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One of the best parts of my job as a primary librarian is designing seasonal book shows, specifically when it’s HALLOWEEN READ ALOUDS! Reading out loud is my favorite pastime, and Halloween is my favorite time of the year. I love good classical music The little old lady who wasn’t afraid of anything or Scary stories you tell in the dark. However, I was particularly pleased with some of the new titles that have come out over the past few years. The authors and illustrators told beautiful stories with delightful aesthetics, making the books that fear avoiders would enjoy!
My older students are always looking for scary books, but it’s so much fun to share the sweetest Halloween with my younger students. Below, I’ve put together a collection of Halloween-themed books to make your stories shine. I’ve grouped them by grade level, but I’ve discovered over the years that older kids and even teens love to read aloud. It does not grow hearing a good story. Whether you’re looking to scare or calm the readers in front of you, we hope you’ll find a story below that fits the bill!
Halloween reading aloud for kindergarten and first grade
Ghost afraid of the dark By Sarah Conway and Alex Willmore
Young readers will be delighted with this story about a little ghost who realizes that he is afraid of many. Along with his fellow monsters, Ghost learns to be brave, even in the dark! The board book format and glow in the dark cover add some extra spark to this choice.
Halloween is coming! by Cal Everett and Lenny Wen
This is a cute, mellow story about getting ready for the big Halloween night. Reviewers praise the relaxed vibes and hark back to nostalgia from trick-or-treating neighbors. Read after reading the Five Little Pumpkins poem for the seasonal celebration in kindergarten.
bou stew By Donna L. Washington and Jeffrey Ebeler
Take Goldilocks, add Cajun influences, rock them with some scary looks and BOOM! you have bou stew. Excellent storytelling and rich and detailed illustrations shine in this story about a talented young witch who uses kitchen accidents to save the day!
barely haunted by Jesse Sima
The Poor House is very concerned that it might be haunted. She has a lot of signs: squeaks, bangs, and spiderwebs! This will definitely stand in the way of her dream of people living inside her. what will you do now what do you do now? Sima is a master at creating ambiance through a beautiful and calming color palette. Can your kids spot the cat on every page?
Halloween reading aloud for 2nd and 3rd grade
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson
Leo lives alone in the big house by himself, but every time he tries to welcome new residents, he scares his potential friends. When danger falls, will Leo be able to prove his worth and save the situation? Robinson’s delusions are the star of this simple tale about a friendly ghost.
Sir Simon: Super Scarer by Cal Atkinson
Is there anything cuter than that little ghost dude on the cover? The answer is no. Sir Simon is a professional scary who is too excited to be on his first assignment. But his efforts falter when a young boy discovers him and sees through his fears! When Simon and the boy get close, it becomes clear that no matter what happens with this stalker, they will become friends!
Layla, the perfect witch by Flavia Z. Drago
Lily is a wonderful witch. She is sure that the same ingenuity that won her awards for spells and flying will bring her success in the kitchen! However, after a few attempts, Laila realized that bread was not her strength. Fortunately, she has some super sisters who are happy to help. A family story told against a delightfully creepy backgrounf, The perfect witch A charming blend of positive messages and seasonal fun.
Halloween reading aloud for 4th and 5th graders
Creepy crayon! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown
This beloved series has delighted the kids in my library for quite some time. I have kids who visit it all year round. Jasper Rabbit’s story begins with the creepy carrot he’s following, after which a pair of spooky underwear takes him on an adventure. In this third episode, a creepy crayon starts helping Jasper out by helping him with his schoolwork. But when crayon starts interfering with other areas of life, Jasper has to figure out how to make that crayon leave him alone!
How to make friends with ghost by Rebecca Green
Nothing is sweeter than How to make friends with ghost. Formatted as a guidebook, Green does exactly what its title promises, providing the ins and outs of caring for your friendly ghost over time. I twisted this slightly older one just as a reference to the section that shares that the reader will grow old with time and eventually become a ghost too. This is presented in an unobtrusive manner, and the illustrations couldn’t be more lovable.
I Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein By Lynne Fulton and Felicita Sala
This is truly one of the scariest books I’ve read for students. Telling the story of Mary Shelley and the competition that led to her creation, Frankenstein, I made a monster Combines scary narration with other illustrations. I save this for my super tough fifth graders and never fail to legitimize at least one.
Looking for something more to get you in the Halloween spirit? Check out this list of literary Halloween costumes. Happy haunted reading!
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