The most recommended monster books

Who picked these books? Meet our 228 experts.

228 authors created a book list connected to monsters, and here are their favorite monster books.
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What type of monster book?


Book cover of These Violent Delights

Lyssa Mia Smith Author Of Revelle

From the list on young adult fantasy with high-stakes romance.

Who am I?

Long before I was an author of romantic fantasies, I was an avid reader of all things romance. Genre romance. Fantasy Romance. Romantic Fantasy. Romantic suspense. An adventure where the characters smile at each other for a heartbeat longer than usual. Give me even a hint of attraction between two characters, and I’m hooked. Give me life-or-death stakes and a first kiss that takes hundreds of pages, and I’m addicted. As a psychologist, helping young adults sort through real-life romance dilemmas is one of my favorite parts of the job. Now that I get to write these stories, I’ve made it my mission to devour all the best high-stakes YA romances I can find—or write.

Lyssa's book list on young adult fantasy with high-stakes romance

Why did Lyssa love this book?

This is one of the most unique Romeo & Juliet retellings I’ve ever read. Set in 1920s Shanghai, the heir and heiress of two rival criminal families were childhood friends, once, before they realized the other’s identity. Now they despise each other—and several times, try to kill each other—while also trying very hard to ignore their growing attraction. Spanning two books and with a found family that tugs at all your heartstrings, the daggers are as shiny as the diamonds in this glittering, high-stakes tale. 

By Chloe Gong,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked These Violent Delights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A deliciously dark twist on Romeo and Juliet' Natasha Ngan, New York Times bestselling author of Girls of Paper and Fire

In glittering Shanghai, a monster awakens . . .

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery. A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city in chaos.

Juliette Cai is the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang - a network of criminals far above the law.

Roma Montagov is the prodigal son of her greatest rivals, the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. He is also Juliette's…

The Magic And The Healing

By Nick O'Donohue,

Book cover of The Magic And The Healing

Kim McDougall Author Of Dragons Don't Eat Meat

From the list on urban fantasy with marvelous monsters.

Who am I?

Have you ever pretended to be a superhero? What was your special ability? Mine was always the ability to talk to animals. What an amazing world that would be if I could chat with the squirrel nesting in my shed or the stray cat trotting through my yard! Animals of all kinds have always been part of my world, from my own pets to animals that came through rescue ranches where I volunteered. So it’s no wonder that I seek them out in fiction. For my own books, my love for cats and dogs was easy to translate into a love for dragons and hellhounds. 

Kim's book list on urban fantasy with marvelous monsters

Why did Kim love this book?

Veterinary student BJ Vaughn journeys through the Crossroads to treat amazing creatures such as griffons, centaurs, and unicorns, while dealing with a full course load and all the stresses of being a student. After reading The Magic and the Healing (many, many years ago), I fell in love with supernatural creatures. It made me think, “I want to write something like that!” I’ve never forgotten it.

By Nick O'Donohue,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Magic And The Healing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

About to give up veterinary school because of a family crisis, BJ Vaughan is chosen to join a special group of healers who venture into the mystical world of Crossroads, where unicorns, centaurs, and other magical creatures live. Original.

Psssst! It's Me...The Bogeyman

By Barbara Park, Stephen Kroninger (illustrator),

Book cover of Psssst! It's Me...The Bogeyman

Scott Menchin Author Of Wiggle

From the list on for funny and artistic young children.

Who am I?

As a curious Pratt Institute art school professor and loving parent of a daughter who has also written and/or illustrated sixteen children’s books I want to share my favorite books with other children’s book connoisseurs. It also helps that I have lots of opinions. Too many to count. And when someone actually wants to listen to my opinions I get very excited. I’m hoping one of my favorites becomes one of your favorites. 

Scott's book list on for funny and artistic young children

Why did Scott love this book?

This book is illustrated by an artist friend and I also used to read this book to my daughter. But this time with the accent of a Bogeyman. A deep scary voice.

The writing is smart and flows gracefully as the author teaches us about the true nature of scary things that lurk in the night.  

By Barbara Park, Stephen Kroninger (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Psssst! It's Me...The Bogeyman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written in the first-person voice of a creepy-crawly, blood-chilling, spine-tingling Bogeyman who lives under the bed, a novelist's debut picture book reveals the scary guy's secrets in order to clear his name.

