~posted by Meranda T.
The supernatural abounds in teen novels. After searching through many of them, I choose a few with strong iconic Halloween characters in them. I feel these books would be great reads for October.
First up is Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. It was an entertaining book to read and I found the end to be very gripping. It starts with a young child being saved from a murderer by a graveyard full of ghosts. We then follow him in his very unconventional way of being brought up by ghosts and other creatures that I’ll let you figure out what they are. It’s an unusual coming of age story and almost made me jealous that I didn’t grow up in a graveyard.
Looking through all the books I had culled from the library for this blog, I found Squashed by Joan Bauer. This is not your typical supernatural or horror driven book, it’s about a girl and her pumpkin. This 16-year-old has a few simple goals: beat the current reigning champion of pumpkin growing in the adult division, connect with her father, lose weight, and convince the new boy at school to date her. It’s another fun book, only this time full of pumpkins to keep with the October theme. It was enlightening to see how much effort people put into growing award winning vegetables.
This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee is an amazing retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. She reimagines the novel in an alternate reality that has a steampunk feel to it. Alasdair is a genius when it comes to knitting flesh with mechanics and this leads him to bringing his brother back from the dead. In this reality, what Alasdair does is considered against the law in many places and he gets into quite a bit of trouble. I enjoyed the new take on Frankenstein and seeing bits of our world melded with this new one. It was an exciting read which, after some research, I discovered is considered historical fantasy. If you would like to pair this book with another, I would recommend Steampunk: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It has beautiful illustrations in it and you get the original story along with it so you can compare it to This Monstrous Thing.
To get a feel on one type of witch, I would recommend Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. Sophie, a young witch, is sentenced to a school for witches that can’t control their powers around humans. Here she makes friends and enemies with a vampire, faeries, witches, shapeshifters, and werewolves. It is an immensely fun book and I enjoy imagining myself there as well, even though it’s supposed to be a punishment! I look forward to reading the other books in this trilogy.