The most recommended Halloween books

Who picked these books? Meet our 47 experts.

47 authors created a book list connected to Halloween, and here are their favorite Halloween books.
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Book cover of Ghost Road Blues

Michael Penning Author Of All Hallows Eve

From my list on horror to read on Halloween.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed with Halloween traditions since before I could finish my own bag of candy. In many ways, those dark and chilly childhood nights of trick or treating are what gave rise to my lifelong love of horror. Inspired by the thrill of staying up late on the one night of the year when the dead can return to earth, I have since delved deep into the ancient history and folklore of All Hallows’ Eve, much of which features prominently in my Book of Shadows series. I hope the books on this list help you capture the spooky magic of the season!

Michael's book list on horror to read on Halloween

Michael Penning Why did Michael love this book?

On the eve of the country’s largest Halloween celebration, evil returns to a small town with a haunting past in this Bram Stoker Award-winner. Ghost Road Blues is the first book in the Pine Deep trilogy that throws vivid and endearing characters into an epic fight against the unrelenting forces of darkness. But underlying the undead abominations and sadistic killers of this pulsing page-turner is an exploration of the undying nature of evil itself. The monsters come in many forms in this one, and like many great horror stories, some of the most terrifying are the humans.   

By Jonathan Maberry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ghost Road Blues as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This is horror on a grand scale, reminiscent of Stephen King." --Publishers Weekly

The book that launched the Pine Deep trilogy

Thirty years ago, a blues musician called the Bone Man killed the devil at the crossroads, only to be beaten and hung like a scarecrow in a cornfield--or so the story goes. Today, the people of Pine Deep celebrate their town's grisly past by luring tourists to the famous haunted hayride, full of chills and scares. But this year, "The Spookiest Town in America" will learn the true meaning of fear. Its residents will see the real face of…


Book cover of Ghosts in the House!

Katie Vernon Author Of Happy Halloweenie

From my list on Halloween boards for little ghouls and goblins.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I was a little scared of Halloween as a kid, I’ve grown to love the silly side of spookiness. Growing up with Pee-Wee’s Playhouse every Saturday morning, I learned that silliness is a superpower. Now, when working on kids books, my ultimate goal is to put work into the world that will delight kids, and won’t make the parents groan and say, “that one again?” Finding the sweet spot of being fun to read, fun to hear, and fun to look at is what I love most about creating kids books. I hope you and your little ghouls and goblins enjoy my spooky board Boooook list! 

Katie's book list on Halloween boards for little ghouls and goblins

Katie Vernon Why did Katie love this book?

I love that the little girl (actually a little witch) in Ghosts in the House! is confident and capable every step of the way as she deals with her haunted house.

Ghosts are not something to be afraid of – they can be useful! Kazuno Kohara’s linocut illustrations are a perfect pairing to her words – simple and refreshing. 

By Kazuno Kohara,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ghosts in the House! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Ghosts in the House! by author-illustrator Kazuno Kohara is just the right mix of sweet and scary for the youngest trick-or treaters

At the edge of town lives a clever girl with a spooky problem: Her house is haunted! Luckily, she happens to be a witch and knows a little something about taking care of ghosts. She catches them, puts them in the washing machine, airs them out to dry, and gives them new lives as sofa covers, table cloths, and, of course, bed sheets to cozy up under. Fresh and charming illustrations in dynamic orange, black and white bring…


Book cover of Five Little Pumpkins

Gwendolyn N. Nix Author Of I Have Asked to Be Where No Storms Come

From Gwendolyn's 1-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Editor Mama to chaos baby Aspiring wizard Adventurer

Gwendolyn's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Gwendolyn's 1-year-old's favorite books.

Gwendolyn N. Nix Why did Gwendolyn's 1-year-old love this book?

This children’s book has just the right amount of spookiness for the Halloween season for a budding Halloween-loving kiddo.

A ghost floats above the excited pumpkins as the words bounce across the page. He enjoys pointing at the witches and pretending he can blow the jack lanterns’ lights out like the ghost. 

By Dan Yaccarino (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Five Little Pumpkins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A wickedly fun rhyming treat!

With bouncy, rhyming text in verse from the classic nursery rhyme and bold, dynamic illustrations from acclaimed author-illustrator Dan Yaccarino, Five Little Pumpkins is a must-have Halloween board book!

Roll along with the pumpkins and their spooky friends as they get into some spirited Halloween fun. The perfect gift for little pumpkins everywhere.

Five Little Pumpkins sitting on a gate.

The first one said, "Oh my, it's getting late!"


Book cover of Edgar Gets Ready for Bed

Tracy C. Gold Author Of Trick or Treat, Bugs to Eat

From my list on Halloween picture books with cute illustrations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a huge fan of Halloween and love decorating my porch to greet our neighborhood kids. This past year I gave away a couple dozen copies of my own picture books along with candy, which was a huge hit. I live in Baltimore with my family, including my silly, spooky kid, and love animals, especially dogs and horses. This past Halloween, my daughter wanted to dress up as a dentist, of all things, so my husband and I went along dressed up as giant teeth. She never got the irony of asking for candy while dressed as a dentist. We’ll have to wait until she is older for that. 

