All the latest book giveaway news on YABC.

Author Chat with Phoebe Sinclair (Confessions of a Candy Snatcher), Plus Giveaway! ~ US ONLY

September 29th, 2023 by

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Phoebe Sinclair!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: Phoebe Sinclair

Phoebe Sinclair believes in the power of voice. Through writing, organizing, and facilitating, she strives to create space and opportunities for people to listen deeply, speak from the heart, and feel heard. Outside of paid work, she is a wanderer, city cyclist, zinester, and friend who confesses a love for candy corn. Confessions of a Candy Snatcher is her first novel. Jersey-raised, Phoebe Sinclair lives with her partner, a graphic designer and musician, in Jamaica Plain in Boston.

Website * InstagramX




About the Book: Confessions of a Candy Snatcher

A night of Halloween fun gone wrong has Jonas wondering if he’s really a wolf in disguise in this fast-paced fiction debut delving into accountability, relationships . . . and zines.

For the past few years, twelve-year-old Jonas and his friends have competed to see how many bags of candy they can grab from unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. No one’s supposed to get hurt, just lose their treats. So Jonas is taken by surprise when one of his smaller targets fights back against his snatching attempt. He’s even more surprised when he starts to receive anonymous notes from someone who knows what happened that night. Jonas already has enough on his plate, between his parents’ ill-defined separation and his own guilt—guilt his friend Concepción challenges him to confront in a zine she’s creating around the prompt “What’s the worst thing you ever did?” It’s a complicated question, one that touches on issues of identity, maturity, physical boundaries, and safety. Featuring zines crafted by award-winning illustrator Theodore Taylor III, Phoebe Sinclair’s debut novel relates an emotive, reflective story about the wonder—and mess—of growing up.

Amazon * B&N * IndieBound * Goodreads




~Author Chat~


YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

There are a number of inspirations. One: I’d never seen Halloween night candy snatching, as I experienced it, in a book or piece of popular media. Two: I’m often a “title-first” writer so when I started considering this concept, the title Confessions of a Candy Snatcher appeared in my head, whole cloth. Of course I had to learn more. Three: I witnessed a long, scary, and occasionally physical argument between two adult women on the street one day in Boston. My concern for both women made me consider my role as a witness and possible interrupter. Questions about that experience found their way into the manuscript.

YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

This is like asking: of your two children, which is your favorite?! I have affinity for each character for different reasons but I guess if I had to highlight anyone, it’d be the trio of impressive young women who influence Jonas in different ways: his kid sister Rex, his close friend C., and his zine-mentor Robin.

YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

A scene that steals my heart each time is a restorative moment Jonas and his buddy C. I had been craving that kind of acceptance and connection for Jonas throughout much of the novel and, when it finally happens, oof!

YABC:  What came first, the concept, landscape, characters, or something else?

Concept. I knew I was on the right track because whenever I talked to adults about candy snatching, many recounted stories about snatching candy themselves, or having theirs stolen.

YABC: If you could only write one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

I don’t control how my writing comes out, so I couldn’t say which one genre. It’s decided by the piece –be it long-form fiction, a poem, a creative non-fiction zine, or something else.

YABC: How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?

I ignore most current language trends. I remember hearing elder (in the field, not just in age) writers of fiction for young people saying similar things in interviews and now I’m like: yup. If I stay true to the characters, their voices lead the way.

YABC: What can readers expect to find in your books?

Other forms of art and expression usually make an appearance –like the poems and zines in Confessions. I’m not as multimedia as many of my art-world peers, but I’m often trying to incorporate something that gives interesting texture to the reading experience.

YABC: What is your favorite snack when writing?

Gummy candy, unfortunately. It took me years to break that habit. Now I have a ritual where I make a pot of tea and allow myself one stroopwafel or a few sticks of matcha Pocky.

YABC: If you were able to meet them, would you be friends with your main character?

Oh, absolutely. I’ve known different versions of Jonas over the years, and I’m sure I’ll meet more.

YABC: What’s your least favorite word or expression and why?

I have a long list of least-favorite words which I never use and forbid people around me to say. Moist is top of that list. ‘Nuff said.

YABC: What do you do when you procrastinate?


YABC: What fandom would you write for if you had time?

