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Written by Jimmie Epling   

Scare Up a Good Tale for Your

Trick or Treaters to Read This Halloween 

By Jimmie Epling

It is that time of year for little goblins, ghouls, ghosts, and genies; heroes, heroines, hunters, and hobbits; princesses, pirates, pilots, and patriots to appear with that familiar taunt, “Trick or Treat!”  It is Halloween!  Before visiting the Darlington County Library Systems’ booth at this year’s Scare on the Square, tomorrow from 4:30-6 p.m., for some treats, drop into the Darlington Branch to borrow some great reads like those below to cap off your evening!    


NinNina Landen combines bright colors with simple rhymes to help children guess what’s peeking through the little windows in her delightful alloween board book “Peek-a-Who?”
“Five Little Pumpkins” sitting on a gate come alive in this story by Dan Yaccarino.  These five
pumpkins run and roll through the colorful pages of this book to a rhyme all little ones will love. 
Little trick-or-treaters count their way through a spooky old house in “One, Two..Boo!” by Kristen L. Depken.   This adorable little book has a surprise for children behind a flap on every page. 
In “Mouse’s First Halloween,” Mouse creeps out and hears the familiar sounds of the night.  Author Lauren Thompson’s mouse tale familiarizes children with the different sounds of the holiday.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Join your favorite spooky creatures, a sneaky spider, a ghostly chef, a sly mummy and a crafty witch, along with author Stephen Savage as they watch “Ten Orange Pumpkins” disappear in a countdown to a Halloween surprise.  It is the perfect read-aloud for little trick-or-treaters.

Join Hot Rod Hamster as he exchanges his racing jacket for a blue Mohawk and guitar in “Hot Rod Hamster and the Haunted Halloween Party!” by Cynthia Lord.  When Hot Rod Hamster is invited to a
Halloween party, he and his friends choose rock star-themed costumes and even create their own band complete with instruments and original songs. On their way to the party, their car breaks down and some friendly ghosts come to their rescue.  This easy reader is loaded with spooky fun!

Early Elementary

·         Farmer Brown does not like Halloween according to Doreen Cronin in “Click, Clack, Boo!: a Tricky Treat.”  So he draws the shades, puts on his pajamas, and climbs into bed.  But little does he know, the barnyard animals’ Halloween party has just begun and there are big surprises in store for Farmer Brown!

Halloween night in “Shake Dem Halloween Bones” by W. Nikola-Lisa.  The city is quiet and still until the guests start to arrive at the hip-hop Halloween ball!  Told in hip-hop rhyming text, Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Tom Thumb, and all of their fairy-tale friends come together for a Halloween party like no other.

The witch and her cat couldn't be happier flying through the sky on their broomstick, until the witch drops her hat, bow, and wand!  Three animals find her missing items and ask for a ride on the broomstick.  In Julia Donaldson’s “Room on the Broom,” you will discover if there is room on the broom for all to ride, especially when the witch’s new friends must rescue her from the clutches of a hungry dragon!

Would you be afraid if shoes, pants, a shirt and a pumpkin head were following you?  The little old lady in Linda Williams’ story “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” is definitely not in this Halloween tale!

Upper Elementary

Meet a boy hero, his wise old Norwegian grandmother who is an expert on witches, and the most gruesome, grotesque gang of witches imaginable in Roald Dahl’s “The Witches.”  Despite being turned into a mouse, he fearlessly takes on the band of witches and ultimately the Grand High Witch of the World to foil their plot to turn children into mice.

Is Bunnicula a cute bunny or a ravenous rabbit with fangs that drain vegetables dry?  In her book “Bunnicula,” author Deborah Howe tells the story of this very unusual rabbit from Harold’s, the Monroe family’s dog, point of view.  Does having fangs, odd markings on his back that look like a cape, and sleeping from sunup to sundown make this rabbit a vampire and a danger to the family?  Only Bunnicula knows for sure. 

Master storyteller Ray Bradbury brings to life in “The Halloween Tree” the tale of eight trick-or-treaters at a haunted house who are whisked away on an adventure through space and time to find their friend Pip and the true meaning of Halloween.  Their only guide is the sinister Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud in this eerie adventure.    

“Coraline” by Neil Gaiman is the story of a young girl who discovers a mysterious door the day after her family moves into their new apartment.  When she unlocks the door, she is surprised to learn it is a passage to another apartment just like her own, but marvelously different.  Her mother and father in the new world want her to stay with them and be their little girl. They also want to change her.  It is not long before she finds children trapped behind the mirrors in her new world. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She must fight with all her wits if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

The intrepid Jack and Annie are summoned once again to the fantasy realm of Camelot. There, Merlin the Magician tells them that the Stone of Destiny has been stolen. The answer to its disappearance lies within the pages of “Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve” by Mary Pope Osborne.  With a young magician named Teddy, Jack and Annie’s quest takes then to a haunted castle where they will find terrors they never imagined in this action packed Magic Treehouse story! 

October 26, 2015 







Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 December 2015 )

Word of the Week

Snowbird (noun) A person who vacations in or moves to a warmer climate during cold weather.  A northerner who moves to a warmer southern state in the winter.  The Library is the perfect place for a snowbird to find something good to read while wintering in South Carolina!


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