Media Reviews: Check out These Spooky Stories for All Ages
Bats, witches and ghosts aren’t just for Halloween, as seen in these recommended titles from the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
There’s a Witch in Your Book
By Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Greg Abbott
This interactive picture book is great fun to play along with. A cute little witch is making a big mess. As the reader, you get to clean up green goo, block a magic spell and do your own spells with your finger as a wand. The story ends with a spooky sleepover including other characters from this charming series: dragon, monster and alien. FOR AGES 2-6
The Bat Book
By Charlotte Milner
This DK Publishing title has excellent book design and colorful illustrations that will draw in readers. It introduces all aspects of bat biology: where they live, how they fly, what they eat, echolocation and more. There’s lots of information about the important jobs bats do in the ecosystem and also why they are in decline. Last, there are ideas for kids on how to help bats thrive. FOR AGES 5-10
The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow
By Emma Steinkellner
Moth learned the history of her family and town, and about her own magic abilities, in “The Okay Witch.” But magic is not enough to help her deal with the constant teasing and humiliations of middle school. So she steals a little magical assistance. When things get totally out of control, Moth will have to stand up against the bullies and the scary demon trying to take over her life. FOR AGES 9-14
By Justina Ireland
A gripping supernatural mystery, this 1920s historical fiction story also effortlessly teaches readers about issues of race and class at the time. Twelve-year-old Ophie learns of her ability to see and communicate with ghosts the same terrible night her Black father is killed and her home destroyed. Now living in Pittsburgh, she and her mother work as servants for the wealthy family of Daffodil Manor. There, Ophie will use her talents to solve the mystery of another unjust death. FOR AGES 10 and OLDER
The Box in the Woods
By Maureen Johnson
Genius girl detective Stevie, from Johnson’s Truly Devious series, is back in this standalone mystery that is both creepy and captivating. Stevie is rescued from a summer of boredom when a tech entrepreneur with plans for a true crime podcast invites her to help investigate an unsolved mystery. Now Stevie and her friends are living and working at a summer camp in the woods where a horrific crime occurred in the 1970s. The clues are buried in the past, but for the town residents, the crime is still very much alive. And at least one person does not want it to be solved. FOR TEENS
Watch mysterious movies and read spooky storybooks for free with your library card. Kanopy Kids is the children’s section of the Kanopy streaming video service and is free to library card holders. Watch artsy children’s films, educational TV series and animated picture books. Visit Kanopy via the app, through the website or even on many smart TVs. It’s a fun streaming service that won’t affect your monthly budget.
Laura Nawojchik is a youth services librarian at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.