Top Ten Books For Children Who Love To Be Scared Silly

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Boo! Oh, you know, they like being scared. Don't censor them; just be prepared for the odd sleepless night. This selection of horror stories for children spans all ages and styles, includes things bitey, lycanthropic and ghostly, and well, stuff that goes bump in the night. The very youngest children will want to check out our Top Ten Picture Books For Halloween. Why not tell us about your favourites?


My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick

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This is a nicely judged horror story for children - scary enough to be worth reading, but with enough heroism to keep them feeling safe. Sedgwick writes with broad, sweeping strokes that paint very vivid pictures. Highly recommended for junior fans of horror aged between 10 and 15. Bookbag also loved The Kiss of Death by Marcus Sedgwick. Full review...

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

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An unusual and stimulating novel about prejudice and difference. The zombies in high school theme coats serious points with wit and pop culture reference although the plotting is a little heavy-handed. Full review...

The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld

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A wonderfully observed vignette of societal breakdown in this creepy vampire fantasy, with New York as a perfect backdrop. Readers of the first book in the series will see it slightly differently to the newbies. Recommended for fans of the genre. Full review...

Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley

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Spine tingling stories within a story give an increasing sense of unease in this deliberately old-fashioned and literary book. Everything a junior lover of horror and the supernatural could possibly want. Splendid stuff. Tales of Terror from the Black Ship by Chris Priestley is also highly recommended. Full review...

Blood Beast (The Demonata) by Darren Shan

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Fast-paced and deceptively subtle as usual, Darren Shan is showing no signs of flagging with this wonderful Demonata series. However, this one ends on a cliffhanger, which displeased Bookbag just a tad. Full review...

Dust 'n' Bones by Chris Mould

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A great primer of ghost stories for older children and younger teens in a handsome edition, great illustrations and a good mix of new tales and retold classics. Ideal for a Halloween read or any fireside evening: and they'll be to scared to go upstairs alone. Full review...

Changeling by Steve Feasey

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A winning combination of junior horror and urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of Darren Shan. It's pacy and direct and the central character is wolfishly attractive. Recommended. Full review...

The Summoning by E.E. Richardson

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A gripping and quick read of teenagers who invoke a demonic spirit. The resulting adventure is a little predictable in places but still much better than one might expect. Full review...

Scared To Death by Alan Gibbons

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This one will be gobbled up by inveterate bookworms and reluctant readers alike. The action comes thick and fast, but the plot resolution is more slowly built, drawing even the most unwilling readers into a real relationship with both characters and narrative. Great stuff. Full review...

Ghost Chamber by Celia Rees

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Excellent tension, multiple points of view and a straightforward style make this mix of ancient conspiracy and the supernatural a book with wide-ranging appeal. Recommended for all junior lovers of ghost stories. Full review...

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