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There's a spooky book for everyone in our special Halloween selection!
“Ghosts are everywhere...Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.” So claims Cass, the awesomely amiable heroine of this atmospheric treat for pre-teen readers. But, in Cass’s case, she actually can see ghosts, and her adorable best friend Jacob just happens to be one. Her gift of supernatural sight comes in very handy for her parents, a pair of bungling ghost-hunters called The Inspectres. While they’re on a TV show assignment in eerily-evoked, phantom-ridden Edinburgh, Cass meets a fellow ghost see-er (an In-betweener) and quickly becomes caught up in a high-stakes mission that forces her to hone her gift while traversing the worlds of the living and the dead. Alongside the smart concept and rollicking action, Cass and Jacob’s friendship (replete with fun Friendship Rules, and cemented by their love of comics), gives this tale a tingly, warm glow. Quirky, cute and creepy, this is middle grade fiction at its most entertaining.
A Dirty Bertie collection to delight his legions of fans who revel in his revolting ways! Featuring nine stories from Fangs!, Scream! and Zombie! A review for Fangs! - Disgusting Dirty Bertie is back for a new set of mucky adventures. As ever he has some crazy plans up his sleeve most of which involve him being disgusting in more ways than can easily be imagined. This time Bertie dresses up as a vampire for his school’s book week. But someone else has the same idea and soon things are going far from smoothly for Bertie! ~ Julia Eccleshare
Best-selling Goth Girl is back for an action-packed new adventure in this stunningly produced volume by former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell which has the additional delight of a mini-book, Fable of a Faun, tucked into it. Lord Goth is turning Ghastly-Gorm Hall into the venue for Gothstock, a sensational music festival that will match his home. Naturally, Ada Goth is thrilled at the thought but will it all go to plan? In both words and pictures Chris Riddell creates an amazing cast of characters and the most original escapades in which they are all entangled.
A day devoted to stuffing your face with sweets and playing horrid tricks: Horrid Henry and Hallowe’en are made for one another! There are six stories in this collection, each one a tribute to Henry’s ability to cause trouble, upset Perfect Peter, and somehow, despite his parents’ best efforts, come out on top. There are extra treats too – spooky jokes and a section of puzzles, games, activities, even a gruesome recipe, just the thing for putting the Henry into Hallowe’en. ~ Andrea Reece
Stevenson’s classic is given a wildly inventive comic makeover by Fiona Ross. Squeak the mouse is a dab hand at competitions, but gets more than he bargained for when he wins a strange pot of jelly … One mouthful turns him into the terrifying monster Hyde, rampaging by night and guzzling down everything edible he finds! Squeak’s transformation from cute little mouse into nutty green monster and his night-time adventures are depicted via a wonderful series of comic-book style frames that burst with energy and fun. Don’t worry grown-ups, he’s restored to his normal self by the end and happily settled in front of the TV with Granny. This lively funny picture book is great for sharing. ~ Andrea Reece
As much a game as a book, this is lots of fun to read, and lots of fun to look at too. Two little children, a boy and a girl, are all dressed up and ready to go trick or treating. The meet all sorts of creatures – a creepy, sleepy spider, a naughty, warty toad, a wizard’s noisy owl and a sliding, gliding ghost. Young readers can join in as the growing list is repeated on each page, and there’s a super surprise ending too. With its engaging text and gorgeous illustrations this will put everyone in the mood for Hallowe’en. A definite treat!
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | Everybody knows what they think about bullies, but this story might make them think again. Jason Banks is king of the school, not because he’s clever or popular but because he’s a bully and everyone is afraid of him. Then a new girl joins the class. Millie is small and pale, and doesn’t seem to be scared of anything. She knows a way to give Jason a taste of his own medicine but she knows too what he really needs to change. This funny, clever and entertaining story will get readers thinking and talking. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+.
There are Hallowe’en tricks and treats on every page of this very jolly little first book, including a smiling, friendly little witch, a grinning pumpkin, and a dancing skeleton. Turn the pages and, thanks to an ingenious bit of paper engineering, the images change: the witch becomes a little cat, the pumpkin lights up, and the skeleton’s comic expression changes. With brightly coloured things to spot and count on every page, t’s lots of fun, a jaunty rhyming text adding to the entertainment value, and will be enjoyed not just in the run up to 31st October but all year round. ~ Andrea Reece
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | In a nutshell: dicing with the dead has never been so thrilling Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co series about a company of teenage psychics attempting to keep the streets of a nearly-but-not contemporary London clear of malevolent spirits is thrilling stuff. Each episode offers a first-class helping of brilliantly-written, edge-of the-seat ghostly adventure packed with intrigue, humour and even a touch of romance. The Empty Grave brings the series to its conclusion and does so in style, with the fiercest test yet for our young heroes, and some uncomfortably close brushes with death. Readers who haven’t discovered this series yet are to be envied, they have such a treat in store! ~ Andrea Reece
Always look a gift-horse in the mouth could be the message of this highly entertaining, very funny new book from master of the madcap adventure Barry Hutchinson. Lisa-Marie and her step-brother Vernon are out shopping for a present for Dad when they wander into the local Create-a-Ted store, tempted - Vernon in particular - by the sign in the window offering 'free' Hallowe'en bears. No sooner have they left with one teddy bear witch, one teddy bear vampire, and one teddy bear Elvis (for Dad) than the trouble starts. The bears come to life and - Bearvis excepted - they are anything but cuddly. Can Lisa-Marie and Vernon stop squabbling long enough to save their parents and their town from the marauding teddies? It manages to be both silly and exciting and, I'm glad to say, sets things up nicely for further adventures.
October 2017 Debut of the Month In a nutshell: love, loss and a skeleton in the garden Stanly is surprised but intrigued to discover a finger bone apparently growing in his garden. It could win him the Young Discoverer science prize and thereby bring his father home in which case it’s to be welcomed. As the finger grows into a skeleton though, Stanly is not so sure. His little sister Miren really takes to ‘Princy’ as she calls the skeleton and it’s able to cheer her up even with she is seriously ill and in pain. Stanly worries the skeleton is there to take Miren away. This debut novel is accomplished and original. Despite the surreal storyline it’s a story of real emotions, and Stanly’s worries are always gripping and credible. An examination of love and loss, with an ambient sense of myth or faith, this will appeal to fans of David Almond’s modern classic Skellig. ~ Andrea Reece
The term Halloween, and its older spelling Hallowe'en, is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the evening before "All Hallows' Day" (also known as "All Saints' Day"). Halloween was also sometimes called All Saints' Eve.
The holiday was a day of religious festivities in various northern European pagan traditions, until it was appropriated by Christian missionaries and given a Christian interpretation.
So to celebrate general spookiness and horror we have a selection of books that will hopefully fright and delight in equal measure children of all ages as well as grown-ups who have never quite grown up or don’t like to think they have!
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