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I don’t read tons of middle-grade books, but I do enjoy them from time to time. However, these spooky middle-grade books all sound so fun.
I also just think so many middle-grade book covers are so beautiful! I mean, even just the first four are incredible! Last year I made a few fall book post and creepy books post and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for fall and Halloween this year.
I settled on autumnal graphic novels and Halloween middle-grade books. I might do a couple of others, but I’m not sure what yet. The other day we were driving and I thought middle-grade books! and I had to put the list together immediately.
I’ve only read one of these but there are SO many more on this list I added to my wishlist and TBR. So, if you need a break from all those dark thrillers and horror books you’ve been reading, these whimsically spooky middle-grade books for fall are perfect to check out.
- If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free. Get that Audible deal here.
- If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd! You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
- Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
- If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
- Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
- Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
- Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
- Shopping internationally? Check out Book Depository!
Ollie only finds solace in books after a tragic loss. When she sees a crazed woman about to throw a book into the river, she steals the book and runs away. As she reads it, she finds a story about Beth and her two brothers who made a deal with the Smiling Man who grants your most tightly held wish. For a price. She is captivated.
The next day, on a school field trip to Smoke Hollow, a farm with a haunting history, where she finds the graves of the very characters she read about.
On the way home, the bus breaks down and the teacher must return to the farm for help. While she’s gone, the bus driver gives the kids some strange advice: “Best get moving. At nightfall, they’ll come for the rest of you.” Her previously broken watch starts a startling countdown with a terrifying message: RUN.
She and two classmates heed the warning and head into the woods with one last piece of advice: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”
This sounds like such a good creepy middle-grade fantasy book and one I will definitely be reading this fall.
The next few books are all middle-grade but sounds really good and perfect for autumn reading.
Claire has no interest in the paranormal and helping her dad with his ghost-themed Chicago bus tour sounds awful. She sees a boy, sad with dark eyes, on the back of the bus with a strange presence.
When she checks at the end of the tour, he’s gone. She tries to brush it off but then the scratching starts. The voices begin whispering. 396 appears everywhere and the boy starts following her. She is being haunted and needs to find out why before it’s too late.
Harper is the new seventh grader in town who needs to face down the ghosts haunting her little brother. She doesn’t trust her new home at all and the rumors are that it’s haunted. She doesn’t believe it until her little brother starts acting strange.
It all feels familiar but she can’t figure out why. The memories she’s blocked will help her get to the bottom of his behavior and the strange sensations she feels in the house, but can she put the pieces together in time?
Zee may love ghost stories, but she never expected to live in one. It starts on a dark and stormy night and when the skies clear, everything is different. People are missing, the creepy new principal knows everyone’s dreams, and Zee is seeing frightening things.
Mean girl Nellie starts calling her Ghost Girl and only her best friend Elijah believes her. Whatever the storm washed up isn’t going away and everyone’s most selfish wish starts coming true in creepy ways.
The three of them must work together if they want their ghost story to have a happy ending.
Lily is a drama queen which is both a blessing and a curse. her parents warn her that Florida is a fresh start and must b. different. No theatrics this time, but their new home is a nightmare with a slime-filled pool, a rotten dock, and a swamp that creeps closer every day.
It’s not only packed full of trash and memories but also the ghost of the girl who lived there before her.
To stay alive, a boy must tell a witch a new scary story each night. They’re the only thing keeping her happy and soon he will run out of pages and be trapped forever.
He knows most scary stories don’t have happy endings, but now that he’s trapped in his own, he’s desperate for a different ending. And a way out.
Everything changes for the Greystone kids when three kids in Arizona with the same first and middle names, same ages, and same birthdays are kidnapped.
Then their mom takes off on a mysterious business trip and they’re left with Ms. Morales and her daughter Natalie. They can’t just let their mom go and find a puzzling set of clues left behind to get to the bottom of everything.
Blight Harbor is the seventh most haunted town in America and it’s the town Evie calls home. She lives there with her Aunt Desdemona, the local paranormal expert. Her only rule is to stay out of the abandoned slaughterhouse on the edge of town but when her aunt disappears in it, Evie goes searching for her where she meets The Clackity.
She makes a deal with The Clackity to get her aunt back and all she has to do is bring it the ghost of Blight Harbor serial killer John Jeffrey Pope.
Hide and Seeker
Zee disappeared for a year and no one knows where he went, but now he’s back. But since he’s been back, he’s been different. After he freaks out about his friends playing hide and seek, strange things start to happen. Everyone who played has a mark on their wrist and then they disappear.
They’re pulled into a shadow world ruled by the Seeker, a shapeshifter, and the kid’s worst nightmares. They have to work together to beat the Seeker or be lost in the Nowhere forever.
This one may be a little younger middle-grade, but it still sounds like a fun one perfect for Halloween. Harold the dog and Chester the cat have to find out the truth about the newest member of the household, Monroe, a bunny with fangs, before it’s too late.
Corinne isn’t afraid of anything, especially the jumbies. Parents just made them up to scare kids. One night, she chases an agouti to the forbidden forest and is followed by shining yellow eyes. Could it actually be a jumbie?
When she sees a stranger talking to the town witch the next day, she knows something is wrong. Then Severine, the stranger, shows up at Corinne’s house. She can sense the danger in the air. She learns her father is just the first step in claiming the island for the jumbies. To save her home, she needs to work with her friends and learn to use the ancient magic she didn’t know she even had.
Where the Woods End
Kestrel is a young huntress living in a seemingly endless forest full of dangerous beasts, but the Grabbers are the worst of all. They’re born at the same time as you, stalk you throughout life, waiting for the perfect time to grab and eat you.
