The most recommended cryptozoology books

Who picked these books? Meet our 24 experts.

24 authors created a book list connected to cryptozoology, and here are their favorite cryptozoology books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of cryptozoology book?

Loading...
Loading...

Book cover of Another Kind

Barbara Perez Marquez Author Of The Cardboard Kingdom

From my list on to send your kid on an unforgettable adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer, I strive to create stories that I wish I had found on shelves when I was younger. In that same way, every title on this list not only brings new ways to find adventures through reading, but will hopefully leave young readers with new skills to face the world around them. We often think just cause a story has fantastical elements that it makes them detached from reality, but give any of these a read and you'll find, the farther it is from real life, the brighter the common themes we all share shine through.

Barbara's book list on to send your kid on an unforgettable adventure

Barbara Perez Marquez Why did Barbara love this book?

Got a kid with a want for the supernatural? May and Bream's heartfelt approach to cryptids and the supernatural make a perfect mix to carry this compelling and page-turning book. Perfect to share among friend groups and explore what it is to belong and how we can all help each other even past our differences.

By Cait May, Trevor Bream,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Another Kind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Six kids search for a new place to call home in this middle grade graphic novel debut by comic creators Cait May and Trevor Bream, for fans of Marvel's Runaways and The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag. Another Kind is not your average monster story.

Tucked away in a government facility nicknamed the Playroom, six not-quite-human kids learn to control their strange and unpredictable abilities. Life is good-or safe, at least-hidden from the prying eyes of a judgmental world.

That is, until a security breach forces them out of their home and into the path of the Collector, a…


Book cover of The Lore of the Unicorn

Joseph Nigg Author Of The Book of Fabulous Beasts: A Treasury of Writings from Ancient Times to the Present

From my list on following mythical beasts through time.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ancient mythical animals are all around us in words and images. Following the transformations of such animals through literature and art across millennia has been my passion since the early ’80s. It was then, after years of writing and teaching, that I became intrigued by a winged and fishtailed lion figure on an antique oil lamp hanging in my study. That hybrid creature led me to the eagle-lion griffin and my first published book, The Book of Gryphons. I have followed a host of mythical beasts ever since. My most recent book, The Phoenix: An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast, was published in a 2021 Chinese translation.

Joseph's book list on following mythical beasts through time

Joseph Nigg Why did Joseph love this book?

The unicorn and the dragon are still the two most ubiquitous animals to emerge from the host of fantastic creatures that began spreading through popular books, art, and film in the late 1970s. Years before the unicorn’s commercial popularity, Odell Shepard’s classic book, The Lore of the Unicorn, traced the millennia-long cultural transformations of the mysterious animal, beginning with an early traveler’s tale of the wild asses of India. 

I admire Shepard’s blending of personal voice with wide-ranging research and commentary. He opens his introduction with, “On the table before me, there lies a long straight wand of ivory,” a walking stick made of narwhal tusk, which for centuries had been accepted as unicorn horn.

By Odell Shepard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lore of the Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work, created in the early 20th century by Odell Shepard, is one of the better works made through time to craft mythology (and cryptozoology of a fashion) together with more modern historical treatments of its subject matter. It is the unicorn (or alicorn) here which concerns the text- and related material ranging from the quite antiquated, to the medieval, and the then-modern as anthropology and adventure made its way further into the outlands of Africa, India, and Tibet.

Here, of note, is an extensive treatment of the purported healing and anti-poison properties of unicorn horn, medieval medicine processing the…


Book cover of Weird Illinois: Your Travel Guide to Illinois' Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Bill Lindsay Author Of Curse of a Devil

From my list on variety of quest for knowledge.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ghost stories were always a part of my childhood. I believe most people wonder about what comes ‘after’. I have tried to keep up with the latest information regarding the unusual. I was a paranormal searcher and spent much time in the woods and forests. I have seen a few unusual, unexplained things. Curiosity and the thirst for knowledge still burn inside me. I suppose the mundane and redundant characteristics of my job gave me a desire to keep my mind searching for answers to difficult questions.  

Bill's book list on variety of quest for knowledge

Bill Lindsay Why did Bill love this book?

