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  • Writer's pictureEleka

Magic, Mystery, & Monsters: Explore Spooky Young Adult Stories for the Halloween Season

As Halloween approaches, get in the spirit of the season by finding a spooky, eerie, or scary story to read! These reading recommendations explore 5 young adult books sure to give you goosebumps and send shivers down your spine.

Eleanor Zarrin hasn’t been home since she was little and hardly remembers the place or the people. After a horrific incident at her boarding school, though, she finds herself on a train back to her family home, a large and looming gothic manor in the woods, home to her monstrous family. To understand herself and her place in this strange new world, Eleanor must uncover family secrets that span generations.

Katrell possesses a strange ability. She can talk to the dead. So in order to support her unemployed mother, she starts charging people to connect with their departed loved ones, but it doesn’t pay enough. Soon a ghost warns her to stop or everything will burn. Katrell, however, doesn’t believe the ghost and continues her operation because someone has to pay for food. Then when a summoning brings someone back to life and Ketrell realizes this could pay much more than simply contacting the dead, she starts a new business. Little does she know, this kind of magic holds a heavy price that she could end up paying with her life.

Sideways Pike, a school outcast and lesbian witch, is asked to perform a spell at a Halloween party of a popular group of girls. befriends a popular group of girls. Together, they become a coven full of chaotic and righteous energy as they curse boys, throw wicked parties, and explore magic. All the while fundamentalist witch hunters lurk in the shadows, waiting to steal their magic. This book portrays the fierce and binding friendships of teenage girls who support and protect each other with their lives.

Margot knows nothing about her family. It’s always just been her and her mom living in a dysfunctional home without power, water, and very little to eat. Margot longs to know about her family, and when her mom sells a book that contains the only clues Margot has to figuring out where she comes from, Margot goes gets it back, and runs away to her mother’s childhood home, a large and decaying farmhouse owned by her grandmother and located on the outskirts of a small but hostile farming town. Her grandmother is odd, strict, and secretive, but in order to discover her family’s past, she must stick it out as she sleuths out the strange family secrets. The deeper she digs, however, the darker and more horrifying her family’s story becomes.

Hetty has lived in quarantine at her isolated, island boarding school. It all started when her teachers started to get sick and then die. Then the students started to become sick and the illness altered their bodies, giving them different oddities like glowing skin, extra bones, or even scales. The girls were told by the Navy to wait it out and stay alive until they find a cure, but with fewer and fewer supply shipments being delivered to the school, it becomes increasingly difficult. When Hetty’s best friend, Byatt, goes missing, she will stop at nothing to find her, even if that means breaking quarantine and venturing into the dangerous woods full of infected, mutated animals.

You can find these books in our library catalog or on one of our many library applications (cloudLibrary, Libby, & Hoopla) located on the eResource page of our website.

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