Today we’re going to have a look at several recent beautiful book releases for kids, adults and teens that are perfect for reading at Halloween. Many of the books listed below are also reviewed in the video, so please do watch it if you’d like to see inside them as well!

Kid's Books

bunnicula 40th anniversary cover

Bunnicula 40th Anniversary Edition by Deborah and James Howe

My favourite Halloween kids’ book for 2019 is the 40th anniversary edition of Bunnicula. It has a blood-red fuzzy velveteen cover with glowing orange eyes and bright orange carrot-coloured page edges, along with vegetable illustrated endpapers. It tells the story of a vampire rabbit named Bunnicula who sucks the juice out of vegetables.

The anniversary edition has a sweet opening essay about how the authors created the character, and the back of the book has original concept art, book covers and other information. The binding is glued, so it’s not designed to last forever, but it’s definitely very cute and also cheap, so that’s nice.

→  Buy from Amazon

→  Buy from Book Depository

Susan Montanari The Halloween Tree cover

Halloween Tree by Susan Montanari, illustrated by Teresa Martinez

For pre-schoolers, ‘The Halloween Tree’ is a recently released picture book that tells the story of a grumpy tree in a Christmas tree farm that doesn’t like Christmas and is determined to grow up and achieve a different dream. It’s a sweet book that celebrates both Halloween and Christmas.

 Buy from Amazon

 Buy from Book Depository

A World full of Spooky Stories cover

A World Full of Spooky Stories by Angela McAllister, illustrated by 

This book continues the “world full of stories” series and includes traditional folk tales from around the world that promise “to make your spine tingle”. The stories are beautifully illustrated, and aren’t particularly spooky, so they are suitable for a young audience. For the older reader, each story comes complete with an interesting note about its country of origin.

→  Buy from Amazon

→  Buy from Book Depository

Illustratus Ghost cover

Ghost: 13 haunting tales to tell by Illustratus

This oversized collection of 13 stories and poems focusing on children that covers many different gothic elements, such as mirrors, lakes, elevators and basements – including one set in a library. The author ‘Illustratus’ is actually a group of writers, illustrator and animators. The writing and illustrations are probably aimed at young tweens, but it’s on the spooky side. It also has a fun twist at the end.

→  Buy from Amazon

→  Buy from Book Depository

clothilde perrin house of madame M cover

The House of Madame M by Clotilde Perrin

A large-format lift-the-flaps visit to a haunted house, with the 25 flaps and pull tabs to uncover what lurks in the wardrobe, behind the door, tucked under the furniture. (Scheduled for 2020 release in the US, 2019 in UK.)

→  Buy from Amazon

→  Buy from Book Depository

robin stevens top marks for murder

Top Marks for Murder by Robin Stevens

Part of the Murder Most Unladylike series. Daisy and Hazel are back at Deepdean to celebrate the school’s fiftieth Anniversary, but the girls witness a shocking incident in the woods close by – a crime that they’re sure is linked to the Anniversary. As parents descend upon Deepdean, decades-old grudges, rivalries and secrets begin to surface, and soon Deepdean’s future is at stake.

First printings have red sprayed page edges.

→  Buy from Amazon

→  Buy from Book Depository

Young Adult & Teen Fiction

Lucia Peters Dangerous Games cover

Dangerous Games to Play in the Dark by Lucia Peters

For teens looking for a fabulous Halloween-style sleepover, I highly recommend Dangerous Games to Play in the Dark by Lucia Peters. This spine-chilling game guide book is based on urban legends from around the world and creepily blurs the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction. It includes older mysteries such as summoning Bloody Mary in a mirror, and the Light as a Feather Stiff as a Board levitation game, alongside new games from the internet age, like The Answer Man, a sinister voice that whispers secrets to whoever manages to contact him with a cellphone.

Each game includes step-by-step instructions, ‘risk’ levels for playing, and my favourite part, some fascinating history and lore surrounding the game. Games have been sourced from many cultures, including the US, UK, Latin America, Japan and Korea.

