Four Creepy Classics Every Kid Should Read!
When I was in elementary school, I loved to read scary books, but the adults around me always made me feel ashamed of it. It was as if they believed that reading a scary book was “evil” or would turn me “evil.” So while under the adult’s gaze I shied away from scary books because I didn’t want to be judged or called a “bruja.” But behind their backs, I’d check out all the witchy, ghostly, spooky novels that I could find.
The fact is scary books didn’t mean I was “evil” and none of those scary books I read turned me “evil.” They turned me into an avid reader.
For me and lots of kids, scary books are simply fun. Fun in the same way that going to a haunted house is fun. Fun like celebrating Halloween all year round. Fun like watching a scary movie! Fun! And I think we can all agree that reading should be fun, right?
Because my latest children’s novel THE CURSED MOON is a scary story, I decided to see how many spine-chilling horror books for children have won the Newbery Award or Newbery Honor award over the past 50 + years. Honestly, there’s not that many on the Newbery Medal list, but the ones that made the cut are super creepy!
Wait! What is the Newbery Award?
So, you know when you go into a library or bookstore and you see some books with a shiny bronze seal? That indicates that the Newbery Medal was given to that particular book. If there’s a silver seal it indicates a Newbery Honor book.
The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. Newbery is considered the “father of children’s literature” because he made children’s books popular and profitable. It’s awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
So, grab a cup of hot chocolate, your flashlight, and let’s have fun reading these award-winning scary books.
Scary Books that Have Won a Newbery Medal
This school year, as you head to the public library or your favorite bookstore, don’t forget these four creepy classics that have received a Newbery medal.
Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker; illustrated by Junyi Wu (Holt/Macmillan)
2020 Newbery Honor Book
Doll Bones by Holly Black (Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
2014 Newbery Honor Book
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins)
2009 Newbery Medal
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (Atheneum)
1973 Newbery Honor Book
Interested in more scary books for your brave reader?