Books

13 Canadian books for kids and young adults to read this Halloween

Have an spooky good time with these great books.

It's Halloween! Check out these 13 Canadian books for younger readers and young adults featuring vampires, werewolves, ghosts, magical creatures and other spooky things.

Haunted Hospital by Marty Chan

Marty Chan is an Edmonton author. (Orca Book Publishers, Ryan Parker)

In Haunted Hospital, Xander and his friends decide to play a role-playing game about the paranormal in an actual hospital, and things quickly go awry. It appears that ghosts might actually exist — and are now roaming the hallways of the abandoned building. What's real and what's not? 

Haunted Hospital is for ages 9-12.

Marty Chan is a children's book author based in Edmonton. His other books include Kung Fu Masterthe Ehrich Weisz Chronicles and the Keepers of the Vault series.

Poesy the Monster Slayer by Cory Doctorow, illustrated by Matt Rockefeller

Poesy the Monster Slayer is a picture book by Cory Doctorow. (First Second, CBC)

Poesy the Monster Slayer is a children's book about a young girl who is obsessed with spooky creatures, werewolves and vampires. Once her parents are off to bed, Poesy excitedly awaits the monsters that creep into her room. 

Poesy the Monster Slayer is for ages 4-6.

Cory Doctorow is a Canadian blogger, journalist and author based in Los Angeles. He serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. His past books include the novels Little Brother and Walkaway and the novella collection RadicalizedRadicalized was defended by Akil Augustine on Canada Reads 2020.

Matt Rockefeller is an American artist and illustrator.

The Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliott

Zetta Elliott is a writer of middle-grade novels. (Random House Children's Books, CBC)

The second instalment of the Dragons in a Bag book series follows the fantasy adventures of young Jaxon and his life with dragons. When he's put in charge of taking care of baby dragons, he discovers that one is missing. This event sets Jaxon off on an adventure to find his best friend's sister, Kavita, who just might be the dragon thief.

The Dragon Thief is for readers aged 8 to 12.

Zetta Elliott was born in Ajax, Ont., and has lived in the United States for the past 20 years. She is a poet, teacher and writer for children and young adults. 

Breakdown by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson

The Reckoner Rises: Breakdown is a book by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson. (Portage & Main Press, Submitted by David A. Robertson)

The Reckoner Rises is a graphic novel series that will continue David A. Robertson's popular YA The Reckoner trilogy about Indigenous teen Cole who recently learned he has powers.

In the first instalment of this series, BreakdownCole and Eva have arrived in Winnipeg, intent on destroying Mihko Laboratories. But when Cole starts getting terrifying visions, Eva must continue their mission alone. Are Cole's visions just dreams? Or are they telling Cole and Eva something they need to know?

Breakdown is for ages 12 and up.

Robertson is an author and graphic novelist based in Winnipeg. The writer of Swampy Cree heritage has published 25 books across a variety of genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, a Governor General's Literary Award-winning picture book called When We Were Aloneillustrated by Julie Flett, and the YA book StrangersHe hosted the CBC Manitoba podcast Kiwew.

Scott B. Henderson is a Canadian illustrator and comic book artist. He also illustrated Katherena Vermette's A Girl Called Echo series and select stories in This Place: 150 Years Retold.

Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House by Janet Hill

Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House is a children's book by Janet Hill. (Tundra Books)

Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House is part mystery, part supernatural thriller. Main character Lucy Crisp faces a new reality when she moves to a seemingly quaint new town called Esther Wren to attend an exclusive arts college called Ladywyck Lodge. Strange things begin to happen: voices and footsteps in empty rooms, furniture disappears and elaborate desserts appear. Soon she realizes that the town and its residents are hiding many secrets, and her college is at the heart.

Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House is for ages 12 and up.

Janet Hill is a painter, author and illustrator of children's books. Her books include Miss Moon and Miss Mink.

The Fabled Stables: Willa the Wisp by Jonathan Auxier, illustrated by Olga Demidova

The Fabled Stables: Willa the Wisp is a book by Jonathan Auxier (pictured), illustrated by Olga Demidova (not pictured). (Libby Hilf, Puffin Canada)

The Fabled Stables: Willa the Wisp is the first book in a new adventure series by Jonathan Auxier. The book is about Auggie Pound, an eight-year-old and who loves his job of caring for all the rare magical animals in the Fabled Stables. One day, he sees an empty stall with the name of a new creature to rescue, setting him off on a magical adventure.

The Fabled Stables: Willa the Wisp is for ages 6-9.

Auxier is a children's book author from Vancouver. He is also the author of The Night GardenerSophie Quire and the Last Storyguard and SweepSweep won the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text. Auxier wrote an original short story called Vanishing Point for the special CBC Books series Borders.

Olga Demidova is a Russian-born artist and illustrator.

The Shadows that Rush Past by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley, illustrated by Emily Fiegenschuh and Larry MacDougall

The Shadows that Rush Past is a collection of illustrated horror fairy tales written by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley. (Inhabit Media)

Nunavut-born Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley brings together stories from Inuit mythology about four mythical creatures named the amautalik, akhla, nanurluk and mahaha in The Shadows that Rush Past. Featuring vibrant illustrations from Emily Fiegenschuh and Larry MacDougall, the tales of Arctic monsters, ogresses, mutant polar bears are equal parts creepy, scary and a bit gory. 

