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Posts Tagged ‘Wait Till Helen Comes’

Helen

Just over a week to go until All Hallow’s Read. If you are not familiar with this new bookish Halloween tradition, watch Neil Gaiman explain it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tYtLeWN5NQ

As a huge fan of spooky stories, I would like to make a few recommendations for young readers and not-so-young readers. I’ll start with my list of books for children and young adults. I’ve always preferred psychological horror to gore, and my selections should reflect that. Here are my top spooky reads for kids (and you should still have plenty of time to go buy one of these at your local indie bookshop):

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman: Gaiman is a master storyteller. I read this book as an adult, and it still spooked me. It also made my best of the year list. It has everything a scary story lover could want: murderers, ghosts, graveyards…

The Seer of Shadows – Avi: Again, a title I read as an adult while working in a public library. The story is fascinating, with a marvellously rendered historical setting and the added element of wonder in the subject of early photography (specifically “spirit photography”). The writing is top-notch and the ghost story is terrifying. Two thumbs up!

Wait Till Helen Comes – Mary Downing Hahn: I read this book when I was 11 and it scared the bejeesus out of me. Seriously. I’ve had it on my shelf since then, and every once in a while I think, “I should read that again.” Then I remember how terrified I was (in a good way), and I chicken out. Maybe it’s time. Apparently, there is a movie coming out: http://variety.com/2014/film/news/maria-bello-nelisse-sisters-starring-in-wait-till-helen-comes-1201304228/

Julie – Cora Taylor: Another classic from my Scholastic book order days, this is a story about a girl with the second sight, and while it isn’t a ghost story, I remember being incredibly tense because it was so thrilling and dealt with the unknown/paranormal. I loved this one so much as a kid, that I faked the author’s autograph (which turned out to be rather embarrassing when she actually signed the book 25 years later, and actually saw my grade four attempt at forgery).

And no list of recommendations for kids who dig scary stories would be complete without recommending…

Scary Stories to Read in the Dark – Alvin Schwartz: I remember reading these stories to my brother and uncle on long road trips while we sat in the back of the Suburban. The stories are classics drawn from folklore and urban legend, but it was really the illustrations that were the most terrifying. I still have a box set of these on my shelves.

So, there you have it. Five suggestions for books to track down before October 31st, so that you can give the spooky little ones in your life their first All Hallow’s Read!

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