The Best New Booooooks: Halloween Tales & Other Favorites for Young Readers


Running out of great stuff to read? Now that would be scary. Here are a few Halloween-inspired books we love — plus some fantastic new releases in general for tots, kids, and teens.

(For lots more pumpkin/spider/ghost-themed books, come visit Parnassus and check out the Halloween displays. It’s getting spooky in here.)

Recommended by Ella

The Scariest Book Ever Cover ImageThe Scariest Book Ever 

A clumsy ghost spills orange juice on his skin, so he has to wash it — while all of his friends plan a surprise costume party. This fun story is narrated by a scared ghost. Perfect for fans of Triangle by Mac Barnett.

Recommended by Ella

Ginny Goblin Is Not Allowed to Open This Box Cover ImageGinny Goblin Is Not Allowed to Open This Box 

Ginny Goblin cannot open this box. What ensues is a hilarious, creative story in which Ginny tries ridiculous ways to open the box. This is for ninja, unicorn, and goblin lovers.

Recommended by Jenn

Sir Simon: Super Scarer Cover ImageSir Simon: Super Scarer 

Young readers who love a laugh more than a fright will adore Sir Simon, a certified “super-scarer” who is in for a surprise when he takes a job at his first haunted house.

Recommended by Rae Ann

Small Spaces Cover ImageSmall Spaces 

A class field trip goes off the rails in this spooky novel for independent readers. Perfect for fans of Stranger Things!

Recommended by Ella

Not Even Bones (Market of Monsters) Cover ImageNot Even Bones (Market of Monsters) 

In this dark first novel in what will become a young adult fantasy trilogy, Nita’s family hunts monsters — and she dissects them to sell on the black market. When Nita tries to leave the family business, her mother sells her into the black market, and Nita must escape before she, too, is killed. This is perfect for fans of This Savage Song and Criminal Minds.

(Meet Schaeffer at her event on Tuesday, November 13, at Woodland Middle School at 6:30 p.m.!) 

Recommended by Jackie

Me And My Fear Cover ImageMe And My Fear 

For anyone who has ever felt alone and afraid — this book is a reminder that we all have fears, and we are not alone, even when fear is looming large and that’s hard to realize.

Recommended by Jackie

Goodnight, Anne: Inspired by Anne of Green Gables Cover ImageGoodnight, Anne: Inspired by Anne of Green Gables 

The Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery is one of my favorites. This new picture book will introduce young readers to Anne through a sweet bedtime story.

Recommended by Ella

The Dreamer Cover ImageThe Dreamer 

Here’s the whimsical adventure of a pig who wants to fly with the birds. This adorable book uses vivid colors, blueprints, spaceships, and much more to build a magnificent story about how to make dreams come true.

Recommended by Carla

Drawn Together Cover ImageDrawn Together 

When a boy and his grandfather find themselves alone and unable to communicate with words they dig deep and find a beautiful way to speak. This book is a reminder to us all that it is always worthwhile to seek out what we have in common over our differences. It can change our worlds.

Recommended by Kevin

Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness (Ordinary Terrible Things) Cover ImageNot My Idea: A Book about Whiteness

Talking about white privilege with children can seem next to impossible. Thankfully Higginbotham guides us through the issue with clarity and sensitivity, and it ends on a hopeful note. Part of the Ordinary Terrible Things series.

See Higginbotham when she visits Parnassus on Thursday, October 25, at 6:30 p.m.!

Recommended by Katherine

I Lost My Tooth! (Unlimited Squirrels) Cover ImageI Lost My Tooth!

Do you miss Elephant and Piggie? Well, I’m so pleased to introduce your new favorite beginning-reader series, the Unlimited Squirrels. Fast-paced and fun, I Lost My Tooth! is also whip-smart and seriously funny. Add this to the read-aloud rotation!

Recommended by Jenn

The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare Cover ImageThe Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare 

The next installment of the Princess in Black series: princess by day, ninja by night!

Recommended by Jackie

Anne Arrives: Inspired by Anne of Green Gables Cover ImageAnne Arrives: Inspired by Anne of Green Gables 

A new early-reader series based on Anne of Green Gables! Now younger readers can get to know Anne spelled-with-an-e.

Recommended by Kevin

Marvin Redpost #3: Is He a Girl? Cover ImageMarvin Redpost #3: Is He a Girl? 

Check out all the Marvin Redpost books — a classic series by Louis Sachar. Here’s a favorite: A classmate tells Marvin that if he licks his elbow, he’ll turn into a girl. Ridiculous, right? …right? This whole series will have kids and parents alike giggling.

Recommended by Katherine

Saving Winslow Cover ImageSaving Winslow 

Sharon Creech is one of my favorite authors, and her newest book reminded me of one of my favorite books, Charlotte’s Web. As Louie tenderly cares for Winslow, a sick mini-donkey, he begins to make sense of his world and where he fits into it. Perfect for ages 8-12, this touching story would also be a great chapter-a-night read-aloud with younger readers.