I have always sought out the strange and unusual. This book covers many different phenomena. Whether it is ghosts, aliens, legends, cryptids, or just weird lore, this book has a wide scope. I live in the state and occasionally participate in investigations of these subjects. I even wrote a play Ghosts, Aliens, and Bigfoot. This book almost reminds me of being with my grandfather as a child. He loved to scare with local legends and ghost stories spun with his special brand of creepiness and humor. Reading this late at night took me back to those special times.

By Troy Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Weird Illinois as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explores bizarre sights and stories found in Illinois.


Book cover of Bigfoot Hunters

Nick Sullivan Author Of Zombie Bigfoot

From my list on Bigfoot to satisfy your creature feature cravings.

Why am I passionate about this?

My writer’s journey has been circuitous. Originally, I’d intended to become a screenwriter, until I was bitten by the acting bug. Appearing often in film, television, and on Broadway, I found myself drawn to audiobook narration. After so much exposure to so many genres from so many authors, I decided to return to writing. Zombie Bigfoot is a novelization of a screenplay of mine, inspired by SkyMall magazine I read during a scuba diving trip. One page had a Bigfoot garden statue… the adjacent page had a garden flagstone with a zombie coming up out of the ground. I looked at those two images and thought: “How has nobody done this?”

Nick's book list on Bigfoot to satisfy your creature feature cravings

Nick Sullivan Why did Nick love this book?

Another heavy hitter in the realm of Horror Comedy, Rick Gualtieri is a skillful wordsmith who knows how to build tension with chuckles sprinkled throughout. I met him recently at a book signing and we traded books. Naturally, I grabbed one of his with “Bigfoot” in the title.

Filled with action and humor, Bigfoot Hunters is a roller-coaster rampage when a troop of enraged Sasquatch cut loose, racking up an impressive body count. I don’t often laugh out loud when I read, but this one pulled quite a few giggles out of me.

By Rick Gualtieri,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bigfoot Hunters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

MANKIND IS NO LONGER THE DOMINANT SPECIES.

When Harrison Kent suggests an outing to a secluded campsite in Colorado, his friends are all eager for a few days of fun and adventure. But what awaits them is far more terrifying than they ever bargained for.

They learn that Sasquatch is real, but these are not the shy creatures of myth & legend. A madness has claimed them, erasing their once peaceful nature and leaving in its wake a ravenous horde of cryptids that's about to descend upon the unsuspecting residents of a remote town.

The woods hold more than one…


Book cover of Hunting Monsters: Cryptozoology and the Reality Behind the Myths

J.J. Dupuis Author Of Umboi Island

From my list on the mysterious through science and skepticism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, growing up in a family with spiritualist beliefs, I’ve been fascinated with mysterious phenomena. Once I became a little older, and my childhood love of zoos, museums, and dinosaurs became a broader love of science, I began to re-examine certain fantastic claims and beliefs with a skeptical lens. I became fascinated not only with the subject of certain beliefs, but the reason we as humans have these beliefs. The study of ghosts, monsters, or UFOs is really a study of the human condition and our belief systems. It’s the exploration of the human side that motivates the characters in my books and my continued interest in mysterious phenomena. 

J.J.'s book list on the mysterious through science and skepticism

J.J. Dupuis Why did J.J. love this book?

Hunting Monsters zeroes in on some of the more mysterious creatures said to haunt our forests, lakes, and the deep ocean. Darren Naish brings his expertise in zoology and paleontology to the world of cryptids such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Naish, the scientific advisor for Prehistoric Planet, examines both the scientific credibility of creature sightings as well as the culture that influences our belief in mysterious animals. This well-written and fascinating book leaves readers not only with a better understanding of contemporary myths involving cryptids, but zoology as well.

By Darren Naish,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hunting Monsters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Loch Ness Monster. The Yeti. Bigfoot. These are just some of the iconic mythical creatures studied by the discipline of 'cryptozoology'.

The idea of mysterious and terrifying creatures goes back centuries. They are known by the experts as cryptids. Today, these legendary beings continue to capture our imaginations.