Although I grew up reading X-Men, I wrote a few Avenger’s fanfiction stories following the release of the first Black Panther movie. I love bro-ships / buddy stories and could definitely see myself writing more.

YABC: What’s up next for you?

Four more manuscripts that have been languishing while I’ve been supporting Confessions of a Candy Snatcher’s release into the world.

YABC: What is your favorite holiday or tradition and why?

I grew up celebrating Kwanzaa and have a soft place for it in my heart. My family raised my brother and me Islamic and we didn’t celebrate Christmas at home, just Kwanzaa (which is non-religious). I’ve since come to learn that ours was a unique experience and I appreciate how  it created a foundation for cultural understanding and pride.

YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?

Thank you for this opportunity! Excited for whomever wins the giveaway to meet Jonas and friends.



Title: Confessions of a Candy Snatcher

Author: Phoebe Sinclair

Illustrator: Theodore Taylor III

Release Date: August 15, 2023

Publisher: Candlewick Press

ISBN-10: 1536213683

ISBN-13: 9781536213683

Genre: Fiction, mystery

Age Range: 10 – 14




*Giveaway Details*

Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Confessions of a Candy Snatcher (Phoebe Sinclair) ~ US Only


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*


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It’s Live! Cover Reveal: Herrick’s Key (T.M. Blanchet), Plus Giveaway! ~ International!

September 29th, 2023 by

Hi, YABCers!

Today we’re super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for

Herrick’s Key (T.M. Blanchet),

releasing TBD 2024!




Before we get to the cover, here’s a note from T.M. Blanchet:

Hello YABCers! Drum roll, please… I’m very excited and honored to share the cover for HERRICK’S KEY, Book 3 of The Neath Trilogy! You’re the first ones to see it, and I can’t think of a better group to share this experience with. 😊 Ollie and Tera’s adventures began with HERRICK’S END, continued with HERRICK’s LIE, and now come to a shocking and rip-roaring conclusion as they race against time to protect not only The Neath, but the world above that they left behind. *Giveaway alert!* One lucky winner will receive a free signed copy! If you haven’t yet started the series, I’ll send along Book 1. Otherwise I’ll send along Book 2 or Book 3, whichever you prefer.




Ready to see?

Scroll, YABCers! Scroll!

Here it is!

*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter the giveaway. Thank you! ***

Title: Herrick’s Key (Book 3 of The Neath Trilogy)

Author: T.M. Blanchet

Release date: TBD (Probably will be March 2024)

Publisher: Tiny Fox Press

Cover designer/artist credit: Damonza




Be careful what you witch for.

Ollie is back on the Brickside, and he’s living on borrowed time.

     He thought his mission was simple: Follow the clues and find the key. Fast.

     But when the “clues” are enigmas written in blood and the “key” has been split into pieces and scattered around Boston, it doesn’t take long for that mission to crumble like a North End cookie.

     The trail leads Ollie deep into the underbelly of the city’s most recognizable landmarks and beyond—all the way back to the place where the trouble began. Herrick’s home. The place of his sin.


     The answers are out there, somewhere. And Ollie intends to find them. But first, it seems, he’ll have to decipher codes, infiltrate the world’s most unlikely coven, survive brutal betrayals, see the unseen, solve riddles, commune with turtles, walk with ghosts, and maybe even learn to fly, all in an effort to uncover the clouded truths of the past.

     Water, earth, air. Three points make one key.

     The key, he knows, will open the door.

     What he doesn’t yet know? Some doors should never be opened.




About the Author: T.M. Blanchet

T.M. Blanchet is a former reporter, magazine editor, and award-winning humor columnist, as well as the founder of the nonprofit organization Operation Delta Dog: Service Dogs for Veterans. She works as a producer at A Mighty Blaze, an initiative created in 2020 to help authors and indie bookstores reach readers during the Covid-19 crisis, and as the producer and host of A Mighty Blaze Podcast. T.M. is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. T.M. is a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA), the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and Grub Street in Boston.

Website * Instagram * Facebook * TikTok * Threads




*Giveaway Details*

One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of one book from the Neath Trilogy, your choice! ~ International!

