Friday, October 9, 2020

Middle Grade Novels to Read This October

It’s October, a.k.a. one of my favorite times of the year. It also means fall is here, and I have my fingers crossed that cooler weather is on the way. But I digress, let’s talk about some books. So throughout this year and the later part of 2019, I’ve been enjoying a number of middle grade ghost stories. I’ve mentioned them on the blog, but I wanted to put my current favorites onto one post. Adri is joining me today, with recommendations and comments of her own about some of the books on this list.


Small Spaces and Dead Voices by Katherine Arden 

Breana: I found these books because I read Katherine Arden’s Winternight trilogy. I really enjoy the way the author blends spooky elements with issues relevant to the target audience. Plus the story within the story could have been its own book, and the ghosts of the series always appear in surprising ways and places.

Adri: Since I agree with what Breana said, all I’m going to add is: both books are great. They have just the right amount of spookiness and touching friendships.

The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown 

Adri: I’m still left speechless by The Forgotten Girl. It’s a chilling ghost story that incorporated real life history in the form of segregated cemeteries. I really loved the author’s note at the end, where she detailed her inspiration behind including the cemeteries. It added a timeliness touch to the story.

Breana: The Forgotten Girl is one of my favorite ghost stories. Brown did an excellent job with the supernatural elements of the story, and I enjoyed the perspective of the main character. The ghost was in-your-face scary at times. Not because she was evil, but because of the gradual escalation of her actions. All around, it’s a fantastic story.

Ghost Squad by Clairbel A. Ortega 

Breana: Ghost Squad had the fun quirkiness of Ghostbusters combined with a cast of lovable characters. The ghosts took on both a haunting and a cherished role in this story, which was one of my favorite aspects of the book.

Adri: I finally got around to reading Ghost Squad after Breana, and I couldn’t put it down. I agree. It is a fun story. I loved the relationship she had with her dad and family spirits. Her adventures with Syd and eventually Babette and the cats were all the more enjoyable because of the magical elements.

The Sisters of Straygarden Place by Hayley Chewins 

Breana: I read this book as an ARC. While there were no ghosts in the story, The Sisters of Straygarden Place needed to be on this list for a myriad of reasons. The atmospheric storytelling had a spooky and downright eerie quality to it, and the setting was as mysterious and dangerous as the characters.

Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley 

Adri: I’ve already reviewed this book with Andrea. There’s not much else I can say about it other than that I enjoyed it immensely. The mystery drew me in. There was a good balance of eerie and lighthearted moments. I said it in the review and I’ll say it again here: it was definitely a page-turner.

We hope this trend of middle-grade ghost stories continues well into the future. So that’s it for today. What ghost or spooky stories have you been reading lately?

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