Author Neil Gaiman has a modest proposal for Halloween. It doesn’t involve eating anyone. Instead, the award-winning author suggests a new holiday tradition: giving each other spooky books on Halloween. He’s calling it All Hallow’s Read.
Stephen King, his son Joe Hill, and other horror luminaries have jumped on the bandwagon (not surprisingly).
Any tradition that involves sharing books sounds good to me. I give books as holiday gifts to my family at Christmas every year.
Kids love a good ghost story as much as grown-ups. Here are 10 spooky tales you can share with your kids this All Hallow’s Read.
- The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman – We’ll start with Neil’s young adult novel about a small boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Recommended for grades 5-8, chilly fun for all ages. Read it with a warm blanket and a cup of hot tea.
- Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories, Roald Dahl – Haunting and funny at the same time. A classic of the genre.
- Monster Mama, Liz Rosenberg – For younger kids, this picture book combines a heartwarming tale of a mom protecting her son from bullies with gorgeous, creepy illustrations of a monster mama in a monster world.
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving – This is The Classic spooky tale for Halloween night, illustrated in this version by fantastically funky illustrator Gris Grimly.
- Amphigory, Edward Gorey – An ABC primer for baby Goths, Amphigory wanders through a range of horrors that might befall ill-fated youngsters.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket – Speaking of unfortunate events befalling children, older kids will laugh and howl at the horrors that fill the pages of the Lemony Snicket books.
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Charles M. Schulz – For a less chilling Halloween read, pick up this Charlie Brown classic about overcoming your fears, being a good friend, celebrating life.
- The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, Linda Williams – A children’s classic about a late night walk, a little old lady, and things that go bump in the night. Don’t miss this one.
- The Last Wild Witch, Starhawk – If you’re interested in sharing a story of the Pagan celebration Halloween is rooted in, modern Pagan author Starhawk has written one for children.
- The Dangerous Alphabet, Neil Gaiman – I’ll end with another delightful book from Gaiman, since the All Hallow’s Read tradition sprang from his brain. This ABC book, illustrated by the same artist who did Sleep Hollow, will delight kids of all ages.
What are your favorite Halloween reads to share with kids?
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