Tracy's book list on Halloween picture books with cute illustrations

Tracy C. Gold Why did Tracy love this book?

I am from Baltimore, where famous spooky writer Edgar Allan Poe lived and died right outside a bar I used to go to in my twenties (a few centuries before I ever went there!). Our football team is even named after his famous poem, "The Raven," and its mascots are named Edgar, Allan, and Poe. So of course I love this adorable book about a tiny raven who just won’t go to bed! Stucki’s illustrations make a kind of scary animal—a raven—very appealing to little kids. And everyone can relate to a kid not wanting to go to bed! There is a whole series of books by this duo covering different Poe stories, if you want a very literary Halloween.

By Jennifer Adams, Ron Stucki (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Edgar Gets Ready for Bed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet the plucky toddler Edgar the Raven! He's mischievous, disobedient, and contrary. Dinnertime, cleanup-time, and bedtime are all met with one word: NEVERMORE! But as the evening winds to a close, Edgar's mom knows just what to do to get her son into bed-a bedtime story.


Book cover of The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo!

Iza Trapani Author Of Haunted Party

From my list on rhyming Halloween books for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in Poland, I have fond memories of sitting on my Grandma’s lap listening to stories and poems. A favorite poem was about a crow who ate Swiss cheese and only left the holes. The concept made my noggin spin and spurred my imagination. When I immigrated to the U.S. at age seven, I learned English by reading a Mother Goose collection. Captivated by the fun rhyming sounds and art, I dreamed of making children’s books someday. Years later, my dream came true, I became an author/illustrator, with the majority of my books being extensions of the nursery rhymes which inspired me when I was a child. 

Iza's book list on rhyming Halloween books for children

Iza Trapani Why did Iza love this book?

This book features the cutest little ghost, who goes out to frighten someone with her Boo. But, unfortunately, she loses her Boo. Boohoo, what will she do? There are plenty of “oo” sounds in the verses, which could help early readers. The surprise ending engages the reader as well. It’s a very sweet story with lovely illustrations and is not at all scary, Little ones are sure to giggle and participate in making the numerous “oo” sounds.

By Elaine Bickell, Raymond McGrath (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

'I've lost my boo! I've lost my boo!Where has it gone? What will I do?'Little Ghost has lost her boo, but she is determined to get it back, so she heads out to look for it. On her night-time hunt she meets a number of her friends, Owl, Pigeon, Rooster and Cow, and asks each of them if they've heard her boo. None of them have but they are all very kind and offer Little Ghost their own sound instead. But none are as good as her own scary boo so she keeps on looking. In the end, it's the…


Book cover of Halloween Fiend

Michael Penning Author Of All Hallows Eve

From my list on horror to read on Halloween.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed with Halloween traditions since before I could finish my own bag of candy. In many ways, those dark and chilly childhood nights of trick or treating are what gave rise to my lifelong love of horror. Inspired by the thrill of staying up late on the one night of the year when the dead can return to earth, I have since delved deep into the ancient history and folklore of All Hallows’ Eve, much of which features prominently in my Book of Shadows series. I hope the books on this list help you capture the spooky magic of the season!

Michael's book list on horror to read on Halloween

Michael Penning Why did Michael love this book?

In this razor-sharp novella, Halloween is personified in a bloodthirsty creature who haunts the nearly abandoned town of Strang. Fearful of Halloween’s deadly tricks, the remaining residents leave small live offerings at their doorsteps every night at sundown. But once a year on All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween demands a bigger and bloodier sacrifice. Dripping with dreadful atmosphere, Hunt does a masterful job of rendering a story that is both disturbing and surprisingly emotional for such a quick read. Steeped in folklore and ancient traditions, this grim and twisted tale reminds us that the old custom of trick or treating was meant to protect us from evil, and that for all its modern fun and games, Halloween is supposed to be scary.

By C.V. Hunt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Strang isn’t the small, quaint town it appears to be. It’s haunted every night by a creature the townsfolk refer to as Halloween. Once the sun sets each day, Halloween emerges to collect its treats: a small, live offering from each household. The residents comply because no one wants to be the target of Halloween’s tricks. But the nightmare of residing in Strang is nothing compared to the yearly ritual Halloween demands of the citizens on All Hallows’ Eve.


Book cover of A Very Brave Witch

Jennie Palmer Author Of The Wompananny Witches Make One Mean Pizza

From my list on not-too-spooky witches.

Why am I passionate about this?

 I have always loved witches. Witches are women with powers and as a girl growing up in the 80’s (Before much female superhero representation) I was very drawn to that. My very favorite stories humanize witches, like the ones I listed above. My own children are very into Halloween and all things spooky- but cannot handle anything remotely scary. These were the best stories I found to share my witches obsession with my scaredy- kids. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do, and may they spark a lifetime love of magic in your own young readers.

