keep kids engaged from beginning to end. The story follows two young children who embark on an adventure to uncover the truth about a mythical creature known as the Ickabog.

Along the way, they make new friends and discover surprising secrets about the so-called monster. With its colorful illustrations and fast-paced story, The Ickabog is sure to become a classic in children’s literature.

baby in halloween costume reading book


Halloween books for kids are a great way to get into the Halloween spirit. There are so many different titles to choose from, so finding the perfect one for your family should be easy. 

Parents should always remember that some children may be scared by certain images in these books, so it is important to preview the book before reading it with your little ones. With a little bit of planning, you and your family can have a spooktacular time reading Halloween books together!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can parents choose the best Halloween books for their kids?

There is no one answer to this question since every child is unique and will enjoy different types of books. However, some tips that may be helpful include looking for books with age-appropriate content, choosing books with engaging illustrations, and picking stories that are not too scary. Additionally, parents can ask their child's teacher or librarian for recommendations.

Why should parents supervise their children when they are reading Halloween books?

Some Halloween books can be quite scary, so it is important for parents to make sure their kids are not getting too frightened. In addition, parents should be aware of any potentially disturbing images in the book so they can discuss them with their child afterward.

What are some of the benefits of reading Halloween books with kids?

Halloween books for kids can be a great way to get kids interested in reading. They can also help kids learn about different cultures and traditions. Additionally, reading Halloween books together can be a fun and bonding experience for both parent and child.

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