**Note: If you choose Book 3 it will be shipped early 2024!**


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*


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Spooktacular Stories Giveaway 2023! (Kids Edition) ~ US Only

September 28th, 2023 by


This year YABC has the perfect list of spooky books to really get excited about Halloween!

Check out our list of Spooktacular Stories of 2023 for kids below and then enter the awesome giveaway for a chance to win the books from the list!! 


Ready for some creepily fun stories?




Author: Charles M. Schulz

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Release Date:7/18/23

A spooky season classic gets new life in this lap board book edition of the Peanuts gang’s whimsical Halloween adventures!

It’s Halloween night, and the Peanuts gang is busy dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, and bobbing for apples. Meanwhile, Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin to rise from the pumpkin patch and bring toys to all the children of the world. Could this be the year it finally appears?

© 2023 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

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Vlad, The Fabulous Vampire

Author: Flavia Z. Drago

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Release Date: September 12, 2023

Vlad is a vampire with the misfortune of having rosy cheeks that—gasp!—make him look abysmally alive. But being the fabulous vampire that he is (and hoping to avoid rejection), he hides his rosy complexion behind elaborate vampire outfits in traditional black. That is, until he finds out that his best friend has a pink secret of her own . . . With signature flair, Flavia Z. Drago offers a story about being yourself and finding your community, strikingly illustrated in a distinctive, detailed art style influenced by her Mexican heritage.

From the acclaimed author-illustrator of Gustavo, the Shy Ghost comes a charmingly spooky celebration of difference sure to resonate with parents and children alike.

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 The Skull, A Tyrolean Folktale

Author: Jon Klassen

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Release Date: July 11, 2023

on Klassen’s signature wry humor takes a turn for the ghostly in this thrilling retelling of a traditional Tyrolean folktale. In a big abandoned house, on a barren hill, lives a skull. A brave girl named Otilla has escaped from terrible danger and run away, and when she finds herself lost in the dark forest, the lonely house beckons. Her host, the skull, is afraid of something too, something that comes every night. Can brave Otilla save them both? Steeped in shadows and threaded with subtle wit—with rich, monochromatic artwork and an illuminating author’s note—The Skull is as empowering as it is mysterious and foreboding.

A #1 New York Times bestseller!

Caldecott Medalist and New York Times best-selling author-illustrator Jon Klassen delivers a deliciously macabre treat for folktale fans.

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Author: Eric Geron, Pete Oswald (Illustrated by)

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Release Date: August 10, 2021

It’s punny. It’s spooky. It’s a meta picture book that puts a fresh spin on an old joke and elevates chicken comedy to ghastly new levels. A little spring chicken crosses the road but quickly gets flattened under a semitruck. The barnyard beasts who’ve gone before break the news: now that Chicken’s fried—dispatched to the Other Side—Chicken has a job, an unwanted job, as a noisy troublemaking ghost. This fowl may be weak in the beak, but Chicken knows that scaring people isn’t nice. There is such a thing as a friendly ghost, after all—isn’t there? Loaded with laughs and shivers, this Halloween-ready treat features ghoulishly funny art by the illustrator of the #1 New York Times best-selling Bad Seed series. Let the haunting begin!

No chickens were harmed in the making of this book.

From a debut picture-book author and a #1 New York Times best-selling illustrator, a wry take on “Why did the chicken cross the road?” that gives a whole new meaning to “the Other Side.” Cock-a-doodle-BOO!

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Halloween in the Orchard

Author: Phyllis Alsdurf
Publisher: Beaming Books
Release Date: 9/12/2023

From the author of Thanksgiving in the Woods and A Simple Christmas on the Farm comes another fall holiday story.

The apples are ready for harvest and Halloween is here! What better way to celebrate than by donning homemade costumes and going to the local apple orchard? In this charming story, a boy and his family enjoy everything the orchard has to offer, including searching for scarecrows, getting lost in a corn maze, and going on a hayride. Phyllis Alsdurf’s nostalgic storytelling and Lisa Hunt’s cozy illustrations will have you counting down the days until Halloween and apple orchard season!

Backmatter includes a search-and-find key for finding scarecrows in the book and instructions for decorating a homemade trick-or-treat bag.

Halloween in the Orchard is the third in the beloved Countryside Holidays series, along with Thanksgiving in the Woods and A Simple Christmas on the Farm.