The Mist

By Stephen King,

Book cover of The Mist

Joshua Grant Author Of Pandora

From the list on with creepy or terrifying creatures and monsters.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by horror, particularly the dark and imagination-inciting creatures produced by it (even though I’m a big scaredy-cat, haha!). In a time when slasher films and haunted houses tend to dominate the horror genre, I set out to create a creature-feature similar to the 80s and early 90s classics I grew up with (Aliens, The Thing, Phantoms, Dawn of the Dead). I fell in love with creating truly nightmarish monstrosities and deep, vulnerable but strong characters to battle them. The books on this list are definitely huge inspirations in my own work, so I hope you enjoy the beasties in them as much as I have!

Joshua's book list on with creepy or terrifying creatures and monsters

Why did Joshua love this book?

I actually kind of hate all the characters in this novella (I’m actually not a huge Stephen King fan), but the creatures and the horrifying nature of this world made me half to read it (and I wasn’t disappointed). Mist in itself makes everything creepy. Now fill that with nightmarish things flitting about and some truly grizzly deaths, and I’m liable to never go outside in the fog ever again! It’s the monsters that made this one for me, and it is a testament to King that my imagination still wonders just what were those horrid things and where did they come from?

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King’s terrifying novella about a town engulfed in a dense, mysterious mist as humanity makes its last stand against unholy destruction—originally published in the acclaimed short story collection Skeleton Crew and made into a TV series, as well as a feature film starring Thomas Jane and Marcia Gay Harden.

In the wake of a summer storm, terror descends...David Drayton, his son Billy, and their neighbor Brent Norton join dozens of others and head to the local grocery store to replenish supplies following a freak storm. Once there, they become trapped by a strange…

Dungeon Lord

By Hugo Huesca,

Book cover of Dungeon Lord

Edwin McRae Author Of Skulls of Atlantis

From the list on characters who empower others as they level up.

Who am I?

I’m a LitRPG author and narrative designer for the video games industry. I’ve written and designed for many RPGs and have always found it satisfying when the player character’s actions tangibly improve the in-game situations of the NPCs. In my own LitRPGs and interactive fiction, I intentionally place the player characters within communities they will come to care about and see grow as their own personal power grows. To me, a character build is more about relationships than upgrades. Stats are just numbers until they affect the lives of others. Then they become story.

Edwin's book list on characters who empower others as they level up

Why did Edwin love this book?

Edward Wright is portalled into an RPG world as a bad guy, but he’s determined to use his dark powers for good. What’s lovely about The Wraith’s Haunt is that Edward doesn’t just build a dungeon. He builds a community. He offers shelter for the disenfranchised, many of them monsters, and knits a motley, heart-warming alliance for the betterment of all. And this is all done within the comfortable progression architecture of a classic dungeon core LitRPG. 

By Hugo Huesca,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dark forces have extended Edward Wright an offer of incredible power at a terrible cost...

...and Edward has chosen to make them regret it.
When Edward is swept into the world of Ivalis as a Dungeon Lord, the Dark's most powerful servant, he has no servitude in mind. He'll oppose the evil plans of the Dark god Murmur, whatever it takes.

Through only his wits and his guts to help him survive a weakened arrival, Edward must rise to power if he is to earn the right to live another day.

But in the battle between Dark and Light, what…

Cthulhu Armageddon

By C.T. Phipps,

Book cover of Cthulhu Armageddon

Frank Martin Author Of Oscawana

From the list on monster stories about humanity.

Who am I?

I’m a kid that grew up during the Blockbuster era. I spent a lot of time in the horror and sci-fi section, going aisle by aisle renting everything they had. Monsters were like vital nutrients to me, but it wasn’t just the monsters themselves that I found appealing. It was what they taught us about ourselves. So many good stories use monsters as a tool to tell interesting and poignant stories about humanity. Doesn’t matter if it’s a walking undead creature or an otherwordly cosmic destroyer, monsters reflect people, and I try to embody that sentiment in my own work.

Frank's book list on monster stories about humanity

Why did Frank love this book?

HP Lovecraft created a great cast of cosmic characters, but it’s debatable that other writers have done a better job utilizing them. Cthulhu Armageddon takes Lovecraftian horror and puts an adventure spin on it. The real highlight is the book’s main character, who has to navigate this post-apocalyptic world and the various creatures within it while coming to terms with his own insecurities.

By C.T. Phipps,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Under an alien sky where gods of eldritch matter rule, the only truth is revenge.”

CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON is the story of a world 100 years past the rise of the Old Ones which has been reduced to a giant monster-filled desert and pockets of human survivors (along with Deep Ones, ghouls, and other “talking” monsters).

John Henry Booth is a ranger of one of the largest remaining city-states when he’s exiled for his group’s massacre and suspicion he’s “tainted.” Escaping with a doctor who killed her husband, John travels across the Earth’s blasted alien ruins to seek the life of…

Monsters in America

By W. Scott Poole,

Book cover of Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting

Michael E. Heyes Author Of Margaret's Monsters: Women, Identity, and the Life of St. Margaret in Medieval England

From the list on understanding monsters.

Who am I?

What could possibly captivate the mind more than monsters? As a kid, I eagerly consumed books from authors like R.L. Stine, Stephen King, and HP Lovecraft. I watched George Romero, Wes Craven, and John Carpenter, and played games like Dungeons and Dragons, Vampire: The Masquerade, and The Call of Cthulhu. When I discovered monster studies in my PhD years—a way to read monsters as cultural productions that tell us something about the people that create them—I was hooked. Ever since, I get to continue reading my favorite books, watching my favorite movies, and playing my favorite games. It’s just that now someone’s paying me to do it.

Michael's book list on understanding monsters

Why did Michael love this book?

Ok, you’ve read Cohen and Monsters and the Monstrous. This monster stuff is getting pretty good, and you might be able to feel around the edges a bit. How does it apply to contemporary America which “no longer believes in monsters?” This is where Poole’s book comes in. Poole walks through monstrosity in the US from Columbus’ first steps to just shy of 2020. All the juicy topics that Americans have used monsters for—sex, race, and politics—emerge in this monstrous tour de force of US history. This is one of the first books I recommend to my students.

By W. Scott Poole,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Monsters arrived in 2011aand now they are back. Not only do they continue to live in our midst, but, as historian Scott Poole shows, these monsters are an important part of our pastaa hideous obsession America cannot seem to escape. Poole's central argument in Monsters in America is that monster tales intertwine with America's troubled history of racism, politics, class struggle, and gender inequality. The second edition of Monsters leads readers deeper into America's tangled past to show how monsters continue to haunt contemporary American ideology. By adding new discussions of the American West, Poole focuses intently on the Native…

Book cover of He Who Fights with Monsters

RC Hancock Author Of An Uncommon Blue

From RC's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Dad Gamer Worshiper Hubby Storyteller

RC's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did RC love this book?

I’m currently on the 3rd book in the He Who Fights Monsters series.

The story is completely unconventional yet strangely engrossing. It feels like a Dungeons & Dragon game with a phenomenal Dungeon Master. The audio narrator is incredible, although there are a ton of stats listed, and having them all read every time gets seriously tedious.

The combat scenes are unique enough to be engaging and the social intrigue (and fun powers) balance it all out. The level of detail in the world-building and magic system feels like Name of the Wind. (My favorite book of all time.)

I highly recommend He Who Fights Monsters to high fantasy lovers and players of role-playing tabletop games. Be warned: It’s not quite as accessible to the less-nerdy.

By Shirtaloon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked He Who Fights with Monsters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jason wakes up in a mysterious world of magic and monsters.It’s not easy making the career jump from office-supplies-store middle manager to heroic interdimensional adventurer. At least, Jason tries to be heroic, but it's hard to be good when all your powers are evil.He’ll face off against cannibals, cultists, wizards, monsters...and that’s just on the first day. He’s going to need courage, he’s going to need wit, and he’s going to need some magic powers of his own. But first, he’s going to need pants.After cementing itself as one of the best-rated serial novels on Royal Road with an astonishing…


By Garth Nix,

Book cover of Lirael

J. S. Fields Author Of Queen

From J.'s 9-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Scientist Sculptor Sarcasm expert Space opera lover

J.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, J.'s 9-year-old's favorite books.

Why did J.'s 9-year-old love this book?

My kid loves the book for the creepy vibe with a classic hero’s journey.

There’s necromancy, both good and bad, big scary monsters, magical bells, and a lonely girl who no one understands and who finds the strength within herself to be extraordinary.

There’s a lot of cheering when monsters are defeated, and my kiddo really connected with Lirael’s pet dog that she uses magic to bring to life to be her friend and confidant. From one lonely, different kid to another, Lirael really resonates.

