Scary Books Can Get Kids to Read More!

Scary Books - for kids who like scary stuff!

Scary Books are a Popular Genre for Many Students!



















Scary books are a popular item in my library and scary books get kids to read more!   Every student is drawn to different types of books, but scary books are definitely a hot ticket item!!! Scary books can get kids reading and enjoy reading. Mary Downing Hahn is an outstanding author of scary books and she's written a ton of scary books that kids love! I could have created a page on just her books. These are just some of the popular scary books in my library.

A Haunting Collection by Mary Downing Hahn: Deep and Dark and Dangerous, All the Lovely Bad Ones, and Wait Till Helen Comes home.  Mysterious disappearances! Ghost appearances! From the supernatural to the downright scary, these three spooky stories from award-winning author Mary Downing Hahn are sure to send shivers down readers’ spines. Mysterious photographs, ghostly old houses, and all things supernatural await readers in these three frightful tales.

Book of Ghost Stories by Roald Dahl Spookiness is, after all, the real purpose of the ghost story," Dahl writes. "It should give you the creeps and disturb your thoughts." For this superbly disquieting collection, Dahl offers favorite tales by such masterful storytellers as E. F. Benson, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Rosemary Timperley, and Edith Wharton.

Half-Minute Horrors by Susan Rich. Dive into the shortest, scariest stories ever created, with more than seventy instant thrills from the likes of Lemony Snicket, James Patterson, Neil Gaiman, R.L. Stine, Holly Black, Brett Helquist, and Margaret Atwood. You’ll never look at your closet door, your cat, your sock drawer, or even yourself in the mirror the same way again!

A Tale Dark & Grim by  Adan Gidwitz: Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm fairy tales.   They encounter witches, warlocks, dragons, and the devil himself. As the siblings roam a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind the famous tale!

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman:  Bod is the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. Can he face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and dead?

Too Afraid to Scream by Todd Strasser: If you're easily scared then. . . DON'T read this book, or you'll be sorry when night time comes around! Short stories sure to make you think twice before turning off the light. The third installment of the Nighttime series is packed with short scary stories sure to please young readers. A phantom text messenger, a skeleton on the hunt for his missing foot, and ghostly hitchhikers are a few of the topics in these spooky, contemporary tales.

Took by Mary Downing Hahn: Thirteen-year-old Daniel doesn’t believe Brody's crazy stories about the ghost witch who lives up on Brewster’s Hill with Bloody Bones, her man-eating razorback hog. He figures Brody’s probably just trying to scare him since he’s the new kid from Connecticut. When his sister disappears into the woods one day, he knows something is terribly wrong. Did the witch strike? Has Erica been “took”?

Scary Stories Treasury by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell. This volume contains the complete text and drawings from all 3 of the very popular and beloved Schwartz/Gammell books: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Scary Stories 3L More Tales to Chill Your Bones.

Short and Shivery by Robert San Souci.   A collection of ghost stories, spooky shorts, and frightening folktales from all over the world, perfect for scary sleepovers, staying up all night, or reading alone under the covers—if you dare!

 Coraline by Neil Gaiman: Coraline discovers a door at her new home. When she steps through it, she finds a different mother and father. She tries desperately to get back to her normal life.

Night of the Living Dummy by R. L. Stine: Goosebumps Horrorland is a new series by R. L. Stine. Discover the fan-favorite thriller and chiller that first introduced the world to the wooden face of fear. The puppet who pulls all the strings. None other than Slappy the Dummy!

The Ghost's Grave by Peg Kehret: Josh stays with his aunt over the summer and meets the ghost of a coal miner killed in a mine explosion. Willie has been waiting years for some kind soul to dig up his leg and rebury it with the rest of him—only then will he be at peace. Will Josh be able to dig up the coal miner's leg and let him finally rest in peace?

 Beware! by R.L. Stine: Discover a ghastly secret in "The Judge's House," a terrifying tale of evil rats!  Laugh out loud at the scary surprises in poems by Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. Visit an evil carnival in "The Black Ferris" by Ray Bradbury.

Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac: Ever since the morning Molly woke up to find that her parents had vanished, her life has become filled with terrible questions. Where have her parents gone? Who is this spooky old man who's taken her to live with him, claiming to be her great-uncle? Why does he never eat, and why does he lock her in her room at night? What are her dreams of the Skeleton Man trying to tell her? There's one thing Molly does know. She needs to find some answers before it's too late.


Terrifying Tales: 13 Scary Stories for Children by David Kobb and Shawn Kobb is an extremely scary collection of stories with ghosts, murder, scary basements, and other creepy goings-on!

Scary books can get kids to read more - I've seen it a tone of times in my library. If your child's love of reading has not kicked in yet,  just have to give it time - be patient as there are lots of resources available to you. If your child already enjoys reading, this genre is loved by both girls and boys!  What works for one child may not work for another one, and sometimes when you try a product or technique and it doesn't work, the timing could have been off - try it again! If you are looking for other genre suggestions and a fun reading challenge, click here!

And check out some of these great posts below:

If there's a specific book or other reading product you're looking for, a type of book you're looking for or a question about reading, just leave a comment or question below or email me at I'd love to hear from you!