Invite kids to prepare for Halloween with this free guide that shows how they can make their own trick-or-treat bag.

A Costume for Charly
Author: CK Malone
Publisher: Beaming Books
Release Date: 9/6/2022

Trick-or-treat! Non-binary Charly must think outside the box to create the perfect Halloween costume: one that represents both their feminine and masculine sides.

Halloween is always tricky for Charly, and this year they are determined to find a costume that showcases both the feminine and masculine halves of their identity. Digging through their costume box, they explore many fun costumes. Some are masc. Some are femme. Some are neither. But all are lacking. As trick-or-treating looms, they must think outside the box to find the perfect costume–something that will allow them to present as one hundred percent Charly.


Author: Dan Misdea

Publisher: Penguin Workshop; Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: August 8, 2023

Nighttime can be scary, especially when you don’t know what might be lurking in the dark. So this little jack-o’-lantern always keeps its favorite toy close by for comfort. But when a huge gust of wind separates them one day, the jack-o’-lantern must gather up bravery and set off on a journey—just as nighttime draws closer—to get its friend back.

Dan Misdea’s eye-catching artwork and charming story will remind readers that they can overcome most fears by trusting in themselves and finding the courage that lives inside their heart.

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Author: Benson Shum

Publisher: Penguin Workshop; Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: August 8, 2023

First-day-of-school jitters take on a whole new meaning at howlergarten, where future werewolves prepare for their big transformation!

Most kids go to kindergarten, but there is a special place for those who turn into werewolves. Instead of attending school during the day, these supernatural students go to howlergarten at night! There they practice tracking scents, listening to whispers on the wind, and more. But when one student named Sophie doesn’t seem to possess the basic skills, she worries she won’t become a werewolf at all. What will happen if she remains human when the full moon appears? Will she still be accepted as part of the pack, or will she be cast aside as an ordinary outsider?

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Author: Faith Capalia

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: 9/5/2023

Perfect for fans of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of AnythingMelvina Whitmoore (More or Less a Horror Story) is a spooky picture book debut by author/illustrator Faith Capalia that follows a fearful old woman named Melvina.

Melvina Whitmoore is afraid of everything, from spiders to snails, and even her own shadow. Which is why she can’t wait to move into her new house—a safe place where nothing will be able to get to her!

But she’ll soon discover that surprises hide around every corner and not everything is as it first seems. . . .

From debut creator Faith Capalia comes a spooky and thrilling tale that reminds us that unexpected things can happen when we face our fears.

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Author: Jan Eldredge

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: 9/5/2023

From the author of Evangeline of the Bayou comes a classic middle grade animal-fantasy adventure about a black cat who must go on a magical journey to be reunited with her beloved owner. For fans of Katherine Applegate, Rosanne Parry, and readers of the Familiars series.

Nimbus had a rough start as a kitten. But her fortunes changed the day she met Fletcher. The boy nursed her back to health from a life-threatening injury and adopted her.

But when Fletcher’s aunt brings home a mysterious jar, an ancient nightmare demon is unwittingly unleashed. Despite battling the monster to save her friend, Fletcher’s superstitious aunt blames Nim for the attack and secretly abandons her at a dump.

There, Nim is befriended by a theater-loving rat and taken in by a kindly witch named Agatha and her motley crew of cats. Nim soon discovers that her battle with the demon left her with special powers—but more than that, she begins to suspect that she has always been destined for something extraordinary.

To return to her beloved Fletcher, Nim will need to harness her magical powers and enlist the help of her new friends. Along the way, she will discover she may be braver and luckier than she ever imagined.

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Why Did the Monster Cross the Road?

Author: R.L. Stine, illustrated by Marc Brown

Publisher: Orchard Books

Release Date: July 4, 2023

From beloved, bestselling children’s book icons, R.L. Stine and Marc Brown, comes a storybook filled with hilariously spooky jokes and fun-loving monsters that will have everyone giggling!

Why did the monster cross the road?

To BITE someone on the other side!

Turn scary to silly with this laugh-out-loud joke book. Hunny and Funny are monster best friends. When Hunny is feeling sad, Funny knows exactly how to cheer up his friend… with laughter!