I like the book because while Lirael is fairly autism coded, it deals with other adolescent feelings like depression and anxiety. Having those elements woven with the fantastical lets me talk about them with my kid without pressure, and of course, battling big monsters is always a bonus.

By Garth Nix,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sequel to the spellbinding, award-winning fantasy adventure, SABRIEL. Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Abandoned by her mother and ignorant of her father's identity, Lirael resembles no one else in her large, extended family living in the Clayr's Glacier. She doesn't even have the Sight - the ability to See into the present and possible futures - that is the very birthright of the Clayr. Nonetheless, it is Lirael in whose hands the fate of the Old Kingdom lies. She must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil - one…

Monsters 101

By Cale Atkinson,

Book cover of Monsters 101

Vikki VanSickle Author Of If I Had a Gryphon

From the list on non-dragon and unicorn magical creatures.

Who am I?

When I worked at a children’s bookstore I noticed there were tons of books about dragons and unicorns, but not a lot of picture books about other kinds of mythological creatures. I thought this was strange, especially since Harry Potter was so popular and those books were full of magical creatures. I have always loved pets and mythology, so I thought maybe I could write a primer on magical pet care. I also noticed how much the kids at storytime loved rhyming books, so I put all of these things together and If I Had a Gryphon was born!

Vikki's book list on non-dragon and unicorn magical creatures

Why did Vikki love this book?

I love funny books! In Monsters 101, three hilarious professors share little-known, laugh-out-loud facts about monsters of all shapes and sizes. Readers will get a kick out of the non-fiction format and bright visuals. The author-illustrator of the book is the same illustrator of my book If I Had a Gryphon, so he knows a thing or two about drawing monsters!

By Cale Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monsters 101 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kids getting ready for Halloween will love this laugh-out-loud picture book that finally sets the record straight about monsters!

Monsters! They're so much more than just that scary thing under your bed. Join Professors Batula McFang, Blobbins, and Howlsworth, and their trusty lab assistant--a zombie named Tina--as they reveal eerie and frankly ridiculous monster facts, never uttered outside a crypt! For example:

Monsters love competitive board-game nights! Favorite monster foods include clam pudding with fish heads and pickled ant ice cream! In addition to cauldrons and spider gardens, monster homes often include homemade collages! Werewolves hate the sound of vacuum…

The Gutter Prayer

By Gareth Hanrahan,

Book cover of The Gutter Prayer

Brandon Crilly Author Of Catalyst

From the list on fantasy where the gods (maybe) can’t be trusted.

Who am I?

Pantheons and worship are elements of culture I’ve always found fascinating, partly from being a mostly secular person with relatives who are very religious. I read a lot of epic fantasy when I was younger that featured gods, like Erikson, and I love finding more recent works that play with how deities might affect a world, and vice versa. But I also picked some of the books below because they inject cli-fi or solarpunk into their worlds – something I’ve been adding to my second-world fantasy lately. Because why not create the same sort of aesthetic in other worlds? 

Brandon's book list on fantasy where the gods (maybe) can’t be trusted

Why did Brandon love this book?

Epic fantasy was all I read when I was younger, but these days it takes a particularly gripping book to engage me. There’s too much awesomeness in this book to adequately describe, from the vividness of Guerdon as a metaphorical island in a sea of godly destruction, to the factors pulling motley thieves Carillon, Spar, and Rat apart, to the way Hanrahan reinvents fantasy tropes like goblins and mages. I absolutely tore through this tome, and honestly haven’t found an epic fantasy since that’s anywhere as engaging (other than the sequels).

By Gareth Hanrahan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Gutter Prayer is captivating and complex. Guerdon is a city that seethes with history, horror, and hidden secrets" (Nicholas Eames).
A group of three young thieves are pulled into a centuries old magical war between ancient beings, mages, and humanity in this wildly original debut epic fantasy.
Enter a city of saints and thieves . . .

The city of Guerdon stands eternal. A refuge from the war that rages beyond its borders. But in the ancient tunnels deep beneath its streets, a malevolent power has begun to stir.

The fate of the city rests in the hands of…

Soul Eater

By Lily Mayne,

Book cover of Soul Eater

Elle Arroyo Author Of The Nine: Zane

From the list on dark fantasy enemies to lovers mm romance.

Who am I?

I am an author and avid reader of romance, especially those full of conflict in a world heavy with magic, shifters, vampires, and others. My dad was a great storyteller and sparked my interest in the paranormal. When I was a kid, he’d tell me stories about growing up in the mountains of Puerto Rico. The evil that lived there. My imagination took it from there. I wish I would’ve written down those stories. I can’t get him to talk about them anymore. It might be the reason why The Nine: Zane had started out as a contemporary romance story until Zane took over with all his paranormal drama. 

Elle's book list on dark fantasy enemies to lovers mm romance

Why did Elle love this book?

This is a monster mm romance in a dystopian setting with a human soldier who hates the monsters that breached into the human world.

When faced with the enemy, the soldier learns that the monsters are not what they seem.

I love this one because the monsters aren’t all good, but neither are they the evil the world thinks. The lines are blurred, and I think it works. 

By Lily Mayne,

Why should I read it?

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

Bitter Root

By David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, Sanford Greene (artist)

Book cover of Bitter Root: Volume 1: Family Business

David Jackson Ambrose Author Of Unlawful DISorder

From David's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Empathic Compassionate Air head American history fan Fashion design student

David's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did David love this book?

This is a graphic novel. I don’t generally read graphic novels (although I’ve been a rabid X-men and New Mutants collector since 1981), and I do want to read Persepolis and Fun Home, but you try getting them from Library waitlists - it’s not easy! But I heard a lot of buzz about this series, which lives up to the hype.

What I enjoyed about this was the excellent inking and art, but most important is the way the author uses elements of horror, superhero, and speculation to find a new way to explain racism and prejudice as a disease that turns its victims into brainless monsters. 

The best books, from Twain to Morrison, to Faulkner, to Baldwin, not only entertain us but also educate us and show us pieces of ourselves we may have overlooked or taken for granted.

Bitter Root reminded me of my aunties and uncles…

By David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, Sanford Greene (artist)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Once known as the greatest monster hunters of all time, the Sangerye family specialized in curing the souls of those infected by hate, but those days are fading. A terrible tragedy has claimed most of the family, leaving the surviving cousins split between curing monsters and killing them. Now, with a new breed of monster loose on the streets of Harlem, the Sangerye family must come together, or watch the human race fall to untold evil.

Collects BITTER ROOT #1-5

The Ash House

By Angharad Walker,

Book cover of The Ash House

Sarah Allen Author Of The Nightmare House

From the list on where the monsters are more than monsters.

Who am I?

In my high school creative writing class, my teacher once said that good writing was a bit like looking at a star. If you look directly at it, it gets a little fuzzy and hard to see. But if you look just off to the side, the star becomes vivid and clear. That, to me, is exactly the power of spooky stories for young readers. We all deal with monsters, to varying degrees, throughout our lives. Even kids. But if we look at it just off to the side, through the angle of a fun, spooky story, those monsters suddenly become much more comprehensible. More faceable. More beatable. 

Sarah's book list on where the monsters are more than monsters

Why did Sarah love this book?

I still think about the setting of The Ash House all the time.

It is so vivid and so real. The eeriness and spookiness of this place starts from the first page, even the first sentence. We know something is off here in the ash house, and we watch as the main character starts being subsumed by the other kids here.

We worry as he starts losing his identity. But this is a powerful and haunting story about listening to yourself and remembering yourself no matter what else is going on around you, and no matter what anyone else believes.

By Angharad Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
meets Lord of the Flies in the exciting debut from Angharad
'A mesmerising other-worldly story that got deep under my
skin - I couldn't put it down.' JASBINDER
BILAN, author of Asha & the Spirit Bird

tense and intoxicating ... Seriously exciting.'
LUCY STRANGE, author of The Ghost of Gosswater

A new boy arrives at the Ash House. He can't remember his name
- or why he's been sent there.

Given the name Sol, and
troubled by a mystery pain that no medicine can cure, he joins
the gang of children living…

Eat Pete

By Michael Rex,

Book cover of Eat Pete

Keiko Kasza Author Of My Lucky Day

From the list on with humor and twist endings.

Who am I?

Keiko Kasza is an award-winning author/illustrator of picture books. Though she uses animals as her book characters, the subjects are always related to issues that young children face. Humor and a surprise ending are the signatures of her work.   

Keiko's book list on with humor and twist endings

Why did Keiko love this book?

A monster goes to Pete’s house with the intention to eat him. Pete asks the monster to play with various games and toys. The monster reluctantly does so, but each time the text goes, “He didn’t want to play...because he wanted to...EAT PETE!” Then something shocking happens – he eats Pete! Let me assure you, though, the ending is very sweet.  

By Michael Rex,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the creator of Goodnight Goon, a laugh-out-loud friendship story that perfectly captures the high and low moments of a typical playdate!

Pete couldn't be more thrilled when a monster shows up in his bedroom. Now Pete has someone to play with! And the hungry monster couldn't be more thrilled to be there, either. Now he can . . . EAT PETE!

But Pete has other ideas. And they are all good fun and quite distracting--things like playing cars and pirates. Well, we all know the course of playing together nicely never did run smoothly. So how much longer will…

Only a Monster

By Vanessa Len,

Book cover of Only a Monster

Elisa A. Bonnin Author Of Dauntless

From the list on protagonists that are part of two worlds.

Who am I?

I’m half-Filipino and half-Spanish. Growing up in the Philippines, I had to deal with many of the same emotions that the characters on this list go through. My identity made sense to me, but I found that I often had to explain it to other people, and I also found that outside my own house, people made their own opinions about whether I was more Filipino, more Spanish, or something else entirely. I’ve always been fascinated by how characters in fiction deal with this struggle, and I’ve always related more to characters who feel out of place.

Elisa's book list on protagonists that are part of two worlds

Why did Elisa love this book?

The protagonist of Only a Monster, Joan Hunt-Chang, also feels like someone caught between two worlds. Joan isn’t just half Chinese-Malaysian and half-British, she’s also half-monster and half-human, something that she learns at the beginning of the book. The rest of the book follows Joan as she tries to save her monster family, striking a balance between doing the right thing and embracing her monstrous heritage. Joan grapples with questions of identity, heritage and morality in this gripping fantasy novel, which also features time travel and a twist I honestly did not see coming. 

By Vanessa Len,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Only a Monster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In every story there is a hero and a monster.

'Mind-bending, heart wrenching, and unputdownable!' Stephanie Garber, Sunday Times bestselling author of the Caraval series and Once Upon a Broken Heart

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother's eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

Then a Good Samaritan attempt gone wrong sends Joan spinning through time, and her…

Camp Midnight

By Steven T. Seagle, Jason Adam Katzenstein (artist),

Book cover of Camp Midnight

Jude Atwood Author Of Maybe There Are Witches

From the list on treating the supernatural with a clever sense of humor.

Who am I?

I'd like to claim that my expertise in these matters stems from the fact that I am a supernatural entity—and a funny one at that. But my origin’s more mundane; when I was growing up on a corn & soybean farm miles outside of a rural village, I became a voracious reader. I was always intrigued by writers who could explore a world outside the bounds of reality and do it with style. Over the years, I’ve been a short-order cook, a corn detasseler, a summer camp counselor, a college professor, and a middle-grade author, and I’ve learned that you can find a little magic anywhere if you look hard enough.

Jude's book list on treating the supernatural with a clever sense of humor

Why did Jude love this book?

In this graphic novel, Skye is a girl who would rather go with her mom to Rwanda than attend the summer camp her dad and stepmom have selected.

She’s determined not to have fun, even after (or especially after) she realizes she got on the wrong bus and is now at a camp for kids who reveal their “true” monster selves only when it’s safe to do so. But even when Skye is in way over her head, she never lets up on the snark.

Seagle’s dialogue keeps the lessons and serious stuff from sounding trite by framing it all in a steady stream of sarcasm and unexpected cultural references. Katzenstein’s art is filled with clever visual gags. (At one point, as Skye is faking tears, she’s holding an Oscar statuette.)

By Steven T. Seagle, Jason Adam Katzenstein (artist),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ben 10 and Big Hero 6 creator Steven T. Seagle returns to comics with New Yorker Magazine cartoonist Jason Adam Katzenstein for a new graphic novel!

Reluctant Skye is accidentally sent to the wrong summer camp. Not wanting to please her "step monster," Skye is dead-set on not fitting in. That won't be a problem, as everyone at Camp Midnight-with the exception of fellow camper and fast-friend Mia-is a full-fledged monster! The perfect book for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Smile, but wish it had more bowls of gooey eyeballs.

This Savage Song

By Victoria Schwab,

Book cover of This Savage Song

M. J. Kuhn Author Of Among Thieves

From the list on where no one is 'the good guy'.

Who am I?

I love a book where the good guys are pure-hearted and the bad guys are evil, but there's something so fascinating about a story where the lines of good and evil blur and bend. I firmly believe that everyone is the hero in their own story… and everyone is the villain in at least one other person’s story. My Tales of Thamorr duology features multiple heists and hijinks, and every member of our crew has plans to betray their fellows. My goal in writing stories where no one is the ‘good guy’ is to create a reading experience where you want to root for everyone and no one at the same time.

M. J.'s book list on where no one is 'the good guy'

Why did M. J. love this book?

This Savage Song is a dark urban fantasy set in a world where violence creates monsters. Not human monsters (though there are plenty of those in the tale), but real, shadowy creatures that roam the cityscape in the wake of murders, assaults, and other dark deeds.

The story is told from dual points of view, with chapters from the viewpoint of a rebellious daughter of the city’s overlord and the point of view of one of the monsters living in the city. Schwab is best known for the Shades of Magic series, but I personally think This Savage Song and its sequel, Our Dark Duet are her best work. 

By Victoria Schwab,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked This Savage Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city, a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the inhabitants pay for his protection. August just wants to be human, as good-hearted as his own father-but his curse is to be what the humans fear. The thin truce that keeps the Harker and Flynn families at peace is crumbling, and an assassination attempt forces Kate and August into a tenuous alliance. But how…

The Monster at the End of This Book (Sesame Street)

By Jon Stone, Michael Smollin (illustrator),

Book cover of The Monster at the End of This Book (Sesame Street)

Melinda Long Author Of How I Became a Pirate

From the list on making you and your kids laugh out loud.

Who am I?

I have always loved hearing laughter from kids or adults. Most of my books are steeped in funny! Even the toughest challenges are easier if you can find a way to laugh. Now, as a grandmother, I reach for the books that will bring out the giggles. I’ve been published since 2000 and writing for kids is my dream job.  I’ve been happily married for more than 37 years with two married kids and a perfect granddaughter. I’m a former middle school teacher. Humor made it possible for me to enjoy that life and build a great relationship with my students. I also love playing ukulele and acting. 

Melinda's book list on making you and your kids laugh out loud

Why did Melinda love this book?

Okay, we all know who the monster at the end of this book really is but come on: it’s all in the journey!  Please don’t turn that page! “Maybe you do not understand. There is a monster at the end of this book!” Too funny to resist. Who doesn’t love doing the Grover voice? Just watch your little one reach for that page and enjoy the giggles.

By Jon Stone, Michael Smollin (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Monster at the End of This Book (Sesame Street) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Monster at the End of This Book is a classic, adored by toddlers and adults alike. This collectible kit includes a mini book version of The Monster at the End of this Book, featuring the full text and illustrations from the original classic story, and a plush Grover backpack clip. Journey with lovable, furry old Grover to the end of the book to discover who the monster really is!

Lovable, furry old Grover is distressed to learn that there's a monster at the end of this book! He begs readers not to turn the pages, but of course kids…

Carry On

By Rainbow Rowell,

Book cover of Carry On

Terry Bartley Author Of Tyranny of the Fey

From the list on casually queer sci-fi fantasy.

Who am I?

I’ve always been a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy, especially anything involving superheroes or D&D-style adventure. For the longest time, I had to find queer representation through subtle glances and creative readings of characters. I loved these stories for the sci-fi and fantasy elements, but it was frustrating that every love story that came up was straight. It didn’t feel possible for queer love to be a part of a plot, and even when there was a queer character it had a “very special episode” vibe to it. Finally, queer characters are becoming part of the story, and it doesn’t have to be a “big deal.”

Terry's book list on casually queer sci-fi fantasy

Why did Terry love this book?

It took me months to pick up Carry On after it initially caught my eye on the bookshelf. It was everything I could have wanted.

It is a less problematic Harry Potter, if Harry and Draco ended up getting together. It shows a really authentic representation of unrequited queer love and recognizing one’s own queer identity. It is character-driven, but also full of fun magic adventure. I love a book that knows how to give you exactly what you want.

By Rainbow Rowell,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Carry On as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times best seller!
Booklist Editors’ Choice 2015 - Youth!
Named a "Best Book of 2015" by Time Magazine, School Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, NPR, PopSugar, The Millions, and The News & Observer!

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.

Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's…