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Things That Go Bump in the Night

50 Mighty Girl Stories of Ghosts, Witches, and Monsters

Our favorite fun and spooky Mighty Girl stories to bewitch kids of all ages this Halloween!

Halloween is coming fast, and most kids’ eyes gleam at the thought: the costumes, the candy, the fun, and, of course, the chance to enjoy some spooky and fun stories! So that you can stock your bookshelf with some great Mighty Girl books to enjoy this Halloween, we’ve highlighted all of our seasonal favorites in a new blog post. There's a spooky (or not-so-spooky) story for every young Halloween lover in our collection!

To discover even more girl-empowering Halloween tales, as well as films for a Halloween movie night, check out our special feature on the Top Halloween Mighty Girl Books and Films. Witch lovers can also find more Mighty Girl books about witches in our blog post, With Broomstick in Hand: Books Starring Mighty Girl Witches.

And, for dress up fun this Halloween, you can find hundreds of girl-empowering costumes for all ages in A Mighty Girl's Girl Empowerment Halloween Costume Guide.

Halloween books Starring Mighty Girls

Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin?

Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin?

Written by: Karen Katz
Illustrated by: Karen Katz
Recommended Age: 0 - 3

For really little Mighty Girls, this charming flap book is a great introduction to Halloween mystery. A costumed toddler is hunting for her pumpkin, but under the flaps she finds everything from ghosts to bats to a witch’s hat. Finally, after the pumpkin is found, the final flap reveals a Halloween party to remember! This book is a great way to introduce the fun of Halloween to even the littlest child.

Whoosh! Went The Broom

Whoosh! Went The Broom

Written by: Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by: Axel Scheffler
Recommended Age: 1 - 3

The friendly witch from Room on the Broom makes a fun appearance in this book for toddlers and young preschoolers! The witch and the cat (and her very tall hat) are flying over the treetops. Press the interactive button to make a "whoosh" sound as the broom goes by! With sturdy board book pages and simplified text, it's perfect to introduce the littlest Mighty Girls to this beloved character. Fans of this witchy character will also love this plush witch which is suitable for ages 2 and up.

The Littlest Mummy

The Littlest Mummy

Written by: Brandi Dougherty
Illustrated by: Michelle Todd
Recommended Age: 3 - 5

Mae the mummy is super excited to dance with her family at the Spooky Woods' Halloween party... but she just can't seem to pull off her family's spooky dance routine, no matter how hard she tries. Even when she groans her loudest, it sounds like a whisper, and she just can't get her shuffles right. For a while she's sure she is just too little — until she meets a friend who's been feeling the same way, and together, they create their own special Halloween routine! This charming and relatable story will speak to any little monster who's worried they're just too little for all the fun.

Not Very Scary

Not Very Scary

Written by: Carol Brendler
Illustrated by: Greg Pizzoli
Recommended Age: 3 - 6

Melly discovers that even the most daring Mighty Girls can get scared sometimes! On her "not very scary" walk, the skeletons, black cats, and goblins following her get a little more intimidating with every step, and even though Melly tries to hide her fear, she gets more apprehensive as she goes. Hopefully the surprise her cousin promises will be worth it... This fun, slightly spooky counting story is sure to generate giggles.

A Very Brave Witch

A Very Brave Witch

Written by: Alison McGhee
Illustrated by: Harry Bliss
Recommended Age: 3 - 6

On the far side of town, a brave young witch lives a big, dark house. Her fellow witches warn her about the scary humans and their mysterious and dangerous version of Halloween, but one year, the witch's curiosity gets the best of her and she decides to see just what these humans are all about. It turns out that witches and little girls aren't all that different after all! Author Allison McGhee tells her story completely in dialogue balloons, making it a fun read — and perfect for a young child who’s slightly nervous about this spooky holiday.

The Little Kitten (My Little Animal Friend)
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The Little Kitten (My Little Animal Friend)
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Written by: Nicola Killen
Illustrated by: Nicola Killen
Recommended Age: 3 - 6

Ollie and her cat Pumpkin are playing outside on a cold fall day when they find a tiny, shivering kitten. After warming the kitten up, she's eager to play, and soon the trio wear themselves out! But when the kitten is ready to play more, Ollie runs off after her into the woods, leaving Pumpkin behind... and discovers "Lost Kitten" posters hanging on the trees. Ollie is determined to help the kitten find her way home — but now she's lost herself! Fortunately, Pumpkin shows up in the nick of time to see her home — and the next morning, Ollie finds a special thank-you from the little kitten's owner (who some sharp-eyed readers may see flying through the air on a broom!). Illustrated in limited color with lovely gold foil and interactive die cut pages, this charming story by the author of The Little Reindeer and The Little Rabbit is a celebration of friendship, fall, and Halloween.