Discover the fascinating and often bizarre stories of real life monsters and the scientists who strove to separate the fact from fiction.

In Hunting Monsters, Palaeozoological researcher Professor Darren Naish explores the fascinating science behind these elusive monsters - a science known as 'cryptozoology'. Bizarre stories of ancient sea-monsters and resurgent…


Book cover of Near the Bone

James Pack Author Of The Hook

From my list on where real-life horror meets the supernatural.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a greater interest in supernatural horror compared to the other subgenres of horror. Another way to describe it is fantasy horror. However, sometimes the fantasy can take away from the overall story. I find the best stories with supernatural elements also have a lot of real-life horror to balance with the fantasy. Magic realism is also a trope of Post-Modern Culture and I find myself drawn to stories with post-modern elements versus those that don’t. These are my top five pics for the best “Real-Life Horror Meets Supernatural Horror” novels.

James' book list on where real-life horror meets the supernatural

James Pack Why did James love this book?

I’ve read several of Christina Henry’s books. I enjoyed them all, but this one is my absolute favorite. Mattie lives in the mountains with her abusive husband, and she has no memory beyond the last few years, and she lives in fear of her husband’s wrath. An unknown, large creature appears and makes things more complicated. Mattie has to escape her husband and a monster in the woods and try to remember her past. This novel is one of the best horror stories I’ve ever read. It’s suspenseful and you never know what will happen next. One of my favorite things about this novel is, despite the supernatural creature, it’s not over-the-top and everything feels real including the actions and choices of the characters. This is definitely a must-read.

By Christina Henry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Near the Bone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mattie can't remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes that they're not alone after all.

There's something in the woods that wasn't there before, something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws.

When three strangers appear on the mountaintop looking for the creature in the woods, Mattie knows their presence will anger William. Terrible things happen when William is angry.


Book cover of Bug Boys

Travis Nichols Author Of A Witch's Last Resort

From my list on friendly freaks, monsters, and cryptids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong monster fiend. I love horror and sci-fi, and I especially love stories that really dig into characters and how they smash into each other. My favorite scary books (and movies, etc.) are funny, and my favorite funny books are kinda scary. It can be super healing and empowering to read books about terrible things that are handled with a heaping scoop of empathy and humor and absurdity.

Travis' book list on friendly freaks, monsters, and cryptids

Travis Nichols Why did Travis love this book?

Bug Boys started as (award-winning) self-pubbed minicomics and made their way to gloriously full-color graphic novels. Rhino-B and Stag-B are adorable bugs who explore the forest, escape terrifying giants, and dive deep into the world under our feet (and ponder if there are even more worlds out there).

The collected stories (I really have a thing for that, it seems) span from sweet and meditative to temporarily terrifying to high fantasy, and the colors by Lyle Lynde match the moods along the way. This whole series is so rad and kind.

By Laura Knetzger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bug Boys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Join two bug friends as they learn about the science of the world around them and the meaning of friendship in this early graphic novel series perfect for fans of Narwhal and Jelly!

Rhino-B is a brash, but sweet guy. Stag-B is a calm and scholarly adventurer. Together these two young beetles make up the Bug Boys, best friends who spend their time exploring the world of Bug Village and beyond, as well as their own -- sometimes confusing and complicated -- thoughts and feelings.

In their first adventure, the Bug Boys travel through spooky caves, work with a spider…


Book cover of Antarctic Ice Beasts

JG Faherty Author Of Songs in the Key of Death

From JG's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Wine enthusiast Horror fan Bad movie addict Bourbon enthusiast

JG's 3 favorite reads in 2023

JG Faherty Why did JG love this book?

Antarctic Sea Beasts was simply a fun, fun read! Although it’s about 4 years old, I snagged a copy in 2023. It only takes a few pages to realize it’s an homage to The Thing, a movie I absolutely love, and that each page is going to be delightfully gruesome.

It’s like reading a sci-fi movie from the fifties, complete with trapped scientists, isolated from the entire world by both distance and storms and evil creatures that become more threatening and dangerous with each passing hour.

This is the kind of book I like to read strictly to forget the world for a while.