The Shadows that Rush Past is for ages 9 to 12.

Qitsualik-Tinsley is a Canadian writer of Inuit-Scottish-Cree ancestry. Her other books include Skraelings, which was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for children's literature — text, Under the Ice and How Things Came to Be.

Fiegenschuh is an American-based artist and children's book illustrator whose work has also appeared in role-playing games. 

MacDougall is an award-winning Ontario illustrator. He also illustrated the books The Secret History of GiantsEragon's Guide to Alagaesia and The Secret History of Hobgoblins.

The Barnabus Project by the Fan Brothers

The Barnabus Project is a picture book by the Fan Brothers. (Tundra Books, Michelle Quance)

The Barnabus Project features a secret underground lab, genetically engineered creatures and a story about freedom. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab but they are deemed imperfect and might never see the outside world. But Barnabus yearns to be free and decides that it's time for he and his imperfect friends to make the perfect escape.

The Barnabus Project is for ages 5-9.

Eric Fan and Terry Fan are brothers and frequent collaborators on children's books. Their books include The Night Gardener and Ocean Meets SkyThey also illustrated The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield.

Devin Fan is an artist, poet and youth worker. The Barnabus Project is his first children's book and marks the first time all three brothers have written and illustrated a picture book together.

Screech! Ghost Stories from Old Newfoundland by Charis Cotter, illustrated by Genevieve Simms

A middle-grade book by Charis Cotter and illustrated by Genevieve Simms. (Nimbus Publishing, Andrew Johnson, Jennifer Griffiths)

Screech! Ghost Stories from Old Newfoundland features stories about ghosts and spectres haunting the East Coast. The 10 ghost stories are all set in and around Old Newfoundland and are based on family tales passed down over generations.

Screech! Ghost Stories from Old Newfoundland is for ages 8-12.

Charis Cotter is a Newfoundland author known for books such as The Ghost Road. 

Genevieve Simms is an illustrator based in Toronto.

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt by Riel Nason, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt is a picture book by Riel Nason, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler. (Tundra Books)

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt is a picture book about a little ghost with a big heart. While his parents are ghosts with sheets, his sheet is a quilt and he doesn't know why. He soon realizes what he is capable of — and that it is OK to be different. 

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt is for ages 3-7.

Riel Nason is an artist and author from New Brunswick. Her debut novel, The Town That Drowned, won the Commonwealth Book Prize for Canada and Europe and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She is also the author of the 2016 novel All the Things We Leave Behind

Byron Eggenschwiler is an illustrator who has contributed to publications like the New York Times, New Yorker and GQ. He also illustrated the books Operatic by Kyo Maclear and Coyote Tales by Thomas King.

Haunted Canada 10 by Joel A. Sutherland, illustrated by Mark Savona

Joel A. Sutherland is a Ontario author of thriller, horror and fantasy short stories and novels, anthologies and children's books. (Scholastic Canada, Joel A. Sutherland)

Haunted Canada 10 is the latest edition of the popular series of Canadian ghost stories. The newest book features scary and chilling ghost tales — from Victoria to Halifax — about hauntings of homes, hockey arenas and other spooky hangouts. 

Haunted Canada 10 is for ages 9-12.

Joel A. Sutherland is a Ontario author of thriller, horror and fantasy short stories and novels, anthologies and children's books.

Mark Savona is a Canadian artist and illustrator.

Glory on Ice by Maureen Fergus, illustrated by Mark Fearing

A children's book by Canadians Maureen Fergus and Mark Fearing. (Knopf Books for Young Readers, maureenfergus.com, markfearing.com)

What happens when a centuries-old vampire teams up with the neighbourhood peewee hockey team? That question gets answered in Glory on Ice. Vlad is a lonely vampire who realizes that his supernatural skills can be a fit playing hockey. After a lot of practice, he learns that teamwork and a love of the game can go a long way. 

Glory on Ice is for ages 3-7.

Maureen Fergus is the author of 13 picture books and six novels. Her picture book The Reptile Club, with illustrations by British artist Elina Ellis, was a finalist for the 2020 Blue Spruce Award.

Mark Fearing is an American author-illustrator. 

Tales from the Fringes of Fear by Jeff Szpirglas, illustrated by Steven P. Hughes

Tales from the Fringes of Fear is a middle-grade book by Jeff Szpirglas, illustrated by Steven P. Hughes. (Orca Books)

Tales from the Fringes of Fear is about a haunted school — and students are on the constant lookout for wacky stuff! With a storytelling style in the vein of Tales from the Crypt and The Twilight Zone, the tales within Tales from the Fringes of Fear are designed to provide middle-grade children with some fearsomely funny reading.

Tales from the Fringes of Fear is for ages 9 to 12.

Kitchener, Ont.-based writer, editor and educator Jeff Szpirglas is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction, including Wild CardsTales from Beyond the Brain and You Just Can't Help It! 

Steven P. Hughes is an Ontario-based illustrator with art that has been featured in the Globe and Mail, Reader's Digest and Scientific American.

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