Skelly the Skeleton Girl

Skelly the Skeleton Girl

Written by: Jimmy Pickering
Illustrated by: Jimmy Pickering
Recommended Age: 3 - 6

Little Skelly finds a lost bone one day, and decides to return it to its proper owner. But after asking her bony goldfish, her carnivorous plants, and even the creature that lives under the stairs, she still hasn’t found the owner of the bone! Finally, she finds where the bone belongs — and makes a new friend. Jimmy Pickering’s unique, bright artwork and clever verse are perfect for any kid who likes spooky but cute characters. Fans of this book will want to check out the sequel, Skelly and Femur.

Ghosts in the House!

Ghosts in the House!

Written by: Kazuno Kohara
Illustrated by: Kazuno Kohara
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

This little girl has an eerie problem: a haunted house! But this budding witch knows what to do. She careful catches every ghost... and puts them in the washing machine! After a little while airing to dry, the ghosts get to try out new identities as slipcovers, table clothes, and even cozy bedsheets. With bold orange, black, and white illustrations and a perfect mix of sweet and spooky for little ones, this is a creative tale about a resourceful Mighty Girl who handles ghosts in an unexpected way.

Annie Was Warned

Annie Was Warned

Written by: Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

Sometimes a friend’s dare will get the best of you! Annie knows she’s not supposed to go to the Montgomery Mansion — but how can she turn down the challenge? Besides, she’s not scared of a haunted house...is she? Full of perfectly shivery moments as Annie ventures down the street and up the mansion’s steps, and with a pleasant surprise on a fold-out page when she goes through the door, kids will enjoy reading this book again and again.

Eenie Meenie Halloweenie
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Eenie Meenie Halloweenie
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Written by: Susan Eaddy
Illustrated by: Lucy Fleming
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

The little girl in this story is excited to make her own costume out of stuff from her dress-up trunk! The problem is deciding exactly how to dress up! If she combines her fuzzy coat with paper ears, she could be a bear, but Daddy's old tuxedo and orange tights would make a penguin. Or maybe she should be a turtle with a laundry basket shell? As kid enjoy this rollicking read-aloud, they'll enjoy watching the main character come up with creative ideas for costumes — including her clever solution that includes the best of everything! This charming story is sure to inspire a little home-made costume creation.

A Unicorn Named Sparkle and the Pumpkin Monster
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A Unicorn Named Sparkle and the Pumpkin Monster
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Written by: Amy Young
Illustrated by: Amy Young
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

Lucy and Sparkle the unicorn are back — but the friends are having a disagreement about their Halloween fun. They both enjoy corn mazes and games and donuts, but Sparkle does NOT like to be scared. When Lucy startles his with a super-scary pumpkin she's carved, Sparkle runs off in fright! Now Sparkle is trying to hide from the pumpkin monster, while Lucy desperately wants to find her friend — and make up for her mistake. Fortunately, their friendship is strong enough to overcome Sparkle's fear! Kids will love this silly adventure that celebrates friendship and the joys of fall

A Teeny Tiny Halloween

A Teeny Tiny Halloween

Written by: Lauren L. Wohl
Illustrated by: Henry Cole
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

Every fall, the teeny tiny woman who lives in a teeny tiny house has a very big problem: fall leaves surround her house until the whole place is buried! Inside the pitch black house, it's very dark and more than a little scary. The teeny tiny woman calls, "Oh, who will save me?" but no one can hear her, no matter how loudly she yells — so that means the teeny tiny woman needs to use a few tricks she's got up her sleeve to save herself! Written to be read aloud, with different typefaces to indicate everything from a teeny tiny whisper to a giant shout, this book has the same quality as classic campfire stories — and soon your child will be retelling it herself!

Only A Witch Can Fly

Only A Witch Can Fly

Written by: Alison McGhee
Illustrated by: Taeeun Yoo
Recommended Age: 3 - 8

A little girl desperately wants to be able to fly — but only a witch can do that. She’s not deterred, though: instead, one special night, she gets a broom (and her cat) and tries, and tries, and tries... until, finally, her heart’s desire comes true. Told in poetic language with evocative illustrations, this story emphasizes perseverance and celebrates a little girl who believes she can do something amazing. This reflective, quiet book makes a great counterpart to the bustling, noisy Halloween holiday.

Hubble Bubble, Granny Trouble

Hubble Bubble, Granny Trouble

Written by: Tracey Corderoy
Recommended Age: 3 - 8

This little girl's granny is (whispers) a witch! And frankly, having a witch for a grandmother can be a bit of a pain. So she decides to reform her granny and teach her to be just like all the other grandmothers out there. But it turns out that, when you take away the frogs and bats, the icky soup and the disappearing spells...Granny just isn't herself, and she's not nearly as much fun. Time to unreform Granny! Fun rhyme makes this an appealing read-aloud, and kids will love the message of loving someone just as she is.