Jennie's book list on not-too-spooky witches

Jennie Palmer Why did Jennie love this book?

A perfect primer for young readers who are just getting into Halloween spookiness. I love a set up where the witch is afraid of people so the child reader can feel in control. The action plays out on Halloween night and the payoff when the "real" witch meets the child in costume is magical and age appropriate. A sweet and simple beginner witch story.

By Alison McGhee, Harry Bliss (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Very Brave Witch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

It's Halloween night and an extraordinarily brave witch has decided to venture out of her safe, haunted house and see for herself just how odd those humans can be, and what's more if it's true they walk instead of fly, wear unpointed hats, and hardly cackle at all.

But you never know what you'll find on earth, and one extraordinarily brave witch might just make a friend - a human friend!


Book cover of Dino Deegan and the Unpleasant Class

Kim Ann Author Of Where Do Dinosaurs Go on Vacation?

From my list on for dinosaur fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a children’s book author that writes fun, colorful, imaginative books that help children develop a love of stories. My passion for books started at a young age, as one of my favorite things to do was visit the local library with my mom. I have had a lifelong passion for writing and began writing poetry books at nine years old for my school library. I started writing and publishing children’s picture books professionally and founded my publishing company, Lucky Four Press, LLC, in 2019. I hope you enjoy these dino-tastic books I recommended!

Kim's book list on for dinosaur fans

Kim Ann Why did Kim love this book?

A great book with a wonderful message and beautiful illustrations by Dr. Robyn.

The book takes place in prehistoric times and has fun dino details on every page. The main character, Dino Deegan, has trouble making friends, but goes through a transformation throughout the story which is very cleverly visualized as he changes colors at the end.

This should be a classroom tool to teach children about friendship, being kind, and including others in the fun.

By Heather E Robyn, Zoe Mellors (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dino Deegan and the Unpleasant Class 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?

When you see another person being treated unfairly, what do you do?

Days at school are tough for Dino Deegan. Being included at recess is his dream, but his claws are so big that they get in the way, and other children and dinosaurs bully him for it.  

"Your claws are too sharp to join in our games,"
they said as they pointed and called Deegan names.
"You're creepy and odd," they yelled, and they jeered,
and poor Deegan thought, "This is just what I feared."

But wait! There's a new kid in class. She introduces herself to Deegan as…


Book cover of Skeleton Hiccups

Ian Dye Author Of The (not-so-scary) Book of Monsters

From my list on bedtime stories for your little Halloween monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a parent, children’s book author, and fan of all things Halloween I have searched the globe for the best of the best when it comes to Halloween books for kids. Ok not really “the globe” but when the bookstore starts stocking the featured shelves with children's Halloween books around mid-August, I can’t resist either browsing or purchasing. These 5 are near and dear to my heart because instead of just a simple bedtime read, they all have something special and a memory attached to them. These are the books that are brought out year after year and still enjoyed by the kids, even when they are probably getting too old for bedtime stories.

Ian's book list on bedtime stories for your little Halloween monsters

Ian Dye Why did Ian love this book?

I read this book to a Kindergarten class in 2006 and then again this past year.

This book is a smash hit with the kids and stands the test of time. The book is simple and the humor is silly which is what makes this book a fantastic read before bed or anytime really. It sets the mood when the leaves start to fall and spooky season is upon us.

It is highly interactive and the kids love to make the “hic-hic” sound while you read. When reading the book out loud, it gives adults a chance to let their silly flag fly and the kids all respond in-kind.

By Margery Cuyler, S D Schindler (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Skeleton Hiccups as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

What's the best way to help a skeleton get over his hiccups?


Book cover of A Spoonful of Frogs: A Halloween Book for Kids

Janet Sumner Johnson Author Of The Winterton Deception 1: Final Word

From Janet's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Book-lover Cookie-eater Clue solver Traveler

Janet's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Janet Sumner Johnson Why did Janet love this book?

A Spoonful of Frogs is a fun and silly picture book about a witch on a cooking show who is teaching her audience how to make Frog soup.

It starts out pretty tamely, but the events soon escalate as she tries to add the key ingredient: the frogs. The story is hilarious! It was so unexpected and had me laughing out loud. The text is simple, but brilliant. The illustrations are gorgeous and add the perfect old-time cooking show vibe. Both kids and adults will be grinning through the whole book. Just pure fun!

By Casey Lyall, Vera Brosgol (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Spoonful of Frogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Frogs are the most important ingredient in a witch's favorite treat-but they are also the hardest to get into the cauldron! From acclaimed author Casey Lyall and Caldecott Honor artist Vera Brosgol, A Spoonful of Frogs is a humorous and wholly original picture book-and a winning recipe for readers who loved Dragons Love Tacos and Room on the Broom.

A witch's favorite treat is frog soup. Luckily, it's healthy and easy to make. To give it that extra kick and a pop of color, the key ingredient is a spoonful of frogs. But how do you keep the frogs on…