An exhausting week of being sick–yes, it is cold and flu season again!–and I’m back with more lists! This time I decided to dip into the creepier titles being published this year.
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Simon & Schuster, Expected Publication October 2015)
We kick off the list with this reeeeeally creepy story by Kenneth Oppel that will have us never looking at wasps the same way again! Steve just wants to help his baby brother–and the “angels” in his dreams are offering help, all he has to do is say yes. But the price of that help and what it will mean may be more than Steve is willing to pay! Jon Klassen’s art perfectly complements this dark tale that reminds us to be careful what we wish for . . .
Button Hill by Michael Bradford (Orca Books, April 2015)
Button Hill is a bizarre sort of story with a rebellious boy named Dekker who does what he’s told not to do, and in doing so puts his sister at risk of being permanently lost to the Nightside–the land of the dead. Now he’ll have to venture into the Nightside, and try to rescue his sister. But the risks for the living in the land of the dead are high indeed–and there are those who will do their best to stop Dekker from ever getting home to the Dayside again.
Charlie and the Grandmothers by Katy Towell (Knopf Books for Young Readers, August 2015)
Charlie’s been afraid of things his entire life. But this time he’s right to be afraid. The adults of his village are acting bizarrely as one by one all the children vanish–sent to visit their grandmothers. When Charlie’s mother starts insisting he and his sister go visit their grandmother as well, Charlie knows something is terribly wrong–their grandmothers are dead after all, they certainly can’t go visit them. And yet off they are sent, to the home of two strange women who are something far more terrifying. And although he may be afraid, Charlie is the only one with the power to stop the dark and dangerous evil that has stolen away all the children.
A Curious Tale of The In-Between by Lauren DeStefano (Bloomsbury, September 2015)
Pram Bellamy has always had one foot in the ghostly world. Her ability to talk to ghosts and see what others cannot sets her apart, and might be one of the reasons she has few real-world friends. But there are those who want the gifts that Pram has for themselves . . . and it might take the help of both her supernatural and real world friends to help her escape their clutches!
The Great Ball of Light by Evan Kuhlman (Atheneum, March 2015)
I debated including this, but in the end I think it’s the only place this book fits. Imagine you found a glowing ball of light in your back yard that you could keep in a jar. Imagine that ball of light had an amazing power–it could bring dead things back to life . . . sort of. Or at least bring them back as undead things. That’s what happens to twins Fenton and Fiona. And after they bring back their dead dog Scruffy they decide their going to do something even crazier–they’re going to dig up their grandpa and bring him back! Undead mayhem and hilarity ensues in this macabre fantasy.
The Mothman’s Curse by Christine Hayes, illustrated by James K. Hindle (Roaring Brook Press, June 2015)
Josie has never seen anything all that unusual even though she lives in the most haunted town in America. That is until she and her brothers discover a haunted camera and find the legend of the Mothman beginning to intrude into reality. To save her town, Josie must solve the puzzle of the haunted spirit, an old curse and the Mothman legend in order to break the curse once and for all.
Took: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn (Clarion Books, September 2015)
If the book has the name Mary Downing Hahn on the cover, you know it’s going to be a spooky read. Rumors say that every 50 years the ghost-witch steals another little girl–but Daniel doesn’t believe in such nonsense. Until his own seven-year-old sister begins acting strangely, and ultimately goes missing in the forest. Has Erica been “Took”? Now it’s up to Daniel to maybe believe in things beyond reality and find a way to get his sister back.
Guy’s Read: Terrifying Tales edited by Jon Scieszka (Walden Pond Press, September 2015)
This is the sixth anthology of short stories in the Guys Read collection. The theme is naturally perfect for this list, and my library shelves can always use more collections of creepy stories for horror-hungry readers. Includes stories by authors such as Claire Legrand, Nikki Loftin, Dav Pilkey, and Michael Buckley. A perfect way to set the mood on a chill October evening.
Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: 20 chilling Tales from the Wilderness by Hal Johnson, illustrated by Tom Mead (Workman Publishing Company, September 2015)
My second short story collection for the list. This one is a collection of stories written about actual folkloric legends of America’s lesser known but no less terrifying critters and cryptids. An unusual and fascinating collection that will give readers a whole new list of mysterious things that go bump, hiss and snarl in the night. Of note, this book has an amazing glow in the dark cover that has to be checked out. A good gift for the Halloween season.
The Kat Sinclair Files: Dead Air by Michelle Schusterman, illustrated by Stephanie Olesh (Grosset and Dunlap, September 2015)
We’ll wrap up this list with young Kat Sinclair. Our thirteen-year-old is currently off to Europe with her father while he is working on a show about ghost hunters. Kat herself doesn’t have any real belief in ghosts, or in the curse that is rumored to be connected with the show. But when mysterious things start happening that she can’t explain, Kat is forced to accept the supernatural is real. And that those involved in the show may be in danger! This paranormal adventure looks to be the first in an ongoing series about Kat.
So there’s my ten! What other creepy reads have you found for 2015? Comments welcome!