No one has defeated their grabber and anyone killed by something else is considered lucky. She’s been tasked by her mother with hunting down the Grabbers to protect their village but her own is creeping up on her and nothing is as it seems.
Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her mother died and her father lost his way, before she was left as the sole mordeshoor in Whichwood where she is destined to spend her days washing the dead, preparing their souls for the afterlife.
It’s easy to forget her own loneliness and the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair. But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appear and her world is turned upside down.
Lucely and Syd accidentally awaken malicious spirits now wreaking havoc on St. Augustine not long before Halloween. They have to join forces with Syd’s watch grandmother and her chonky cat to save the town before it’s too late.
Lilac Skully and the Haunted House
Lilac is afraid of a lot of things, ghosts included. Her father mysteriously disappeared and now she has to find a way to deal with the ghosts haunting her home, or better yet, get them to leave.
When her house is broken into, she realizes the home isn’t the biggest danger. She has to face her fears and trust herself while making friends that will change her life forever.
The Last Hope in Hopetown
Sophie is a human but she lives alongside vampires in Hopetown and they get along just fine. Her adoptive vampire moms are proof of that. The vampires have rules to follow to keep the humans safe but soon, normal vampires begin to go rogue, Sophie’s mom included.
It’s up to Sophie to find a cure but it may be more than she bargained for. This one sounds really fun and I’d love to read it.
Lexie was supposed to go to Happy Hollow Camp for Joyful Boys and Girls this summer but her gram just left her at a sign that says Welcome to Camp Croak where she’s sharing a cabin with a werewolf, a skeleton, a zombie, and a ghost.
The fun begins and she earns some strange Ghoul Scout badges but danger lurks as Euphemia Vile makes her own plans. When the counselors are overcome by an odd sleeping sickness, it’s up to Lexie and her new friends to save them.
The children in the city of Lucille have been taught that there are no more monsters. Jam and Redemption grew up with these tales but when Jam finds Pet, a creature with horns and claws from one of her mother’s paintings, and a drop of Jam’s blood, she has to rethink everything she’s been told.
Pet is here to hunt a monster while the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemptions house. Jam has to fight to save her friend but uncover the truth at the same time.
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears
Paola knows two things: she loves space and to stay away from the river where a schoolmate drowned a year ago. But she’s been told to stay away from it for years by her mother warning her of La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the shore looking for young people to drag into it’s depths.
Pao organizes a stargazing adventure with her friends near the Gila since it’s the best place to see the stars but Emma never shows and the shadows in the reeds make Pao wonder if her mother was right.
This sounds like the perfect spooky middle-grade book and I would love to read this one myself.
The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez
Nestor just wants to have dinner with his dad and live somewhere for more than a few months at a time. He plans to lay low when they move to a new town after his father’s latest deployment. He really just doesn’t want anyone to know he can talk to animals.
When the animals in town start disappearing, his grandmother is the main suspect since she was spotted in the woods where they were last seen. Nestor learns they’ve been taken by a tule vieja, a witch who absorbs the animal’s powers by biting them during a solar eclipse. With his powers and new friends, he must save this place he now calls home.
City of Ghosts
Since her drowning incident, Cass has been able to pull back the veil between the living and the dead and enter the world of spirits. Things are already pretty strange, having a ghost best friend and all, but they’re about to get weirder as her parents start hosting a show about the world’s most haunted places.
They head to Edinburgh where Cass meets someone else with the same gift and realizes how much she still has to learn about the veil and herself. And she needs to learn it fast because the city of ghosts is more dangerous than she imagined.
The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
Tessa isn’t thrilled to be moving from Florida to Chicago but homesickness turns to fear when unexplainable things start happening at the new house.
She realizes someone or something is trying to communicate with her when her brother’s doll starts crying real tears. With her new friends, she begins to unravel the 100-year-old mystery.
The Thickety: A Path Begins
Kara and Taff have been shunned by their village because their mother was a witch. They believe the only thing more evil than magic is what lurks in the nearby Thickety.
When Kara enters the forbidden forest, she finds a grimoire that may have belonged to her mother. The events that follow are both awe-inspiring and terrifying.
Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head
Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have extraordinary abilities that allowed them to grow up in the Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. An unforgettable chain of events is set off when Max, a knife-thrower, joins the group.
The four are determined to retrieve the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head. During their search, they uncover a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts.
The Blackthorn Key
Christopher was happy as the apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn until the cryptic warning came along. A mysterious cult is preying on London’s apothecaries with the trail of murders growing closer to Blackthorns shop. Christopher has to test his skills as he uncovers the key to a terrible secret that could tear the world apart.
The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane
Emmy has been shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious London boarding school, where she’s sure she won’t fit in. Then she finds a box of medallions in the attic of her home with a note that says they belonged to her father, long disappeared.
At her new school, she starts to see the weird symbols etched into the walls and books which leads Emmy and her new friends to the school’s secret society: The Order of Black Hollow Lane. She is sure it had something to do with her father’s disappearance and needs to find out how.
The Girls are Never Gone
Dare doesn’t believe in ghosts but she needs to keep that under wraps to win over listeners for her new podcast, Attachments.
Arrington Estate is the subject of season one, a manor haunted by Athleleen Bell who drowned in the lake almost thirty years ago. Dare is more interested in the suspicious death which she thinks points to murder, not a ghost. As she’s drawn into the mystery, though, she has to rethink the boundaries of what is really possible.
Have you read any of these spooky middle-grade books? Which ones? Any other middle-grade Halloween books I should check out?