Read All About It: It’s Halloween!

Can’t believe it’s already October?
Get into Halloween with these Los Angeles Public Library recommendations.

One of the much-talked-about effects of the coronavirus pandemic and staying safer at home is not being sure what day it is, or even what month it is. In the spirit of Halloween, Alive! reached out to Librarians at our favorite Library, Los Angeles Public Library, for suggestions to get Club readers into the spirit of the first event of the holiday season. Thanks to the Librarians for their suggestions. Enjoy these spooky stories, everyone! (Some are available via digital download; some are physical books available for curbside pickup. Search at lapl.org)

For Adults:

Compiled by Librarian Elizabeth Graney


Heart-Shaped Box, Joe Hill
Judas Coyne is a rock star getting on in years who has an interest in the morbid and macabre. When he hears about a genuine ghost for sale, he pays what he needs to add it to his collection. Enclosed in the heart shaped box that arrives appears to be nothing more than an old suit. It quickly becomes clear that the suit, and its previous owner, have it out for Judas, and until he can figure out who this spirit is and why he has become its target, he and those around him are in grave danger.


I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
In this quintessential vampire tale, Robert Neville is the last man on earth. Immune to the disease that turned everyone he knew and loved into a monster, Robert is left fighting the undead creatures that rose from their bodies. He spends his days searching for supplies and researching what happened to the rest of the world. Just as he believes he is making headway in his understanding of the infected, he finds the impossible: another survivor.


We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory
This novella may be short in form, but it is rich in content. Harrison Harrison (yes, really) was skeptical of the support group suggested by psychotherapist Dr. Jan Sayer. After surviving an attack by a monster as a child and then searching out others as a private detective, Harrison wants to move away from the weird and terrifying. But Dr. Jan believes in the power of community, and she has started a support group for survivors of the most terrifying and traumatizing of events. Revisiting cannibal attacks, serial killers, arson and whatever happened to Martin may be more damaging than Dr. Jan could ever know.


Zone One, Colson Whitehead
The Zombie uprising happened, and what’s left of humanity must try to retake and rebuild what was conquered. Mark Spitz works as a member of a civilian cleanup crew that ferrets out those zombies left in lower Manhattan. It is work that manages to be both stressful and boring, and Mark has a lot of time to think about the future of humanity. But is it going as well as reported by higher-ups?


World War Z, Max Brooks
Zombies were real and we fought them off. But humanity paid a dear price. Max Brooks’ series of interviews looks into the worldwide fight against the hordes, how it all began, and how we managed to survive.


Bird Box, Josh Malerman
What if you could never open your eyes again? This is Malorie’s world. At first, the reports of extremely violent and fatal attacks across the globe were disconcerting but not immediately threatening. But as the attacks became more frequent and got closer to home, the rumors of a visually transferred madness went from fantasy to an all-too-real reality. Blindfolded and unsure how much longer she can survive holed up in a boarded up house, Malorie must venture out of safety to find others who might still be alive.


Hex, Olde Heuvelt
Black Spring in the Hudson Valley, NY is an ideal place to live, with quaint, tree-lined streets, friendly neighbors and a strong sense of community. It’s a dream come true, if not for one thing: Those who live there can never leave. Cursed for centuries by the Black Rock Witch, the town does its best to keep her calm and keep her a secret. But technology and bored teenagers are a bad mix. Revealing her to the world will bring down consequences no one is prepared to pay.

For Young Readers:

Compiled by Librarians Brooke Sheets, Mara Alpert, Laura Duncan, Sara Rebman, Shanna Kim and Linda Israelson.


Not Very Scary (xz), Carol Brendler; illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
A (mostly) brave monster with a great vocabulary counts the increasing number of slightly scary creatures she meets on her way to visit her cousin on Halloween.


Los Gatos Black on Halloween, Marissa Montes; illustrated by Yuyi Morales
This beautifully illustrated picture book incorporates Spanish words into rhyming text. Witches, skeletons and more are having a ball until human trick-or-treaters arrive!


Boo! Haiku, Deanna Caswell; illustrated by Bob Shea
Explore haikus and Halloween fun as readers read poems filled with clues and guess which Halloween objects and creatures they describe.


The Hallo-wiener, Written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
Oscar, a young dachshund, faces some challenges on his favorite holiday, but emerges victorious as he thwarts a couple of pranksters and becomes a hero!


Zombie in Love, Kelly DiPucchio; illustrated by Dave Campbell
Mortimer is a zombie looking for a date for the Cupid’s Ball, but he can’t catch a break. He gives the waitress at a diner a shiny diamond ring … with a finger still attached to it. He tries looking for a sweetheart at the gym, but his arm keeps falling off. Will he ever find his true love?

Older Children:

Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise, Kate DiCamillo; illustrated by Chris Van Dusen.
If there are treats involved, this pig is willing to put on a fluffy princess dress and parade around on Halloween. Of course, things don’t turn out quite as planned.


Lola Levine and the Halloween Scream, Monica Brown; illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Lola Levine loves Halloween, but her friends don’t appreciate it when she tries out a scary joke on them.


Ghoulia: Making New Friends Can Be Scary, Barbara Cantini
A young zombie has trouble making friends, until she realizes that Halloween is the perfect chance for her to blend in.


The Best Halloween Ever, Barbara Robinson
Halloween is scary enough without the Herdman family’s unruly half dozen havoc wreakers! Will the neighborhood survive?


Burp or Treat…Smell My Feet!, Nancy E. Krulik
Part of the “George Brown, Class Clown” series in which George finds himself at the mercy of a phantom prankster. Can he solve the mystery of who it is and save the holiday from becoming a disaster?

 

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