The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo!
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The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo!
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Written by: Elaine Bickell
Illustrated by: Raymond McGrath
Recommended Age: 4 - 7

Little Ghost is ready to give someone the fright of her life when she opens her mouth... and nothing comes out! She's lost her BOO! Determined to solve the problem (and get back to her spooking) Little Ghost consults with animals who make similar sounds — but the owl's "whoo-whoo," the pigeon's "coo," the cow's "moo," and the rooster's "cock-a-doodle-doo" aren't nearly as scary as her boo. Fortunately, Little Ghost knows one more person she can ask... and with the help of the reader, rediscovers her perfectly scary BOO! With cheerful rhyming text and adorable illustrations, this is a charming story of friendship and perseverance that's perfect for Halloween.

How To Scare A Ghost

How To Scare A Ghost

Written by: Jean Reagan
Illustrated by: Lee Wildish
Recommended Age: 4 - 7

This Halloween, it's the ghosts who are getting scared! In this charming title from Jean Reagan, two kids guide young readers to all the preparations you need to spook a ghost. Make sure you've got your pumpkin carved and you read a few scary stories. Play some Halloween games and practice making creepy sounds. And once you've attracted (and surprised!) your ghost, the Halloween fun can really begin! Kids will giggle at the role-reversal in this funny book, and enjoy making their own Halloween preparations.

The Ninja Club Sleepover
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The Ninja Club Sleepover
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Written by: Laura Gehl
Illustrated by: MacKenzie Haley
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Willa and her best friends Val and Fiona play ninjas every day, so when it's time for Val's birthday party, she naturally chooses a ninja-themed sleepover! Except Willa has been hiding a secret from her friends: she's a werewolf... and the party is on the full moon. Willa summons up the courage to go to the party, where an accident on the obstacle course reveals the truth — but not Willa's. It turns out that both Val and Fiona are supernatural too, and normal ninjas aren't nearly as exciting as their new paranormal ninja team! Sweet, reassuring, and packed with friendly monsters to enjoy, this charming story celebrates being true to yourself — and finding the friends who appreciate you as you are.

Moldilocks and the Three Scares

Moldilocks and the Three Scares

Written by: Lynne Marie
Illustrated by: David Rodriguez Lorenzo
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

The Scare family lives in a haunted house for four, but with only Papa, Mama, and Baby in it, it always feels like something is missing. When Papa's alpha-bat soup is too hot one night, they go out for a walk with their bloodhound — and a zombie named Moldilocks follows her nose to something that smells delicious... and familiar. Moldilocks may cause the same havoc as her fairy-tale counterpart, but it turns out that she's just what the Scares have been looking for! This funny and heartwarming tale celebrates home and family — whatever form they take.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book

Illustrated by: Kim Smith
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Introduce little readers to the Buffyverse with this picture book starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Once upon a time, the Slayer was a kid just like you — and she didn't feel very brave. But when she heard mysterious noises in her closet, she knew what to do: she invited her friends Willow and Xander for a sleepover so they could investigate! The silly story and cute illustrations in this title are perfect for longtime fans of Buffy to share with a new generation.

Mostly Monsterly

Mostly Monsterly

Written by: Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by: Scott Magoon
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Bernadette is a typical monster... but secretly, she loves flowers, kittens, and even baking. Her first day at Monster Academy shows her just how different she is from her classmates — they’d rather eat snail goo than her beautiful cupcakes! But Bernadette is determined to find a way to make friends without changing who she is. Both a great Halloween story and a story to help handle fears about fitting in, this funny book is sure to get giggles.

I Am A Witch's Cat

I Am A Witch's Cat

Written by: Harriet Muncaster
Illustrated by: Harriet Muncaster
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

What's more fun around Halloween than playing pretend? This little girl knows her mother must be a witch — after all, the bathroom is full of magic potion bottles she's not allowed to touch! But since her mother is a good witch, it only makes sense to pull on a cat costume and become a witch's cat. A charming story with intricate collage illustrations, this is sure to become a favorite.

Zombelina

Zombelina

Written by: Kristyn Crow
Illustrated by: Molly Idle
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Zombelina's love of dance is appreciated by her friends and family — but when she joins a ballet class for real girls, a bout of stage fright leaves her onstage moaning and staggering like, well, a zombie...and scares away most of the audience. Those who are left, though, are the ones who appreciate exactly who Zombelina is. This lovely story of family — with just a hint of spooky atmosphere — is sure to please!

Grimelda The Very Messy Witch

Grimelda The Very Messy Witch

Written by: Diana Murray
Illustrated by: Heather Ross
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Grimelda's house has stuff over the place, but she finds it cozy and comforting — until the day she wants to make her favorite pickle pie and she can't find a key ingredient! She rummages through other items like scream cheese spread, dragon fruit, and rot sauce without success; she even thinks of trying a finding spell, but she can't find the right spellbook. Making pickle pie might turn out to be more of an adventure than she had planned... With fun verse for reading aloud and busy illustrations that kids can scour for funny details, kids will return to this book over and over again. Fans of Grimelda will be delighted to see her return in Grimelda and the Spooktacular Pet Show.

Monster Trouble

Monster Trouble

Written by: Lane Fredrickson
Illustrated by: Michael Robertson
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Winifred Schnitzel isn't scared of the monsters in her bedroom, but she sure is frustrated — she needs her sleep! Every night they're there, making a ruckus, despite the cleverest traps that Winifred can think up. Perhaps Winifred will have to get a bit more creative to deal with her monster problem (Hint: monsters hate kisses!) This funny bedtime story will have kids giggling — and if Halloween monster stories have made her nervous, it's the perfect story to help her overcome her fears.

Goblin Moon

Goblin Moon

Written by: Jacqueline Rogers
Illustrated by: Jacqueline Rogers
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

After a night of trick or treating, a little girl spots goblins at play underneath a smiling moon — until they disappear from the view outside the window, and appear in her own house! Not one to put up with such nonsense, she orders them out, but goblins do as they please. Fortunately, a little cleverness (and a trail of Halloween candy) allows the girl to see them safely out of her house... and she gets a little something as a thank you for her kindness! Luminous illustrations and a slightly spooky but not scary story make the perfect read-aloud for October nights.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything

Written by: Linda D. Williams
Illustrated by: Megan Lloyd
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

This old lady is never scared...until one fall night, walking home through the woods, when she hears CLOMP, CLOMP, SHAKE, SHAKE, CLAP, CLAP! First shoes, then pants, a shirt, and even gloves and a spooky pumpkin face start following her home — and for the first time in her life, the old lady is SCARED! But when her pursuers follow her all the way home, her clever solution will get everyone laughing. With its repeated refrain and fun sound effects, this makes a great Halloween read-aloud.

Fairy Tale Frankie and the Tricky Witch

Fairy Tale Frankie and the Tricky Witch

Written by: Greg Gormley
Illustrated by: Steven Lenton
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Frankie loves fairy tales, so at first she's thrilled when fairy tale characters start showing up at her door. But all of them have the same story: the witch is coming, and they have to hide. As Frankie packs every nook and cranny of her house with Knights, unicorns, princesses, mermaids, and more, she can't help but wonder what will happen when this witch arrives. Fortunately, when the witch arrives as promised, it turns out she's a fairly friendly one — and she's challenged her friends to a lively game of hide and seek! With colorful illustrations and a delightful twist at the end, this is the perfect not-too-scary witch story.

The Widow's Broom

The Widow's Broom

Written by: Chris Van Allsburg
Illustrated by: Chris Van Allsburg
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

When a witch's broom lands in widow Minna Shaw's garden, she takes it in and puts it to work. She quickly discovers that it's a pretty ordinary broom for sweeping — but it can also do any number of other tasks, from chopping wood to feeding some very startled chickens to keeping her company when the day is done. When the broom stops two bullying children, the suspicious neighbors demand that Minna gives up the broom to be destroyed. But even after they've burned it at the stake, Minna still wants her companion.... Mysterious and just spooky enough, the 25th anniversary edition of this book is perfect for introducing a new generation to this memorable story by two-time Caldecott Medal winner and master of the mysterious Chris Van Allsburg.

Ghoulia

Ghoulia

Written by: Barbara Cantini
Illustrated by: Barbara Cantini
Recommended Age: 6 - 8

Ghoulia is a typical zombie kid: she lives in Crumbling Manor with her Auntie Departed, and loves playing with Tragedy, her albino dog. Except unlike many zombies, Ghoulia wants a real friend. Outside the manor's walls, though, she can't hide her ghoulish appearance, so she's sure no one will befriend her. Then she has an idea: on Halloween, with all the kids dressed up like monsters, she can finally be herself. And maybe, if the kids get to know Ghoulia, they'll realize she's a great friend... This appealing series opener with a sweet message of acceptance and friendship is a delight.

Little Witch

Little Witch

Illustrated by: Helen Stone
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

Minikin Snickasnee — called Minx for short — was nine years old and wished with all her heart that she was not a witch's child. It may sound like fun to be the daughter of Madam Snickasnee and be forbidden to go to school, to wash behind your ears, or go to bed at night. You might even like to see certain people you know turned into potted plants and have your own flying broomstick. But Minx didn't like riding around in the dark or cooking up horrid pots of Black Spell Brew. Even a witch's child rebels, and one day, Minx sneaked off to school. The principal was certainly surprised to see his newest pupil arriving on a broomstick, and life just got much more exciting for a lot of people!

