As in previous years I have put together a shortlist of books that I have read this year which would make excellent treats for young readers this half-term holiday as we approach Halloween 2022.
Winnie and Wilbur: Winnie’s Best Friend by Valerie Thomas, illustrated by Korky Paul
Always a delight for children of 5-7, the Winnie and Wilbur series are wonderful books to share with a young child. The stories are fun, Winnie is probably the most colourful and accident-prone witch in children’s fiction and there is so much to see and talk about in every one of Korky Paul’s brilliant colour spreads.
Midnight Magic: The Witch Trap by Michelle Harrison, illustrated by Elissa Elwick
Bursting with autumn colour, the latest rhyming adventure of magical black cat, Midnight, is perfect for newly independent readers of 6+.
Diary of an Accidental Witch: Ghostly Getaway by Perdita and Honor Cargill, illustrated by Katie Saunders
In the latest outing for Bea Black, she and her friends take off from Little Spellshire’s School of Extraordinary Arts to participate in a school trip to Cadabra Castle, allegedly haunted by the ghost of High Master Maggitty Crawe! This wonderfully funny story has been designed with extra care to increase accessibility for dyslexic readers.
The October Witches by Jennifer Claessen
Magical, feminist refashioning of the Arthurian legend. A pacy story of witchy family feuds, perfect for readers of 9+.
Ghost Scouts series written and illustrated by Taylor Dolan
A funny, fully illustrated series of books set in a fabulously spooky summer camp, deep in the swamps of the southern states of America. A certain Halloween treat for readers of 9+.
The Mummy’s Curse by M.A. Bennett
Ever wondered about the origins of the curse of King Tut? Well this rollicking time-travel adventure will take you back to the discovery of his tomb, 100 years ago and reveal all. A spine-tingling adventure, perfect for confident readers of 9+
Shadowghast by Thomas Taylor, illustrated by George Ermos
Experience your first Halloween in Eerie-on-Sea with Herbert Lemon and Violet Parma as they uncover the secrets of the spooky seaside town’s Ghastly Night! Fantastically paced and plotted adventure for readers of 9+.
The Haunted Hills by Berlie Doherty, illustrated by Tamsin Rosewell
The wild landscape of the Peak District is the setting for this tale of grief, loss and guilt. As a family’s attempts to recover from a fatal accident is interwoven with the legend of a local ghost. A sensitive, beautifully written story for readers of 11+.
The Billow Maiden by James Dixon, illustrated by Tamsin Rosewell
Another sensitively crafted tale, this is set on a remote Scottish island where a young teen is being sheltered by her uncle and aunt while her mother recovers from what appears to be a mental health crisis. This story is interwoven with the discovery of a terrifying mythical creature in one of the island’s caves. The Norse legend combined with modern setting are perfect for readers of 11+.
Ghostlight by Kenneth Oppel
Boy meets ghost in this brilliantly written and imagined coming of age story, set in and around Toronto. This is a book which will absolutely transport readers of 11+ into an alternative reality where ghosts battle for dominance over humans in a setting which will be unusual and educational for many UK based readers.