“The baby bat
Screamed out in fright,
‘Turn on the dark,
I’m afraid of the light.”
― Shel Silverstein
So we all have our fears! Dracula would definitely have screamed out too like baby bat, wouldn’t he? The poem above is from Shel Silverstein’s wonderful book ‘Light in the Attic‘ (and he has more fun spooky poems as well from his many books). So what scares you? Me, I would put creepy, crawly things on my list first (spiders, depends on the size!!). But reading calms my every fear….
Reading to my kids when they were much younger and to/with them as they grew older has been a treasured activity for me. They are 14 and 11 now, and I still read to/with them every once in a while. Over the summer, my daughter and I read some of ‘Little Women‘ together, each of us picked a couple of characters that we chose to read and read their parts out, while taking turns reading in the rest of the book which was non-dialog. I am hoping to get back to it soon with her.
With my son, I normally just chose to read what he is reading (though not always at the same pace/time) – he just finished reading ‘Of Mice and Men’ and I need to get to that soon!!
And themed reading can be fun with kids! Holidays present a wonderful opportunity for themed reading with so many ways we can incorporate the holiday – books need not be about Halloween or Thanksgiving or Christmas or Valentine’s Day, instead they can be spooky or scary, about giving or volunteering or sharing, about love in every way…
So here is a list of 13 books to read on or around Halloween, or really, any time of the year (across age groups):
- The Berenstain Bears – The Big Book of Berenstain Books – Beginner Books – Watching the TV show was always fun and the books are delightful. This set of books has a couple of spooky tales to read – including the aptly named ‘The Spooky Old Tree’ (Ages 3 – 7 years, and even older!)
- The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything – She is truly not afraid – a fun look at feet and pants and a shirt and a hat that go together (Preschool – Grade 2, and again even older!)
- Harry’s Spooky Surprise! (Harry The Happy Mouse Book 3) – Harry’s spooky surprise is good at teaching kids not to be scared and finding friends in unexpected places; and at showing how you can be kind, loving, and with the help of friends, surprise loved ones with the best of surprises.. (For Ages to 5 years old and even older)
- The Witches by Roald Dahl – Roald Dahl, enough said! (8 to 12 years old)
- Frankenstein and Dracula (Classic Library Hardcover edition) – I bought mine at a book fair years ago and love how it looks in addition to the books themselves! (Grades 3 – 7 for Frankenstein; and over Grade 6 for Dracula)
- Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Lord of the Flies
- The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allen Poe (my favorite, of course, is ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’) and/or Tales of Mystery and Terror by Edgar Allen Poe
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Grades 5 – 8)
- The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde – I read this first when I was about 11, I think and I remember crying for the ghost. I truly love him more with every reading.
- The Exorcist – I read the book as an adult (watched the movie when I was a kid) and the book left me sleepless and scared for a couple of days!! For braver high schoolers?? and adults…
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde –
- Collected Ghost Stories – M.R.James –