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Scaring up October Reads

by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

Longer nights and cooler days mean Halloween is on its way, so it’s time to start scaring up some stories of ghouls, goblins, and ghosts.  If spooky stories about things that go bump in the night are right up your kid’s alley, October is a perfect time to get your kids on the road to becoming life-long readers.

Here are a few hauntingly good titles for October:

 AGES 3-7                        

Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters
by Jane Yolen (Candlewick Press, 2013), $14.99.  Whimsical illustrations help tell the little-known fact that monsters like to move.  Tumbling, twirling, loping, and running, these active monsters will have little listeners on the edge of their seats (or hopping out of them!).

Filbert the Good Little Fiend by Hiawyn Oram and Jimmy Liao (Candlewick Press, 2013), $15.99.  Filbert wasn’t a proper fiend.  He wouldn’t huff, puff, trample, or terrify.  Daddy and Mommy Fiend, who were ferociously and fiercely fiendish, didn’t know what to do with their good little fiend.  Even Miss Fearsome-Frizz, Filbert’s teacher, didn’t know what to do with the little fiend who was so well-behaved in class.  Then, he ran into Florinda (actually, Florinda bumped into Filbert), who was sent out from Angel School for not being good enough.  Could they find a way to make those around them like them just as they were?

Ghost in the House by Ammi-Joan Paquette (Candlewick Press, 2013), $15.99.  “There’s a ghost in the house, in the creepy haunted house, on this dark spooky night, all alone.”  Playful illustrations make this counting book full of ghosts, mummies, and witches more fun than scary.

 AGES 4-6                      

Vampire Baby
by Kelly Bennett (Candlewick Press, 2013), $15.99.  Tootie became a real pain in the neck when she got her first two teeth.  It happened in one night according to her big brother – the night Tootie became Vampire Baby.  She bit everything in sight including her big brother.  Big brother tried to convince Mom and Dad that all this biting meant she was a Vampire Baby, but they wouldn’t listen to him.  Then, one day, he thought of a perfect solution.  A sweet tale of how even a monstrous little sister can work her way into a brother’s heart.

 AGES 7-10                  

The Sleepwalkers:  Bad Dreams Just Got Good!
by Viviane Schwarz (Candlewick Press, 2013), $9.99.  “When you are afraid to fall asleep, when all your dreams are nightmares, write us a letter, put it under your pillow, and we will rescue you.”  The dream warriors have been rescuing defenseless children from nightmares for a long time, but it’s almost time for them to return to the waking world.  Three new heroes are recruited to help in the battle of bad dreams: Bonifacius, a 100-year-old blanket transformed into a meek bear; Amali, an energetic sock monkey; and Sophia, a writing quill-turned-crow.  Can this trio handle the nightly barrage of dreams ranging from mice that eat an entire town to being naked at school?  An imaginative look at how to turn bad dreams into good ones.

 AGES 6-12                     

The Music of Zombies
by Vivian French (Candlewick Press, 2013), $ 15.99.  Gracie Gillypot and Prince Marcus take off for their fifth adventure after a fiddle-playing zombie brings a new threat into the Five Kingdoms.  Things seem pretty peaceful as Prince Albion plans the big Cockenzie Rood Day celebration.  “It’ll be the best Cockenzie Rood Day ever!” predicted the prince.  But, then, the head bopping began.  A fun, silly book that brings loveable characters back to life in this adventurous read.

 AND FOR MOM                   

The Last Original Wife
by Dorothea Benton Frank (HarperCollins Publishers, 2013), $26.99.  Leslie Anne Greene Carter was done.  She was done watching her husband’s friends trade the mothers of their children, the women they had promised to love, honor, and cherish ‘til death do they part, for younger, surgically-enhanced, trophy wives.  She was done listening to her husband, Les, whine and complain about money every time she needed a little extra.  She was done being taken advantage of by her adult children.  An ill-fated trip to Scotland brings some clarity to her life when she has time to do some thinking.  She knew what she wanted, and she was ready to embark on her path toward self-discovery and happiness.  An expressive story of self-discovery, lost love, family, and friendship.

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Tags: Education, Featured Story

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