Recommended by Joy

Winnie's Great War Cover ImageWinnie’s Great War

While we do not always need for our childhood literary friends to have a biography, I found it comforting to know that Winnie the Pooh witnessed and survived wartime London and lived to inspire children for many generations. This is for you if you loved Finding Winnie or just enjoy a great story that combines history, adventure, and the world’s most beloved bear.

Recommended by Katherine

Louisiana's Way Home Cover ImageLouisiana’s Way Home 

The latest magnificent novel from two-time Newbery medalist Kate DiCamillo. Don’t miss her when she comes back to Nashville on November 3, 2018! (Get tickets & info here.)

Recommended by Kevin

Harbor Me Cover ImageHarbor Me 

When their teacher gives them an hour a week to talk, alone in the old art room, Haley and her friends aren’t sure what to do. But over the year, deep friendships blossom as they share the difficulties of life with each other. I loved this book.

Recommended by Ella

The Mac Undercover (Mac B., Kid Spy #1) Cover ImageThe Mac Undercover (Mac B., Kid Spy #1) 

A hilarious “true story” about Mac Barnett’s mission as a secret spy to help the Queen of England and recover his missing GameBoy. This is perfect for fans of Dog Man.

Recommended by Jackie

The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid Cover ImageThe Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid 

For anyone who is curious and loves adventures, this book has photos and information about some amazing and unusual places all over the world.

Recommended by Keltie

Code Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II (Young Readers Edition) Cover ImageCode Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II (Young Readers Edition) 

Don’t underestimate smart young women — you will lose! What happens when you put together a concoction of girl-power, a terrible war, and an important, secret job that used to be done by men? Code-breakers who save the day in WWII in the Pacific! Sounds like history, reads like a fight song.

Recommended by Rae Ann

The War Outside Cover ImageThe War Outside 

An unlikely friendship between Haruko and Margot makes life in a WWII internment camp bearable — until it puts their lives at risk. A historical novel with themes relevant to today’s world.

Recommended by Devin

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel Cover ImageDear Evan Hansen: The Novel 

When I saw Dear Evan Hansen in New York, I swear I said to myself, “This feels like a YA novel.” The book took me back to seeing the musical (tears and all), but Emmich thoughtfully colors in details of Evan’s and Connor’s lives that didn’t fit into two hours onstage. Bonus: If you’re a nerd like me and I’m present when you buy this, I will gladly give you a list of pages where the songs correspond with the action.

Recommended by Ella

Dry Cover ImageDry 

California is out of water. Completely. Alyssa and her family have to survive as the rest of California struggles to come up with new resources. This book is scary — not in the usual way of crazy clowns or serial killers, but psychologically. It’s terrifying to think of humans as animalistic, but the Shustermans brilliantly traumatize anyone who reads this book. How far will you go for one last drop?

ParnassusNext — October Selection

Screen Shot 2018-10-07 at 5.04.37 PMHey, Kiddo

After five years of incredible books, we are especially thrilled to share with you our first-ever graphic novel as the ParnassusNext selection for October 2018: Jarrett Krosoczka’s critically acclaimed Hey Kiddo.

Hey Kiddo is Krosoczka’s profoundly moving memoir of growing up in a family grappling with addiction and discovering the art that helped him survive. It’s a gripping read that has received stars of distinction from every major book review publication, making it one of the most acclaimed YA books of the year. And just this week it was named a finalist for the National Book Award!

Check out some of the praise below:

“Krosoczka’s brushy, expressive artwork, incorporating snippets of his childhood drawings and letters, beautifully conveys the difficult circumstances of his upbringing. There’s a tender quality to his graceful line work and muted color palette, which adds to the compassionate way he depicts his family, even when he can’t count on them. There have been a slew of graphic memoirs published for young readers in the past couple of years, but the raw, confessional quality and unguarded honesty of Krosoczka’s contribution sets it apart from the crowd.” – Booklist, starred review

Hey Kiddo is a compelling, sometimes raw look at how addiction can affect families. It will empower readers, especially those who feel alone in difficult situations.” – School Library Journal, starred review

“Krosoczka as an author generously and lovingly shows his flawed family members striving to do the best they can even as Krosoczka the character clearly aches for more. Hey Kiddo is honest, important, and timely.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

ParnassusNext is the book subscription box for YA lovers. Every member of ParnassusNext receives a first edition hardcover of each month’s selected book, signed by the author. There is no membership fee to join — and no line to stand in for the autograph. Not only will you have one of the best YA books of the month when it comes out, you’ll have it straight from the author’s hands, with an original, authentic signature! Set up a subscription for yourself or buy a gift membership for your favorite YA reader for 3, 6, or 12 months.

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 11.27.50 AM

Happy reading — and see you this weekend at the Southern Festival of Books, where you’ll find all sorts of kids’ activities and chances to meet the people who wrote and illustrated some of your favorite books for young readers! Don’t forget to download the app to plan your weekend. And consider taking Lyft to get downtown to/from the festival! You can get $5 off two rides at this link or download the Lyft app and enter code PARNASSUS18. (Already have Lyft? Save 15% off two rides with code PARNASSUS1012.)