My Haunted House

My Haunted House

Written by: Angie Sage
Illustrated by: Jimmy Pickering
Recommended Age: 6 - 10

Newly independent readers will enjoy the ominous (but friendly) creatures in this book! Araminta loves the spooky home where she's growing up, so when her crabby Aunt Tabby decides she wants to sell it and move, Araminta — and a few ghostly friends — set themselves to scaring off buyers... literally! But when it's a ghost-loving family who's looking at the house, Araminta's plan may not go as smoothly as she'd hoped. Fans of the weird and fun will love this funny tale!

Magic Trixie

Magic Trixie

Written by: Jill Thompson
Illustrated by: Jill Thompson
Recommended Age: 6 - 10

Trixie is frustrated: she doesn’t get to do anything fun, but her little sister gets away with everything. And she’s determined to wow her classmates — a collection of monsters, witches, and ghosts — at show and tell, but they all know all of her tricks already! Then Trixie remembers she knows one more trick: making something disappear. And she knows just what she’d like to make go away... At the heart of this fun story is the struggle with sibling envy, making this story perfect for the whole year round.

The Second-Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street
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The Second-Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street
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Written by: Cory Putman Oakes
Illustrated by: Jane Pica
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

12-year-old Willow Ivan's family has a big problem — and it's called the Hauntery. For 400 years, The Ivan has been the best haunted hotel on Mercer Street, but now the Hauntery, with its flashy corporate marketing, has moved in — and as The Ivan's business fades, so do the ghosts who help run it. When Willow meets Evie, a 12-year-old ghost who wants to be a Terrifying Phantasm, the two strike up a friendship and make plans to save The Ivan... but what Evie hasn't told Willow is that she's working for the Hauntery as a Spooky Little Girl. When her secret is revealed, will it doom both The Ivan and their friendship? This tongue-in-cheek story is the perfect combination of spooky and heartwarming.

Bob

Bob

Illustrated by: Nicholas Gannon
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

Five years after her first visit to her grandmother's house in Australia, Livy is back — and feels like there's something important she's forgotten about her last trip. What she forgot was Bob: a small, mysterious being dressed in a chicken suit. She promised to help find his family… and Bob remembers her promise, even if he doesn't remember his way home. Together, Livy and Bob will have to puzzle out the clues to where Bob comes from — and along the way, they'll learn truths about both love and the joys of childhood. Told in alternating chapters in Livy and Bob's perspectives, this irresistible story explores friendship, belonging, and the magic of storytelling.

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow

Written by: Katy Towell
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

The main characters of this book struggle with their supernatural sides: Adelaide looks like a werewolf, Maggie is strangely strong, and Beatrice says she can see ghosts. Their classmates call them the “scary children” and they spend most of their time together in the library. But when people start disappearing in the town of Widowsbury, the girls will have to work together to break a nasty curse. This book is perfect for a middle reader whose taste run towards all things creepy.

Kiki's Delivery Service
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Kiki's Delivery Service
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Recommended Age: 8 - 12

Fans of Kiki's Delivery Service will be delighted to read this new translation of the book that inspired the Studio Ghibli film! Half-witch Kiki is ready to follow the witch tradition of choosing a new town to call home for one year after her thirteenth birthday. But the village of Koriko is not as welcoming as she might have hoped, and the villagers aren't so sure about her idea to use her witch's powers to help them. It takes some determination, but slowly, Kiki makes friends in her new home... and realizes that there's magic in every day, ordinary places, too. This brand new translation of the first book in the Kiki series will delight readers young and old!

Suddenly Supernatural: School Spirit

Suddenly Supernatural: School Spirit

Written by: Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

Kat Roberts has a secret: unlike the normal girls at her school, she, like her mother, can see and talk to spirits. But when she and a friend discover that a ghost of a former student needs their help, Kat has to embrace her gifts to solve the mystery — while still navigating all the trials that middle school has to offer. The perfect mix of humor and suspense, supernatural and every-day, this book will fascinate your mystery-loving middle reader.

The Worst Witch

The Worst Witch

Written by: Jill Murphy
Illustrated by: Jill Murphy
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

At the top of a mountain surrounded by a deep wood stands Miss Cackle's Academy, where young witches train in all the witchy arts. Mildred Hubble is the worst witch in the school, struggling with everything, but she's getting by until she accidentally makes an enemy of Ethel, the teacher's pet. But when she decides to run away and overhears people plotting against the school, Mildred is faced with a choice: leave the Academy to its fate or see if the worst witch might actually save the day. Fans of Mildred can find seven of her adventures in The Worst Witch: Complete Adventures box set.

