Halloween is the holiday of storytelling. When the trees shed their leaves and monstrous masks appear on store shelves, children everywhere take an interest in the supernatural and the macabre. Everyone needs a good ghost story to tell.
Here are ten books that can give your pre-teen fabulous ghost stories to tell at parties, introduce them to great literature, and give them just plain fabulous books to read that share the spirit of the season.
1. The Graveyard Book by Niel Gaiman
At first glance, The Graveyard Book is a macabre retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s legendary tale The Jungle Book. The story centers around an orphan who has been removed from the human world and finds new family elsewhere, as well as new danger. The sole survivor of a gruesome murder of his family, he takes shelter in a graveyard. Gaiman makes the graveyard every bit as fascinating, richly diverse, and memorable Kipling’s jungle.
As the boy grows amongst the spirits who allow him to live there and serve as his unlikely mentors, he inhabits a curious place between the world of the dead and the world of the living. It’s a timeless tale of growing up and self-discovery amidst a spooky backdrop.
2. Ronald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories by Ronald Dahl
You may recognize Ronald Dahl as the author of the children’s classic James and the Giant Peach. Did you know he had a fondness for ghost stories? When Dahl compiled this anthology, he read over seven hundred ghost stories at the British Museum Library, and from those he selected fourteen of the spookiest. The anthology includes well-known writers such as Edith Warton, but contains a great variety that avoids some of the more widely-published classic horror tales. Many of the stories have a more subtle literary style, and are best suited to advanced readers.
3. The Best Ghost Stories Ever by Christopher Krovatin
The second anthology to make the list was