→  Buy from Amazon

→  Buy from Book Depository

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Allen Williams

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun is a collaboration between Guillermo de Toro and Cornelia Funke. The book fleshes out the dark fantasy film from 2006, in which a fairy tale clashes with Spanish fascism as an 11-year old girl escapes from a war through a twisted labyrinth. In addition to amazing illustrations by Cornelia, the book also has additional short stories to flesh out the fantasy world. The hidden cover is particularly spectacular.

→  Buy US edition from Amazon

→  Buy UK Edition from Book Depository

Serena valentino the odd sisters

Odd Sisters by Serena Valentino, illustrated by Pablo Santander Tiozzo-Lyon

‘Odd Sisters’ continues Serena Valentino’s series on the Disney Villains, with this one delving into the lives of the twisted, diabolical Odd Sisters, finally revealing the dark truth about who they are and where they’re from. The hardback books in this series all feature cool hidden covers under the dust jackets, and this one also has some lovely black & white illustrations by Pablo Tiozzo-Lyon.

→  Buy from Amazon

→  Buy from Book Depository

pumkinheads graphic novel

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

if you’re looking for a gift for a teen that is not so keen on scaring themselves for Halloween, you should check out the cute graphic novel Pumpkinheads written by Rainbow Rowell and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks. It’s a sweet coming-of-age story of best friends Deja and Josiah, high school seniors who are finishing up their last ever night working at DeKnock’s World Famous Pumpkin Patch and Autumn Jamboree. It’s earnest and sweet, and has the feel of a Hallmark or Disney movie.

 Buy from Amazon

 Buy from Book Depository

Fantasy & Speculative Fiction

Tamsyn Muir Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Honestly, the front cover blurb on this one will let you know if this is for you – it’s billed as “Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space”. Obviously it’s much more than that – the book tells the story of Gideon Nav, indentured-servant-turned-swordswoman of the Emperor’s Ninth House, and aforementioned necromancer Harrowhark. They have to prove themselves against the other houses by engaging in skeleton battles, solving spooky riddles and engaging in scientific experiments. It sounds like it would have a fairly niche audience, but it’s actually a lot of fun even if you’re not particularly into the genre. Also, the book design is excellent – first printings have black sprayed page edges and an embossed skull hidden on the boards under the dust jacket.

 Buy from Amazon

Buy from Book Depository

margaret owen merciful crow

Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

I loved this fantasy in which uses bone magic and stars Fie, a witch member of an itinerant band of Crows with responsibility for disposing of plague victims, along with two fugitive members of the royal family. With skinwitch trackers and monstrous ghasts, this is an excellent read for the spooky season, but I honestly recommend it for any time.

 Buy from Amazon

 Buy from Book Depository

Kiran Millwood Hargrave Deathless Girls

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Deathless Girls is a gothic and atmospheric feminist retelling about the girls who end up being the brides of Dracula. It’s one of those ageless magical stories that about revenge, loyalty, sisterhood and trust. This is a lovely physical book, with stunning endpapers and a hidden gilded cover.

 Buy from Amazon

 Buy from Book Depository

Leigh Bardugo Ninth House UK cover

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo’s new fantasy Ninth House is billed as a tale of dark magic set among the Ivy League elite. With Netflix currently adapting her fantastic Gishaverse novels, this duology is likely to be popular with collectors. Waterstones have an exclusive signed UK edition with foiled jacket and boards, and Barnes & Noble are also have an exclusive US edition available for preorder at the moment.

 Buy from Amazon

 Buy from Book Depository

rockport jekyll and hyde

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Tina Berning

Rockport have released Jekyll and Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson in their wonderful Reimagined Classics series, this haunting colourful interpretation of this classic gothic tale is illustrated by Tina Berning. It also features excellent decorative sprayed page edges. All the books in this series are stunning, so it’s worth checking them out.

► Read this post for more books in the Reimagined Classics series

► Read this post for more books with decorative sprayed page edges

  Buy from Amazon

  Buy from Book Depository

The Institute by Stephen King

A fun Stephen King paranormal thriller in which a couple of kids try to escape a sinister school for children with paranormal abilities. The Waterstones exclusive edition features sprayed page edges and decorative endpapers.

