Halloween is an excellent holiday for storytelling. Ghost stories and tales of the macabre have been Halloween staples for centuries. However, children do not always like the same scary things that their adult counterparts enjoy. As parents, though, we should not assume that our children will be afraid of a little fright now and then. Here are some great titles to read to your littles this Halloween season. 

Young Children

Children under seven will need most of these books to be read to them, but they will probably find them quite enjoyable. Sometimes, they will ask to listen to them so often that they will start telling you the stories! Older children might also enjoy these books, but they are 

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat

This book is an excellent addition to the other There Was an Old Lady books. This book follows the bat into the belly of a hungry old lady. The Halloween adventure is fun for children and uses repetition and silly associations to teach children new vocabulary and word patterns. 

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything

One book that children love this time of year teaches them that sometimes the scary sounds and sights aren’t as frightening as they seem. This book’s main character is an old lady walking in the woods who has convinced herself that she wasn’t afraid of anything. Children quickly learn that she is at least a little bit afraid. The end of the book takes a fun twist. Onomatopoeia is rich in this short book too! 

The Graves Family

Patricia Polaco is a beloved children’s author who weaves a tale of a most unusual family. Most parents are nothing like the Graves parents, but they are nothing if not welcoming to others. This book shows children that even the strangest people can be kind and welcoming if we give them a chance. 

The Frog Prince, Continued

This book may not seem like it should be a Halloween selection, but the dark pictures and presence of fairy tale witches make it a great addition to any library, especially this time of year. The book finds the Frog Prince less than excited about Happily Ever After with his princess. This is not Price Naveen or Tiana’s story. 

Room on the Broom

The witch featured in this story does not seem to be able to keep up with her things. She is, however, incredibly accommodating and wants to help everyone out. Will there be room on the broom for everyone? 

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Parents and grandparents have been watching the Charles Shultz classic for decades. Reading the book to your child can be just as fun as watching the holiday cartoon. Linus really believes in the Great Pumpkin, and so do I! 

Older Children

The following books will be more appropriate for older children. Don’t forget that even if they are readers, they might like a bedtime story or reading time with parents or grandparents. Here are a few books they might enjoy on their own or as a read-aloud with the rest of the family. 


Coraline is a Neil Gaiman book made into a movie. It chronicles the unusual life of a young girl named Coraline. The book generally appeals to eight years and older, but other children may also enjoy this unique text. 

The House With A Clock in Its Walls

This book is a favorite among late elementary readers. The main character discovers he’s a magician, but he isn’t prepared for all that brings with it. Children will adore this book whether you read it to them or they read it on their own. 

Junie B. First Grader: Boo and I mean it!

Every emerging reader picks up a Junie B. Jones book at least once, it seems. The precocious first grader is up to her usual shenanigans in this hilarious Halloween tale. Your emerging reader might need you to read it to them, but an older elementary reader will enjoy it too. 

Any Harry Potter Book

Many Harry Potter fans begin with the books being read by a parent or older sibling. Young fans will find the spookiness in witchcraft and wizardry perfect to start during the Halloween season. I don’t think you have to reserve this one for this time of year, though. It’s a favorite all year long. 

Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark

These books are classic scary stories for older kids. In elementary or middle school, these books shoot to popularity among students. Join in the fun by taking turns reading from these timeless tales of fright and woe.

Final Thoughts

No matter what stories you choose, remember that half the fun is in the telling. Books not on this list like The Monster at the End of This Book can be great fun no matter what season it is. Other books like The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat or even a Curious George or Corduroy tale or two can be found on library shelves worldwide and provide classic tales that parents can share with their children. Reading Halloween books can be a fantastic tradition that your child will carry on to their future children. Happy Haunting.