Stewart Bell Jr. Archives
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Our middle grade book spotlight this week is on books that are filled with spooks and scares!! Just in time to get you ready for Halloween, these books are filled with ghosts, spirits, creepy dolls that have come to life, unexplained happenings, and other spooky creatures that may have you reading with the lights turned on (I dare you to read with the lights turned off and just a flashlight). These books and more can be found by searching the catalog using the search tag #youthscary as well as on Libby and Hoopla. Check back next week for a new middle grade book spotlight and if you have any book suggestions, please let us know!!
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman--Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.
Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh--Twelve-year-old Harper Raine has heard the whispers about her new home in Washington, D.C.—it is rumored to be haunted. Harper's not sure she believes in such things until her four-year-old brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. Now Harper wonders if his new imaginary friend, Bill, is something more. And while she struggles to unravel the mysterious and dark history of the home, she also tries to tap into memories she's repressed about an accident that left her badly injured.
Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn--Molly and Michael dislike their spooky new stepsister Heather but realize that they must try to save her when she seems ready to follow a ghost child to her doom.
Doll Bones by Holly Black--Zach, Poppy, and Alice cannot remember a time before they began playing their now years-long make-believe game involving pirates, thieves, warriors, and mermaids. All is presided over by Poppy's Great Queen—a bone-china doll that (the kids say) can curse anyone who displeases her. However, now that they are beginning their teenage years, Zach's dad tells him to stop all that make-believe nonsense, and it seems like the game is finally over. Then Polly claims to have strange dreams, dreams in which the Great Queen speaks, telling her about the crushed bones of the girl stuffed inside the doll, whose ghost is haunting the doll as well. Unless they bury the doll, they will never have rest again—and it would seem the game is back on!
Thornhill by Pam Smy--When preteen Ella moves to a new town in 2017, she feels completely alone. As she explores an abandoned orphanage nearby, she finds a diary that once belonged to an orphan named Mary who lived there during its final days of operation in 1982. Through Mary's diary, Ella learns of the pain the young girl experienced as a victim of bullying. As the other girls are placed in homes, Mary finds herself alone with the ringleader of the bullies, and the typically withdrawn girl sets her sights on revenge.
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel--Anxiety-riddled Steve would do just about anything to save his baby brother from the rare congenital disorder he was born with and bring peace to his parents. When Steve is stung by a wasp from the nest hanging from the eaves of his home, the hive's queen begins to speak to him. When the queen offers to replace Steve's brother with a healthy baby, he couldn't imagine the dangers that unfold after he accepts her offer.