 Buy from Amazon

 Buy from Book Depository

 Buy from Waterstones

silvia moreno garcia gods of jade and shadow

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

When Casiopea Tun accidentally releases the Mayan God of the Underworld, she’s not prepared for a skeleton to put itself back together, become a man, and demand that she accompany him to retrieve the parts of his body stolen by his no-good brother. This dark fairy tale is set in the Jazz Age, and inspired by Mexican folklore. Goldsboro Books put out a nice limited edition with sprayed page edges if you can find a copy (now OOP).

→  Buy from Amazon

→  Buy from Book Depository

→  Search for Goldsboro Limited Edition via Abes

Six of Crows  and Crooked Kingdom duology by Leigh Bardugo

A magical fantasy series set in a world loosely inspired by the Dutch Republic of the 17th century.

► ​​For more information about the UK collector’s editions of this series, please do read the dedicated blog post.

→  Buy Crooked Kingdom from Book Depository

→  Buy Six of Crows from Book Depository

Suspense

adrian mckinty the chain cover

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

This is a dark psychological thriller that reinvents the chain letter. Imagine that your phone rings and you discover a stranger has kidnapped your child. To free them you must abduct someone else’s child, and your kid will only be released when your victim’s parents kidnap another child. If any of these things don’t happen, your child will be killed. Goldsboro Books put out a nice limited edition with sprayed page edges if you can find a copy (now OOP).

→ Buy from Amazon

Buy from Book Depository

Search for Goldsboro Limited Edition via Abes

CJ Tudor The Taking of Annie Thorne sprayed edges

The Taking of Annie Thorne by CJ Tudor

One night, Annie went missing. Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst. And then, miraculously, after forty-eight hours, she came back. But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her.

The Waterstones exclusive edition has red figures sprayed on the page edges.

► Read this post for more books with decorative sprayed page edges

→ Buy from Amazon

Buy from Book Depository

Buy sprayed edges edition from Waterstones

ruth ware turn of the key sprayed edges

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

What starts with a dream position in the Scottish Highlands ends in murder and intrigue for young nanny Rowen, in a compelling narrative that channels gothic horror, family drama and murder mystery.

The Waterstones exclusive edition has key sprayed page edges.

► Read this post for more books with decorative sprayed page edges

→ Buy from Amazon

Buy from Book Depository

Buy sprayed edges edition from Waterstones

Short Story Collections

once upon an enchanted forest

Once Upon an Enchanted Forest by Juliette Marillier et al

I really love spooky short story collections as a fun, low-commitment way to wind down the day if you’re working long hours during the Halloween season, so I thought I’d include a few fun ones here as well. Once Upon an Enchanted Forest is an anthology of romantic witchcraft stories that focuses on the autumnal equinox, honoring the changing season with tales of lovers, magical forests and transformation. I bought the collection because I love Juliette Marillier, but there are quite a few lovely tales in the set. There’s also a matching volume focussing on vampires.

Buy from Amazon

Ellen Datlow Echoes cover 1

Echoes edited by Ellen Datlow

I also love spooky short story collections as a fun, low-commitment way to wind down the day if you’re working long hours during the Halloween season, or as you wait by the door for trick or treaters. This anthology of 29 modern ghost stories was edited by the great Ellen Datlow, who has produced many fantastic short story collections in the suspense and fantasy genres. It includes contributions from some of the most interesting writers in speculative fiction right now, including a few of my favourites like Garth Nix and Seanan McGuire, as well as offerings from more traditionally literary authors like Joyce Carol Oates and Alice Hoffman, so there is certainly broad appeal across this collection.

Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

Christopher Golden Hex Life cover

Hex Life edited by Christopher Golden

Here is another new anthology with witchy tales from popular female contemporary fantasy authors, including Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery includes 18 tales that take classic tropes of witchcraft fiction and infuses them with the feminist perspective they always deserved.

Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

agatha christie last seance

The Last Seance by Agatha Christie

Finally if you’re after something cheap, cheerful and quick to read, William Morrow has compiled a collection of twenty of the Queen of Crime’s most chilling supernatural short stories.

► Check out these posts for some really special Agatha Christie editions

Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository


0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: