Scary Books for Kids: Top Picks from Kindergarten to 5th Grade

Do you remember those nights as a kid when the rain was pouring down, thunder was booming, and the spooky vibe of October was in the air? It was the perfect time to dive into thrilling, bone-chilling, scary books. I used to huddle under my blanket, flashlight in hand, and get lost in stories that sent shivers down my spine. Those were the moments when reading felt like an incredible adventure.

Add these scary books for kids to your classroom or school library for fun thrills your kiddos will love this fall.

I’m so excited to share this blog post with you today! It’s all about recreating those unforgettable experiences for your kiddos, no matter their age! From friendly ghosts to mysterious monsters, I’ve handpicked some fantastic spooky tales that will ignite young imaginations!

Scary Books for Kindergarten to 2nd Grade

For our littlest readers, it’s important to find books that offer just the right amount of spookiness without being too scary. These recommendations are perfect for kindergarteners through 2nd graders. They introduce them to the world of thrilling tales in a friendly and age-appropriate way.

The Creepy Carrots Series by Aaron Reynolds

Add this Creepy Carrots book by Aaron Reynolds to your list of scary books your students will love reading.

Have you ever heard of a carrot that’s up to no good? Well, Jasper Rabbit certainly has!

In “The Creepy Carrots Series” by Aaron Reynolds, young readers will get a kick out of following Jasper’s adventures as he encounters some very mischievous carrots.

The best part? These carrots are delightfully creepy without being too scary.

It’s a spooky adventure with a side of giggles. This makes it perfect for little ones just dipping their toes into the world of scary books.

So, if you want to introduce your kiddo to the fun side of spooky tales, this series is an excellent place to start. They’ll be laughing and shivering with excitement in no time!

The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo! by Elaine Bickell

The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo is one of those adorable not so scary books you can read to your students this fall.

Imagine a little ghost who lost something important—her “boo”!

That’s the delightful premise of “The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo!” by Elaine Bickell.

This charming and whimsical tale invites young readers to join this sweet, not-so-spooky ghost on a heartwarming journey to find her lost “boo.”

Now, this scary book is special because it strikes a perfect balance between heartwarming and just a touch of spookiness.

As your kids follow along, they’ll discover the true meaning of friendship and bravery in the face of the unknown.

So, if you’re looking for a story that’s charming and has that magical touch of spookiness, this book is a must-read.

The Scariest Book Ever by Bob Shea

Scary books for kids don't have to be super scary. They can also be delightfully funny like this book by Bob Shea.

Picture this: You’ve got a book that’s so scary that it’s, well, funny!

That’s exactly what you’ll find in Bob Shea’s “The Scariest Book Ever.”

This hilarious and interactive picture book is not your typical scary book—it’s a delightful twist that will have kids giggling from start to finish.

This book stands out because it playfully invites young readers to confront their fears. As your kids turn the pages, they’ll be part of the story. They will help to banish the scary creatures that pop up.

It’s an engaging way to show that sometimes, the things that seem the scariest can actually be quite silly.

If you’re searching for a book that will tickle your child’s funny bone while introducing them to the world of scary books, “The Scariest Book Ever” is a must-read.

Goosebumps: SlappyWorld Series by R.L. Stine

Now, if you’re dealing with readers who are a bit older and crave more excitement in their scary books, look no further than the “Goosebumps: SlappyWorld Series” by R.L. Stine.

These chapter books are a rite of passage for young readers ready for more spookiness in their reading.

What’s so fantastic about this series is that it offers just the right amount of spine-tingling chills and thrills.

Slappy the Dummy, the mischievous ventriloquist dummy, takes center stage in these tales.

His antics are sure to send shivers down your child’s spine in the best way possible.

If you’ve got young readers who are itching for stories that are a bit spookier but still age-appropriate, the “Goosebumps: SlappyWorld Series” is a must-add to their bookshelf.

The Haunted Library Series by Dori Hillestad Butler

If you’re looking for a series that brilliantly blends mystery, ghostly elements, and captivating storytelling for young readers, “The Haunted Library Series” by Dori Hillestad Butler is an absolute gem.

It’s stepping into a world where every creaky floorboard and rustling page of a book holds a secret waiting to be uncovered.

In these enchanting tales, you’ll follow the thrilling adventures of Kaz and Claire. They are a dynamic duo who navigate a haunted library and solve mysteries.

It’s a bit like having your own ghostly companions while exploring this intriguing library’s hidden corners. Kaz, the ghost boy, and Claire, the living girl, make an unlikely but fantastic team as they unravel spooky puzzles.

What’s truly wonderful about this scary book series is how it introduces young readers to the excitement of solving mysteries, all while gently weaving in ghostly elements.

It perfectly combines suspense and the supernatural, making each book a captivating journey! If you’ve got young detectives at home or are fascinated with the otherworldly, “The Haunted Library Series” is a must-read!

Scary Books for 3rd Grade to 5th Grade

As our young readers venture into 3rd to 5th grade, they’re ready for tales that bring more thrill into their reading. These aren’t your ordinary bedtime stories; they’re the kind that keeps you up with a flashlight under the covers. So, get ready to dive into a selection of scary books that are tailor-made for this age group. We have stories that deliver just the right amount of spine-tingling chills and heart-pounding mysteries. These are perfect for older elementary school kids hungry for a good scare.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Hold onto your hats because I’ve got a spine-tingling scary book for you!

“Small Spaces” by Katherine Arden isn’t your average mystery. It’s a gripping and eerie novel that takes you on a rollercoaster ride of chills and thrills.

Imagine a story that weaves together mystery and folklore in the most spellbinding way possible. That’s exactly what you’ll find here.

This book is a hidden treasure chest of secrets waiting to be uncovered by readers. It’s the kind of tale that has you guessing and second-guessing every turn of the page.

Let’s not forget the eerie atmosphere that permeates every chapter. It’s the perfect recipe for an unforgettable reading experience.

“Small Spaces” is a masterpiece for upper elementary school kids who crave a good scare.

If your young reader enjoys mysteries that keep them guessing and scary books that send shivers down their spine, this book is a must-read.

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

If you’re looking for a scary book that’s as thrilling as a treasure hunt, “The Jumbies” by Tracey Baptiste is your map to an extraordinary world of Caribbean folklore.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill bedtime story. It’s a spine-tingling adventure that will have your kiddos hanging on to every word.

In “The Jumbies,” your readers are in for a wild ride through a realm filled with supernatural creatures and ancient legends.

The world of Jumbies, mischievous spirits of Caribbean folklore, comes alive in the most captivating way possible.

If you’re ready to embark on an adventure introducing you to a world of supernatural creatures and ancient myths, “The Jumbies” is the perfect voyage.

It’s a book that keeps readers entertained and opens their eyes to the rich tapestry of Caribbean folklore.

Lockwood & Co. Series by Jonathan Stroud

Get ready to join the ranks of the bravest ghost hunters in town with this next scary book!

The “Lockwood & Co. Series” by Jonathan Stroud throws you headfirst into a world where ghosts are not just things of folklore – they’re real, and they’re a genuine threat.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to chase ghosts and unravel paranormal mysteries, this series has your name written all over it.

What is you found yourself in a place where every creaky floorboard and shadowy corner could hide a restless spirit? That’s the world these young ghost hunters inhabit, and they’re not your ordinary detectives.

Armed with their wits and some seriously cool ghost-busting gadgets, they dive into spine-tingling, nail-biting adventures.Your upper elementary reader with a taste for thrills and chills is in for a treat.

The “Lockwood & Co. Series” is packed with suspense and mysteries that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker

Ready for an adventure that’s a little out of the ordinary?

“Scary Stories for Young Foxes” by Christian McKay Heidicker is just the ticket.

Imagine a collection of interconnected tales that follow a group of clever fox kits as they venture into the wild. They face a series of bone-tingling challenges that will have readers at the edge of their seats.

What makes this book stand out is its uniqueness.

It’s like no other story read before. It’s an immersive journey where you get to experience the world through the eyes of these young foxes.

You’ll find yourself in the heart of the wilderness and surrounded by the unknown. Both are exhilarating and just a tad eerie.

“Scary Stories for Young Foxes” offers a reading experience that’s as wild as the characters themselves. It’s a bit like going on a camping trip with your friends and hearing ghost stories around the campfire.

Except in this case, you’re right there in the story, navigating the dangers of the wilderness alongside the fox kits.

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Alright, gather ’round, because I’ve got a spine-tingling tale that’ll make your hair stand on end.

“The Night Gardener” by Jonathan Auxier is a haunting adventure that you won’t be able to put down.

Molly and Kip, two orphaned siblings, find themselves in the creepiest of places—an old, creaky mansion in Victorian England.

But this isn’t your ordinary spooky house; it’s got secrets that will send chills down your spine. At the heart of it all is the night gardener, a figure cloaked in mystery and darkness.

As Molly and Kip settle into their new life, they quickly discover that wishes granted by the ancient tree in the garden come with a terrifying price.

The suspense in this book is so thick you can practically feel the fog rolling in around you. “The Night Gardener” is an absolute page-turner, and it’s perfect for older elementary kids who crave a dark and atmospheric read.

It’s a story that will have them eagerly flipping pages and hearts racing as they follow Molly and Kip’s journey through a world where every shadow holds a secret. Every whisper could be a warning.

Embrace the Chills with these Scary Books

We’ve reached the end of our spine-tingling adventure through the world of scary books for kids.

Whether you’re a young reader who’s just starting your literary journey or a parent looking to ignite the spark of spooky curiosity in your child, we hope you’ve found something that sends delightful shivers down your spine.

Remember, reading scary books isn’t just about getting scared. It’s about the thrill, the excitement, and the endless possibilities of the imagination. It’s about those moments when you stay up way past bedtime because you just have to know what happens next.

So, go ahead, pick up one of these recommended books, turn on that flashlight, and get lost in the pages. Let the stories whisk you away on a ghostly adventure and introduce you to eerie creatures. Ignite your love for tales that keep you coming back for more.

Happy reading and may your nights be filled with both spooky chills and warm, comforting stories. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover your new favorite author or even become a fearless storyteller yourself. Until next time, keep those pages turning and your curiosity burning!

Looking for more book recommendations? Check out these:

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