The Content team share their chosen Halloween reads

By Krista Culbertson, Editor


It’s officially Halloween season – a favourite time of the year here in the Content department. We’re busy creating quizzes on some fantastic spooky-themed books for students. But there are hundreds of spine-chilling tales with quizzes already available on AR.

With so many books to choose from, we’ve picked some of our personal favourites. Here you’ll find tales of ghastly ghosts, (wickedly funny) werewolves, and vicious vampires.


For little boys and ghouls: Lower Year reads

Just because you have young readers, it doesn’t mean they can’t also join in on the fun. There are over a hundred Halloween books quizzed on AR that are appropriate for a young age.

For picture book readers, The Mystery of the Haunted Farm by Elys Dolan is a hilarious mystery. Three ghost-hunting pigs are called to a farm to aid a sleep-walking farmer. There they find the farm animals behaving strangely. Can the pigs solve the mystery?

One quiz writer said, “The Mystery of the Haunted Farm is fantastic, and Elys’ books always make me laugh. There is so much to look at on every page, and there are little surprises in every illustration!”

Daisy and the Trouble with Vampires is the return of the popular characters Daisy and Jack. Daisy details the troubles with Halloween, as Jack torments her with terrifying stories of the hooley-hooley man and the most dangerous game of hopscotch.

Monstrous fun for reluctant readers

Monster fanatics will love Steve Barlow’s Monsters Like Us series. These short graphic novels are great for older students reading at a low level, while still being engaging. Each book follows a trio of friends who have a secret: they’re all monsters. Ten books from the series have been quizzed, all at book levels 1.4 or 1.5.

Our Managing Editor said that Monsters Like Us is “a terrific read” and always recommends it to teachers and librarians looking for very low level books.

There are some frightening non-fiction picks, too!

If you have readers who are interested in reading non-fiction (or if there are students you’d love to get interested), books like the Super Scary Stuff series and Haunted Objects Around the World by Megan Cooley Peterson offer facts on some seriously spooky stories.

In Haunted Objects Around the World, readers will learn about possessed dolls and cursed cabinets, all while developing important non-fiction reading skills.

The Super Scary Stuff series is for younger readers, but still packs in dates and facts. These books also include helpful definitions for the more advanced words in the text. Many of the tales come from Britain. Will your students recognise any of them?

Frightening fiction for older readers

One of our Senior Editors chose MY+ books The Crowham Martyrs by Jane McLoughlin and The Haunting of Jessop Rise by Danny Weston as two of her particular favourites.

The Haunting of Jessop Rise follows a boy who goes to live with an uncle in the north of Wales. Once he arrives, he learns that not everything is well in Jessop Rise. The book borrows heavily from Welsh folklore, which weaves itself in and out of a fantastic mystery.

The Crowham Martyrs is also a mystery story. Maddy is just like the other students at her school, only she can see ghosts. When her best friend goes missing, Maddy must uncover the truth about what is really happening at Crowham.

Irish author Erika McGann has a fantastic Middle Years series all about witches and friendship. The first book, The Demon Notebook, follows a group of girls as they attempt to learn magic. Only one day, they discover their magic powers are real.

“I love the entire series,” said one quiz writer. “The magic feels real, and it’s complete with a cast of unforgettable characters.”

Tales with a bite

If you have a student looking for a challenge, try a terrifying classic like Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Our Managing Editor detailed for us just how much it scared her when she read it as a teenager, but she still recommends it!

But for something contemporary, And I Darken by Kiersten White is an adventurous, gender-swapped retelling of Vlad the Impaler, the original Dracula. Whether it’s the original vampire himself or a ruthless princess, both stories are guaranteed to make readers shiver.


AR BookFinder tip: You can use the topic and subtopic options to find books on specific topics. For a collection of books about Halloween, you can search under Topic: Holiday Periods, then select Halloween from the subtopic drop-down list.

If you’re more daring, try perusing the titles under Horror/Thriller. You can then find more specific themes like nightmares, witches, and demons.

As always, you can find books age-appropriate for your students by also including an interest level in your search.

More Halloween-related quizzes will become available throughout October. Make sure to check the monthly quiz list for the latest quizzes.

Happy Halloween from the Content team!

Krista Culbertson

Posted on 13 October 2017 at 5:04 pm
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