The Ghost Road

The Ghost Road

Written by: Charis Cotter
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

When Ruth goes to Newfoundland to spend the summer with family she's never met, she discovers that her cousin, Ruby, is mysteriously similar to her, except that Ruby believes in spirits, while Ruth is a skeptic. Then the pair discover that twin girls are born every generation... and every set of twins dies young, leaving their children motherless. And one of the twins has The Sight, which lets them see the Ghost Road to a lost settlement called Slippers Cove. Can the girls find the Ghost Road and untangle the mystery — before the curse plays out again? This haunting tale in an evocative, isolating setting conveys a thought-provoking message about the power of words.

A Properly Unhaunted Place

A Properly Unhaunted Place

Written by: William Alexander
Illustrated by: Kelly Murphy
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

In Rosa Ramona Díaz's world, ghosts are everywhere. Sure, sometimes they need calming — that's why her mother is a ghost appeasement specialist — but they're a critical part of honoring departed loved ones. So when her mother moves to Ingot, the only ghost-free town in the world, Rosa isn't happy. But it soon becomes clear that there's something sinister behind Ingot's lack of ghosts, and with Jasper Chevalier, a new friend, she sets out to rein in angry spirits and solve the mystery. Part supernatural story and part coming of age tale, this charming story with a unique setting is sure to be a favorite.

Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

Written by: Zac Gorman
Illustrated by: Sam Bosma
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

Have you ever wondered who cares for the magical creatures in castle dungeons? In Castle Grimstone, it's Thisby Thestoop, a resourceful orphan whose work keeps the monsters happy (and her safe.) Then the annoying Princess Iphigenia and Prince Ingo show up for an inspection... that ends up with the prince missing and the princess lost in the dungeon without her bodyguards. Thisby is the only one who can see her safely past the many monsters in the dungeon — but along the way, they'll also discover a plot to start a war, one that could endanger all the magical creatures in the Black Mountain dungeon. This tongue-in-cheek series opener, full of rollicking action, features an unlikely friendship and plenty of magical fun.

The Year of Shadows

The Year of Shadows

Written by: Claire Legrand
Illustrated by: Karl Kwasny
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

It's a difficult year for Olivia Stellatella: her mother has disappeared, her father — who's more interested in saving his failing orchestra than in Olivia — has moved her and her grandmother into the broken-down concert hall, and she doesn't have any friends to lean on. As she explores the hall, Olivia makes a shocking discovery: four ghosts, tied to the hall, who explain that they need her help. If the hall is demolished, they'll be trapped as ghosts forever. Olivia is determined to try to save the concert hall and her new ghostly friends, but her project brings unexpected dangers, including specters, spirits who are already trapped, who want to stop her and her friends... This just-spooky-enough story uses the supernatural to explore the ways we can repair the hurt we cause to one another.

Begone the Raggedy Witches

Begone the Raggedy Witches

Written by: Celine Kiernan
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

In Mup's world, the raggedy witches are the enforcers for a tyrannical queen who has outlawed most magic — Mup's grandmother. And when her Aunty dies, the raggedy witches come for Mup's family and spirit away her father. Mup and her mother decide to leave the ordinary world and journey through the Witches Borough to rescue him... but it won't be easy. Everything is off-balance, and even Mam and Mup herself start to seem off-kilter. Even if Mup can retrieve her father, will she ever be the same? The first book of a trilogy about family and forbidden magic, this book takes fantasy tropes and gives them a new twist. Mup's story continues in The Little Grey Girl.

The Dollhouse Murders

The Dollhouse Murders

Written by: Betty Ren Wright
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

No matter how much Amy tells herself that dolls can't move by themselves, she's starting to be convinced she's wrong: every night, she hears noises from the dollhouse in the attic, and the dolls are never where she left them. And when she sees an eerie light from the dollhouse, she starts to wonder if this creepy behavior is somehow related to her great-grandparents' murder. But will she unravel the complex relationships of her family and the spooky mystery of the dollhouse in time? This 35th anniversary edition of a modern classic is perfect to introduce a new generation to this bone-chilling tale. Fans of this book can also check out Betty Ren Wright's Christina's Ghost.

The Jumbies

The Jumbies

Written by: Tracey Baptiste
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

Corinne La Mer isn't afraid of the jumbies — they're just stories made up by parents! Except that one night, she sees a pair of yellow eyes near the forbidden forest. The next day, a beautiful but strange woman named Severine shows up at Corinne's house. She's going to claim the entire island for the jumbies — unless Corinne can stop her. Corinne has courage aplenty and friends to stand by her sides — but how can an ordinary girl save her island against this magical force? Unless, of course, she has magic of her own... An action-packed story and vibrant Caribbean setting will delight middle grade readers. Readers can follow Corinne's adventures in Rise of the Jumbies and The Jumbie God's Revenge.

