For this Tuesday’s Top Ten List, we’re going to be looking at ten creepy kids books that I’ve added to my TBR lately. These books aren’t necessarily ones you would find in the kids horror section, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an unsettling look or feel to them! (I feel it only fair to state that I’ve read or am in the proces of reading at least half of these, but technically I *did* just recently add them to my TBR, so it counts! – LG)
As usual, Top Ten Tuesday prompts are brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.
Covers link to Goodreads.
Ten Creepy Kids Books I’ve Added to My TBR Lately
Shadow Weaver – MarcyKate Connolly – Jan 2, 2018 – Purchase on Amazon
The shadows that surround us aren’t always as they seem…Emmeline has grown up with a gift. Since the time she was a baby she has been able to control shadows. And her only friend and companion is her own shadow, Dar.
Disaster strikes when a noble family visits their home and offers to take Emmeline away and cure her of magic. Desperate not to lose her shadows, she turns to Dar who proposes a deal: Dar will change the noble’s mind, if Emmeline will help her become flesh as she once was. Emmeline agrees but the next morning the man in charge is in a coma and all that the witness saw was a long shadow with no one nearby to cast it. Scared to face punishment, Emmeline and Dar run away.
With the noble’s guards on her trail, Emmeline’s only hope of clearing her name is to escape capture and perform the ritual that will set Dar free. But Emmeline’s not sure she can trust Dar anymore, and it’s hard to keep secrets from someone who can never leave your side.
The first in a dark middle-grade fantasy duology, MarcyKate Connolly weaves a tale filled with shadows, danger, and magic that has the feel of a new classic.
The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street – LIndsay Currie – October 10th, 2017 – Purchase on Amazon
A girl unravels a centuries-old mystery after moving into a haunted house in this deliciously suspenseful mystery.
Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones.
When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. A secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years.
With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!
Ghostlight – Sonia Gensler – August 4th, 2015 – Purchase on Amazon
Avery is looking forward to another summer at Grandma’s farm, at least until her brother says he’s too old for “Kingdom,” the imaginary world they’d spent years creating. Lucky for her, there’s a new kid staying in the cottage down the road: a city boy with a famous dad, Julian’s more than a little full of himself, but he’s also a storyteller like Avery. So when he announces his plan to film a ghost story, Avery is eager to join in.
Unfortunately, Julian wants to film at Hilliard House, a looming, empty mansion that Grandma has absolutely forbidden her to enter. As terrified as Avery is of Grandma’s wrath, the allure of filmmaking is impossible to resist.
As the kids explore the secrets of Hilliard house, eerie things begin to happen, and the “imaginary” dangers in their movie threaten to become very real. Have Avery and Julian awakened a menacing presence? Can they turn back before they go too far?
Ghost Knight – Cornelia Funke – May 1st, 2012 – Purchase on Amazon
Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft never expected to enjoy boarding school. Then again, he never expected to be confronted by a pack of vengeful ghosts, either. And then he meets Ella, a quirky new friend with a taste for adventure…
Together, Jon and Ella must work to uncover the secrets of a centuries-old murder while being haunted by terrifying spirits, their bloodless faces set on revenge. So when Jon summons the ghost of the late knight Longspee for his protection, there’s just one question: Can Longspee truly be trusted?
Time of Blood – Robin Jarvis – July 25th, 2017
Whitby has never been a more sinister and dangerous place to be, and the murdered dead refuse to rest in peace…
Trapped in Whitby’s Victorian past, with no hope of getting home, Lil and Verne must seek a way to destroy the invincible Whitby has never been a more sinister and dangerous place to be, and the murdered dead refuse to rest in peace. Mister Dark, whose malignant presence threatens everyone’s future. Fortunately the two young friends make surprising allies; Nannie Burden – the Whitby witch of the time, Brodribb – a mysterious man of many disguises, the secretive aufwaders beneath the cliff and a holidaying theatre manager called Abraham.
Thornhill – Pam Smy – August 29, 2017 – Purchase on Amazon
Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as Ella unravels the mystery of the girl next door.
1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.
2016: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.
The Dead Boys – Royce Buckingham – September 10th, 2010 – Purchase on Amazon
There’s a dark side to Teddy’s new town…
When Teddy Mathews moves to Richland, his main concern is making new friends. But something is not right about this quiet desert town: All the boys he meets seem to vanish before his eyes, while the imposing shadows of the giant tree outside his house appear to be hiding more than darkness.
With the branches of the massive sycamore scratching at his window, Teddy’s life becomes a waking nightmare that no one else believes. Can Teddy escape the tree’s terrifying grasp and solve the mystery of the missing boys before he becomes the next boy to disappear?
I Text Dead People – Rose Cooper – June 9th, 2015 – Purchase on Amazon
You can’t block the dead.
Annabel Craven hopes she’ll fit in—maybe even be popular—at the Academy. She’s worried she’ll stay friendless and phoneless (it’s true). But when she finds a mysterious phone in the woods near the cemetery, one of her problems is solved . . . and another one is just beginning.
Someone won’t stop texting her. And that someone seems . . . dead. How is Annabel supposed to make friends when her phone keeps blowing up with messages from the afterlife? And what will happen if she doesn’t text back?
The Ghost by the Sea – Eileen Dunlop – December 1996 – Purchase on Amazon
While a guest at Culaloe, Robin discovers that the spirit of Milly, a young girl who tragically drowned prior to World War I, is haunting the house, and she and her cousin, John, begin a search for answers to the mysterious happenings involving their family.
The Stone Child – Dan Poblocki – August 5th, 2009 – Purchase on Amazon
What if the monsters from your favorite horror books were real?
Eddie Fennicks has always been a loner, content to lose himself in a mystery novel by his favorite author, Nathaniel Olmstead. That’s why moving to the small town of Gatesweed becomes a dream come true when Eddie discovers that Olmstead lived there before mysteriously disappearing thirteen years ago. Even better, Eddie finds a handwritten, never-before-seen Nathaniel Olmstead book printed in code and befriends Harris, who’s as much an Olmsteady as he is. But then the frightening creatures of Olmstead’s books begin to show up in real life, and Eddie’s dream turns into a nightmare. Eddie, Harris, and their new friend, Maggie, must break Olmstead’s code, banish all gremlins and monster lake-dogs from the town of Gatesweed, and solve the mystery of the missing author, all before Eddie’s mom finishes writing her own tale of terror and brings to life the scariest creature of all.
I know, I know, there’s not a single Neil Gaiman book on this list. And I didn’t include the Night Gardner. But this isn’t a list of top ten creepiest kids book, but a list of the top ten creepy kids books I’ve added to my TBR lately.
So tell me, what creepy kids books would you recommend I add to my list?
Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Coolthulhu Crew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
She is also a co-founder of Ladies of Horror Fiction, though she has stepped down to regular crew level.
Feel free to chat her up on Twitter as long as you aren’t hitting her up to review your book.