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Autumn Picks for Spooky Season

By Ekta Rajagopalan, Holly Allwright, Rosie Pinder

There is a nip in the air, finally! The leaves are starting to change colour and the autumn menu is back in the coffee shops. We all know what time it is: the spooky season! So, if you’re looking for bookish suggestions to get your little one hooked on the Halloween spirit, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you are in the mood for ghost tales or cosy fairytales with a twist, this is the perfect season to get reading. We’ve made some suggestions for you and your children to enjoy in the coming weeks, perhaps even with a pumpkin-spiced drink on the side and some ghostly marshmallows.

How to Make Friends with A Ghost by Rebecca Green

Have you ever thought of being friends with a ghost? What if they were actually sweet like our dear buddy Casper? This handy guide to ghost care by Rebecca Green informs us that ghosts love eating floating spaghetti and mudballs, pickled bogeys and mud tarts. They also adore dance parties and jokes and depend on enjoying a cosy moss-and-spiderweb bed to get a really good nightmare every night. Green’s book makes children look at ghosts as someone who can be their friends and stay with them for life – telling jokes and making them appreciate life even more. This is a book for all months, not just for the ghostly months of the year.

Grandpa Bert and the Ghost Snatchers by Malorie Blackman

When Grandma Gertie visits them from Barbados, she is accompanied by an extraordinary travelling companion: squeezed into her handbag is the ghost of Grandpa Bert! Grandma Gertie is convinced she’s being followed but after an incident, it becomes clear that there are Ghost Snatchers who want to capture Grandpa Bert. Can Anna and Kasper save their Grandpa Bert? Read this book to find out more. Featuring a BAME family, this book is designed with special attention to be appealing to reluctant and dyslexic children.

Haunt Me by Liz Kessler

Introverted Erin has just moved to a new house and school, hard enough when you're an awkward teen; but more so for a girl getting over a traumatic accident. But Erin's new bedroom holds something more than the poetry of the previous resident, scribbled on its walls. The teenager Joe, who died, is haunting his former bedroom.

Kessler explores the emotions and trauma that led to Joe being trapped in his bedroom as a lost soul. Joe and Erin's relationship, though unusual, is heartfelt and thoughtful. With a mature and sensitive approach to bereavement and loss as well as a keen insight into teen relationships, this proves to be a thought-provoking and satisfying read.

The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming and Nicola Slater

This picture book is the perfect celebration of the changing of the season. Squirrel becomes upset when he wakes up one day and finds that all the leaves on his tree have disappeared and he is determined to find out who stole them from him. The narrative deftly introduces the topic of seasons and weather to children in a light-hearted and comedic fashion and is a must-have in any child’s bedroom this autumn. The illustrations are also a gorgeous riot of autumn colour.

Squasherella by Amy Boxshall and Stephanie Thannhauser

Taking inspiration from the classic fairytale of Cinderella, Boxshall and Thannhauser put a spooky twist on the beloved story. When Squasherella hears of the Halloween ball, she gets excited, but her sisters won’t let her go. Her Fairy Squash mother isn’t far away though and has a plan to get her to the ball. With gorgeous illustrations and comedic twists, this book is a joy for adults and children alike.


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