Best Halloween books for kids and families

Head to the library for the best Halloween books for kids. There's something for all the little monsters in your brood.

We certainly hope you have the nightlight at the ready! The best Halloween books for kids will have your crew sleeping with one eye open this spooky season! 

Selections like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Coraline and the Nancy Drew series are guaranteed to send shivers down kids' spines, but if your goblins and vampires are a wee bit young for a dose of horror, treat them to favorites like Clifford's First Halloween—totally fun and scare-free! 

RECOMMENDED: Halloween for kids in New York City

Happy Halloween, young ghouls! We recommend indulging in these books and some scrumptious candy. To make the Halloween season even sweeter, visit these haunted houses, explore the coolest Halloween events for kids in NYC and binge the most Halloween movies

Best Halloween books for kids


Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman

This witch is in for one wicked disaster. She's grown a wonderful pumpkin that's perfectly suitable for the pie she's planning to bake. But Unfortunately there's a problem: She can't seem to get the ghourd off the vine. She's elicited the help of other spooky creatures such as the mummy and vampire, who haven't had any luck, either. A bat swoops in to lend a hand (er, wing) to help rectify the situation. Will she get her pumpkin pie? Ages 4–8.


Pinkalicious: Pink or Treat by Victoria Kann

The Halloween festivities have come to a screetching hault. When the lights go out in Pinkagirl's town, the mayor cancels the seasonal celebration, which means no pumpkins, no candy and—perhaps worst of all—no costumes. How will Pinkagirl be able to show off her pretty in pink attire? This kick-butt superhero isn't about to let the holiday go by without a celebration, so she swoops in to save the day. Ages 4–8


Clifford's First Halloween by Norman Bridwell

Our favorite red dog is getting the orange treatment. In celebration of Clifford's first Halloween celebration, his owner Emily Elizabeth dons the pup in a cute ghost costume as he embarks in traditional festivities—bobbing for apples, trick-or-treating and more. Ages 2–3. 


Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine

No horror collection is complete without the work of R.L. Stine. From A Night in Terror Tower to Monster Blood, this Goosebumps anniversary set celebrates one of the spookiest series on the shelves. We wouldn't recommend a reading session before bed! Ages 8–12. 


The Hardy Boys by Franklin W Dixon

Super-sleuth with the coolest kid detectives in the biz. This set of Hardy Boys novels will introduce readers to the first 10 books of the series, which includes The Secret of the Caves, The Tower Treasure and other classic tales. For a dose of mystery, horror and adventure, these go-to stories can't be beat. Ages 8–12. 


Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene

Reading a Nancy Drew book is a rite of passage for young girls. In this 10-book set, children are introduced to the beginning of her spooky mysteries—The Hidden Staircase, Nancy's Mysterious Letter and other crime-fighting goodness. Ages 8–12. 


Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline quickly discovers all that glitters isn't necessarily gold. She opens the door to another—seemingly better—home and thinks she has hit the jackpot. But when this new family catches wind of her arrival and won't let her go, things get hairy. This marriage of fairy tales and horror is a must for all kids. Ages 8–12. 


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

These frighteningly delightful tales are as irresistible on Fourth of July as they are on Halloween. Any little horror aficionado will delight in the creepy illustrations and stories that guarantee to turn dreams to nightmares. Anyone will certainly think twice before entering that graveyard on a dare after skimming through this fan-favorite. Ages 8 and up.


The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky

Clever wordsmith Jack Prelutsky bring us another collection of scary poems as a follow-up to his book, Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. These 12 spine-chilling tales accompanied by black-and-white artwork—including the eerie account of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow—will creep kids out just the right amount. Ages 6 and up.


The Witches by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl paints a seriously scary picture of child-eating witches in this eerie chapter book. A young boy and his grandmother move to England, prompting her to teach him about the various bands of witches throughout the world. When he accidentally wanders into a gathering of the English witches, led by the Grand High Witch herself, he sets out to warn others about their evil plan. Ages 8–12.

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