Evangeline of the Bayou

Evangeline of the Bayou

Written by: Jan Eldredge
Illustrated by: Joseph Kuefler
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

12-year-old Evangeline Clement is a haunt huntress apprentice: she's devoting herself to learning folk magic and monster hunting, just like her female ancestors before her. She's confident that her animal familiar is due to appear any time, but the council isn't quite sure that she's ready. Then Evangeline and her grandmother are sent to investigate a case in New Orleans, where she unwittingly ends up with an unwanted sidekick: Julian, the skeptical son of the woman in peril who thinks monsters are a load of bunk. Can Evangeline prove herself (and prove the truth to Julian), save the day, and finally become a full haunt huntress? Charming characters and a vibrant setting add extra fun to this story about friendship, loyalty, and trusting your gut.

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch
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Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch
New!

Written by: Julie Abe
Recommended Age: 9 - 13

12-year-old Eva Evergreen is getting desperate: she only has until her birthday to earn the rank of Novice Witch, or she'll lose her magic forever — but she struggles to cast simple spells and falls asleep if she overdoes it. With a month to go, she travels to the seaside town of Auteri, where the major allows her to stay if she can protect them from the Culling, a destructive magical storm. It's not long before she's come up with a clever idea to win over the town: a "semi-magical fixes" repair shop that allows her to combine the magic she has with some technological know-how. But with the Culling drawing nearer, will Eva's pinch of magic be enough? This charming and creative fantasy celebrates ingenuity and persistence, perfect for fans of Kiki's Delivery Service and Aru Shah and the End of Time.

Fablehaven

Fablehaven

Written by: Brandon Mull
Illustrated by: Brandon Dorman
Recommended Age: 9 - 14

Kendra and Seth don’t know that their grandfather is the caretaker of a secret forest that houses monsters like trolls, satyrs, witches, imps, and fairies — but when the laws of Fablehaven are broken, the whole world could be threatened by the forces that are unleashed. Kendra and Seth will have to learn quickly — and face their fears — if they want to save everything they care about. The first book of an ongoing series, this fantasy novel is terrific for independent reading — or as a read-aloud that the whole family can enjoy. Fans of the series can get this Fablehaven box set which collects the whole series.

The Wee Free Men

The Wee Free Men

Written by: Terry Pratchett
Recommended Age: 9 and up

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld witches have always explored questions of responsibility, psychology, and friendship, and his young adult series about witch Tiffany Aching follows the same mold. In The Wee Free Men, nine-year-old would-be witch Tiffany finds herself desperately seeking witch magic to defend her home — and her pesky little brother — from the denizens of Fairyland. It turns out that Tiffany, who's intelligent, shrewd, and has a talent for cheese, also has a gift for being a witch. Tiffany's story continues in A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight, and Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown. Don’t be surprised if your kids return to these thoughtful, humorous, and engaging stories over and over again.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Written by: Jonathan Auxier
Recommended Age: 9 and up

11-year-old Nan Sparrow is a 'climbing boy,' an orphan owned by a chimney sweep to do the dirty, dangerous work of cleaning flues in Victorian London. But, Nan isn't a boy and she's quite possibly the best chimney climber who ever lived, beating the odds again and again... until the day she's trapped in a chimney fire. When she wakes up safe in an attic, she discovers that she was saved by a mysterious creature — a golem — made from ash and coal. Together, the two outcasts will need to evade Nan's abusive boss and figure out how to create a better life in a world that's quick to label differences as monstrous. Told by master storyteller Jonathan Auxier, this powerful and heartwarming tale explores the search for home and family, in whatever form they take.

The Aviary

The Aviary

Written by: Kathleen O'Dell
Recommended Age: 9 and up

Twelve-year-old Clara lives in a strange place — the crumbling mansion where her mother works as a servant to widowed Mrs. Glendoveer includes an aviary, where the birds shriek every time she approaches. But one day, instead of squalling, the mynah bird speaks — and Clara starts uncovering dark secrets about the Glendoveer family. As Clara tries to solve the Glendoveers’ mystery, she learns secrets about her own family — and all the while, she has the feeling that the birds want to tell her something... A charming, spooky tale of secret identities, nasty villains, and surprising heroes, this book will totally absorb middle readers.

