of the Center for Children's Books
|The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based booklist
available as an online-only Bulletin feature. Since we're awfully
fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their
philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have them
to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download,
or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.
A Halloween Dozen
--selected by Debra Mitts Smith
October's crisp, crunchy leaves and brief, brisk days beckon young people
to curl up with a good book or two. What better way to help your readers
celebrate fall and Halloween than with ghost stories. This month's offering,
which revisits a Dozens topic last featured way back in July 1997, includes
a wide range of ghostly encounters from which to choose. Sometimes it's
the move into a new house that causes difficulty--for the new family and
the resident ghosts. At other times it is the spirits who feel compelled
to leave their places of eternal rest and to roam. Sometimes the ghosts
are frightening the living daylights out of the corporeal charactes, but
other times they're calling to us for help. No matter what type of shade
appeals to your readers, they are sure to find some favorites among these
- Aiken, Joan. A Whisper in the Night: Tales of Terror and Suspense.
Delacorte, 1981. Gr. 6-
Thirteen supernatural tales of undying loyalty, ghostly apparitions, and mysterious
strangers keep readers on edge. (BCCB 12/84)
- Brittain, Bill. Who Knew There'd Be Ghosts? illus. by Michele
Chessare. Harper & Row, 1985. Gr. 3-6
A shady offer to buy the old Parnell House pushes Tommy, Harry, and Books
into joining forces with the house's resident ghosts to prevent the sale.
- Carlson, Natalie Savage. The Ghost in the Lagoon; illus. by Andrew
Glass. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1984. Gr. 2-4
Tommy and his dad's efforts to do some night fishing are thwarted by the lagoon's
ghoulish inhabitant. (BCCB 4/85)
- Fleischman, Sid. The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story; illus. by Peter
Sis. Greenwillow, 1995. Gr. 3-6
A long-departed ancestor's message to meet her on the non-existent 13th floor
of an office building leads to Buddy and his sister's being transported back
through time. (BCCB 10/95)
- Fleischman, Paul. Graven Images: 3 Stories by Paul Fleischman;
illus. by Andrew Glass. Harper & Row, 1982. Gr. 8-
While a copper figure may offer guidance, two other images hold the key to
deadly deeds. (BCCB 3/83)
- Hague, Michael, ad. Kate Culhane: A Ghost Story; ad. and illus.
by Michael Hague. SeaStar, 2001. Gr. 3-6
Kate Culhane's grieving by her mother's grave is cut short by a request emanating
from a nearby plot to "Open this grave for me." (BCCB 9/01)
- Hurst, Carol Otis. The Wrong One. Lorraine/Houghton, 2003. Gr.
The Spencer family's sadness of having to move from the brownstone in Brooklyn
to an old farmhouse is replaced by an increasing sense of unease. (BCCB 7/03)
- Ibbotson, Eva. Dial-a-Ghost; illus. by Kevin Hawkes. Dutton, 1996.
After a German bomb leaves them dead and their house destroyed, the Wilkinson
family tries to find a new home and meaning to their after-life existence.
- Johnston, Tony. The Ghost of Nicholas Greebe; illus. by S. D Schindler.
Dial, 1996. Gr. 6-9
When a dog digs up one of Greebe's bones, his spirit returns vowing not to
rest until he finds the errant femur. (BCCB 10/96)
- Manns, Nick. Operating Codes. Little, 2001. Gr. 6-9
Life in their new house near an abandoned airfield finds fifteen-year-old
Graham and his five-year-old sister Mattie witnessing a past tragedy. (BCCB
- McAllister, Margaret. Ghost at the Window. Dutton, 2002. Gr. 4-6
Ewan has barely adjusted to the way his new house slips in and out of centuries
when one of the house's earlier inhabitants calls out to him for help. (BCCB
- Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Jade Green: A Ghost Story. Atheneum,
2000. Gr. 7-10
Judith soon regrets breaking her uncle's request that she not bring the
color green into the house. (BCCB 2/00)
- Prelutsky, Jack. Halloween Countdown; illus. by Dan Yaccarino.
HarperCollins, 2002. 2-4 yrs
Count ghosts as they swoop, fly, and circle through the house. (BCCB 10/02)
- Rocklin, Joanne. This Book Is Haunted; illus. by Jo Ann Adinolfi. HarperCollins,
2002. (I Can Read Books) Gr. 1-3
A friendly poltergeist shares some creepy stories and ghoulish poems with
beginning readers. (BCCB 10/02)
- Ruby, Laura. Lily's Ghosts. HarperCollins, 2003. Gr. 5-8
Lily's none too happy about moving with her mother into her gruff great-uncle's
house, especially when she begins to suspect the place is haunted. (BCCB 9/03)
- Wright, Betty Ren. The Ghost of Popcorn Hill; illus. by Karen
Ritz. Holiday House. 1993. Gr. 3-6
When Martin and Peter discover two lonely ghosts hanging around their family's
new home, they decide that it's time the ghosts meet each other. (BCCB 6/93)
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This page was last updated on October 1, 2003.