By Hunter Shea,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Antarctic Ice Beasts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The South Pole in winter is one of the deadliest places on Earth. The seven person crew of the US Freedom Base lives alone in months of utter darkness with no hope of help or rescue. A freak storm batters the walls and threatens to expose them to the deadly cold. All they can do is wait…and pray. The ground quakes. An alien screech rips through the night. There’s something, or someone, lurking outside. Fists bang on the walls. Each tiny crack in the base spells death by hypothermia. Untold horrors have come to Freedom Base…and they want in! Praise…


Book cover of Re-entry

Travis Nichols Author Of A Witch's Last Resort

From my list on friendly freaks, monsters, and cryptids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong monster fiend. I love horror and sci-fi, and I especially love stories that really dig into characters and how they smash into each other. My favorite scary books (and movies, etc.) are funny, and my favorite funny books are kinda scary. It can be super healing and empowering to read books about terrible things that are handled with a heaping scoop of empathy and humor and absurdity.

Travis' book list on friendly freaks, monsters, and cryptids

Travis Nichols Why did Travis love this book?

The Astronaut Academy series is so silly and exciting.

Re-entry is the second book in the series, and I really love how each chapter focuses on a different character. Each chapter starts with a variation of “My name is ____ and I ____ Astronaut Academy.”

Those tiny bits do a lot of character building, because sometimes it’s “and you bet I go to…” and sometimes it’s “and I’m the richest and most pretty girl in all of…” It’s just an immediate Oh here we go, you know?

This book has it all: space walking, epic sports, cute romance, bazooka-fisted bears, and a mysterious monster. The whole series was recently repubbed in full color (color on this one by Fred C. Stresing), and they’re gorgeous.

By Dave Roman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Re-entry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Hakata Soy still has a lot to learn!

It's a new semester at Astronaut Academy and everyone is excited for the Fireball championship-especially Hakata's cranky roommate, Tak Offsky. But lurking in the shadows is a shape-shifting, heart-stealing monster, and it might just knock the Fireball team out of the competition!

Can Hakata and Tak put aside their differences, lead the team to victory, and save the lives of their classmates?

Beautifully updated with fresh color, this new edition of the engaging and delightful Astronaut Academy series will have readers dreaming of space adventures, friendship, and Dinosaur driving lessons.


Book cover of Dear Mothman

Stephanie Willing Author Of West of the Sea

From my list on where the magic and monsters are real.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think any kid wishes they could save their parent, or a loved one, from suffering. I know I did. When I was a pre-teen, my mom began to withdraw from friendships, church, and community, and she took me and my siblings with her. Her moods were unstable, and sometimes I blamed myself, and other times I just tried to keep her happy. I grew up inside her fairytale, until as an adult, I could recognize the signs of mental illness. I found myself wishing there was a magical reason she was the way she was. All the books on this list are linked by the fantastical way they explore family grief, isolation, and hope. 

Stephanie's book list on where the magic and monsters are real

Stephanie Willing Why did Stephanie love this book?

As a big fan of cryptids like Nessie, mermaids, and catamounts, I was all in when I saw there was a book about Mothman.

This novel-in-verse is about grief, growing into who you truly are, being confused by friendship and crushes, and of course, Mothman! Noah is a trans boy whose best friend Lewis died in a car crash, and since his passing, Noah’s begun writing letters to Mothman, a cryptid that looks like a big moth with big red glowing eyes. And maybe Mothman is answering?

I was crossing my fingers with every page and hoping with Noah that Mothman was real. This is a wonderfully warm book about queerness, feeling monstrous and misunderstood, and how beautiful we all are in our weirdness. 

By Robin Gow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dear Mothman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A moving middle-grade novel in verse, about a young trans boy dealing with the loss of his friend by writing to his favorite cryptid, MothmanHalfway through sixth grade, Noah's best friend and the only other trans boy in his school, Lewis, passed away in a car accident. Lewis was adventurous and curious, always bringing a new paranormal story to share with Noah. Together they daydreamed about cryptids and shared discovering their genders and names. After his death, lonely and yearning for someone who could understand him like Lewis once did, Noah starts writing letters to Mothman, wondering if he would…