Shadow School: Archimancy

Shadow School: Archimancy

Written by: J. A. White
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

When 11-year-old Cordelia Liu has to start at a new school, she knows it will be different from her old middle school — but she doesn't expect it to be haunted. It seems like everywhere she goes, she sees ghosts! She soon befriends Benji, a classmate with the same ability to see the spectres at Shadow School, and Agnes, a science-minded girl, and sets out on a mission to figure out how to help free the ghosts. But as their investigations continue, they realize that the school's creation may have a sinister backstory, and that someone may want the ghosts trapped there... no matter the cost. This spine-tingling series opener will thrill middle grade ghost story fans and leave them eager to learn more about Shadow School!

A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting

A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting

Written by: Joe Ballarini
Illustrated by: Vivienne To
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

Kelly Ferguson was going to a Halloween party; instead, she's babysitting. Boring! Well, until Baby Jacob gets kidnapped by the Boogeyman. It turns out that monsters are real, there's a secret society of babysitters that defend children from them, and Kelly is the newest recruit. Thanks to the society's ancient handbook, Kelly knows she has to destroy the Boogeyman... but when her pursuit leads to the school's big Halloween dance, she'll have to figure out a way to do it without attracting unwanted attention. This hilarious and action-packed series opener full of appealing characters will leave middle-grade readers imagining themselves as monster-hunting babysitters!

The Witches of Willow Cove
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The Witches of Willow Cove
New!

Written by: Josh Roberts
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

Abby Shepherd just turned 13... and discovered she's a witch. She's not quite sure how to manage her powers, and worse, her best friend Robby is suddenly keeping secrets from her. When a stranger named Miss Winters arrives in town and offers to teach Abby — and a few other young witches in town — it seems like the perfect opportunity. But when Robby reveals that he's trying to solve the mystery of what happened to his mother, and Abby helps him investigate, she starts wondering if Miss Winters is as trustworthy as she thinks. Atmospheric, just-spooky-enough, and magical, this story celebrates true friendship and standing up for what's right.

The Witches of Worm

The Witches of Worm

Written by: Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Illustrated by: Alton Raible
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

For older readers, tales of witches can also explore deeper, darker territory. Jessica is already isolated from both her busy, dating mother and her peers when she brings home a skinny, ugly kitten she calls Worm. But then Worm starts convincing her to do mean, awful things — and Jessica realizes that Worm must be a witch’s cat. So has Worm bewitched her, or does he have other reasons to be interested in Jessica? And how can she free herself from his influence? This Newbery Honor book captures the isolation and alienation many young people feel, and explores the question of moral responsibility — all in a spooky, supernatural setting.

Coraline

Coraline

Written by: Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by: Dave McKean
Recommended Age: 10 and up

Be careful what you wish for! Coraline is bored in her parents’ enormous house, so when she discovers a special door that leads to a parallel world that seems almost the same — but better — at first she’s thrilled. The creepy denizens of the other house don’t bother her — until she gets to know her mirrored parents, white-faced, button-eyed...and determined to keep their little girl on their side of the door. Is Coraline clever and brave enough to return to her normal life? Gaiman’s tale quickly became a young adult classic, and has also received graphic novel treatment as well as being turned into an animated film.

The Night Gardener

The Night Gardener

Written by: Jonathan Auxier
Recommended Age: 10 and up

Abandoned siblings Molly and Kip are working as servants in a declining Victorian manor house. But the house's owners — and the tree on the grounds — have unexpected secrets, and soon Molly and Kip must combat a dangerous spirit with nothing but their wits...and the power of storytelling. Can Molly's gift of the gab keep them safe from the ominous Night Gardener? If your tween wants a truly eerie tale, this is a great place to start.

Wait Till Helen Comes

Wait Till Helen Comes

Written by: Mary Downing Hahn
Recommended Age: 10 and up

Molly's little stepsister, Heather, has been a nuisance ever since their parents got married. When their parents move the family to a country house that used to be a church, Molly is particularly creeped out by the graveyard nearby...but Heather seems drawn to it. Worse, she's soon talking about "Helen," a ghostly girl who Heather insists is coming for all three of them. As Molly learns more about Helen — and about the reasons for Heather's odd behavior — she becomes determined to figure out a way to stop Helen and ensure that Heather is safe. This creepy and suspenseful ghost story will keep tweens and teens flipping pages until the end.

Anya’s Ghost

Anya’s Ghost

Written by: Vera Brosgol
Illustrated by: Vera Brosgol
Recommended Age: 14 and up

Anya is desperate for a friend, so when she falls down a well and meets a hundred-year-old ghost, she figures that a ghost friend is better than nothing. After all, she’s embarrassed by her immigrant family, her body is changing in ways she doesn’t like, and there’s no chance she’ll ever fit in at school! But some of the things Emily suggests make Anya very uncomfortable, and when it turns out that Emily hasn’t been honest with Anya, Anya will have to make some very difficult decisions. This supernatural story also explores the real-life challenges of life as a teen.

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