Renowned bestselling children’s book talents R.L. Stine, creator of the Goosebumps series, and Marc Brown, creator of the Arthur Adventure series, join forces once again in this sweet, fun-filled story that not only teaches readers hilarious jokes to share but also reminds children that laughter is the best medicine when you’re feeling down. With Stine’s humorous text and Brown’s bold artwork, this monster-themed picture book is sure to get the monsters and furry creatures giggling all night!

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The Baddies

Author: Julia Donaldson; illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: August 1, 2023

From the creators of Room on the Broom and The Gruffalo, a perfect read-aloud tale of spooky, silly fun!

Oh no! The Baddies are coming! They’re the meanest and nastiest ghost, witch, and troll in all the land, and they just love being bad. When a little girl moves into a nearby cottage, the Baddies can’t wait to scare her out of her wits. But little girls are much braver than they thought, and baddies don’t always win…

Get ready for a rollicking tale of spooky, silly fun in this riotous picture book from the creators of Room on the BroomThe Snail and the Whale, and The Gruffalo.

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 Emi Isn’t Scared of Monsters

Author: Alina Tysoe

Publisher: Orchard Books

Release Date: August 2, 2022

From Alina Tysoe, the creator of the smash-hit webcomic “What’s Up Beanie?” comes a hilarious bedtime picture book about what it means to show bravery in the face of the creatures that go bump in the night!

Emi is not scared of monsters. Definitely not. Not even a teeny bit. In fact, Emi is so not scared that tonight she has a plan to catch a monster herself. She and her puppy side-kick, Cookie, have set a trap and are, very bravely, hiding in wait under the covers. But, when Cookie chases her runaway ball into the dangerous dark of the house, Emi must face her fears as this monster hunt turns into a rescue mission!

Buy Now



Are you ready to enter to win???



*Giveaway Details*


One winner will receive the books from the Spooktacular Stories of 2023 Kids Edition ~ (US Only)



*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*


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YABC’s Spooktacular Stories Giveaway 2023! (Middle-Grade #2) ~ US Only

September 28th, 2023 by


This year YABC has the perfect list of spooky books to really get excited about Halloween!

Check out our list of Spooktacular Stories of 2023 for Middle Grade (Part 2) below and then enter the awesome giveaway for a chance to win the books from the list!! 


Ready for some creepily fun stories?




Author: Brian Chick

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Release Date: 3/12/24

From the author of the bestselling Secret Zoo series, Wayfinders is a delightful tale of a father and daughter who set out on a quest to save a group of fairy tale creatures.

Between school and family drama, Chloe Summers has more than enough on her plate.

But when a giant literally crashes into her house—not to mention the mermaid in the bathtub and the unicorn in the barn—Chloe and her dad find themselves on a wild adventure to save a group of fairy tale creatures and help return them to their home.

To do so, they must find a way to reopen a secret portal to a magical world while preventing others from taking the magic for themselves. Chloe and her dad must be brave, work together, and face their biggest fears, or they risk losing their magical new friends forever.

Wayfinders introduces a brand-new world of enchantment and adventure, perfect for fans of The Girl Who Drank the MoonCrenshaw, and When You Trap a Tiger.

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Author: R.L. Stine

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Release Date: 9/26/23

Lots of little brothers can be pests and troublemakers—but Amy’s brother Arnie is a MONSTER …

In this R. L. Stine family-friendly scare fest, Amy and her friend, Lissa, don’t know what to do about Arnie’s bullying, bad-boy behavior, and mean jokes and pranks. The little monster is ruining their lives!

The girls decide it’s payback time. Total humiliation for Arnie. They find a recipe for blue slime on a YouTube channel and mix a big bucket to pour over Arnie at his birthday party.

To their horror, the girls instantly discover that SLIME DOESN’T PAY! Before their eyes, Arnie’s whole body starts to change. The slime turns him into a real monster.

Now Amy and Lissa have two frightening dilemmas: Can they save their town from the raging Arnie Monster? And is there any way to turn the monster back into Arnie?

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 The Night Raven (The Moonwind Mysteries)

Author:  Johan Rundberg; translated by A.A. Prime

Publisher:  Amazon Crossing Kids

Release Date:  November 1, 2023

Mika is not your average twelve-year-old―and she’s about to prove it.

It’s 1880, and in the frigid city of Stockholm, death lurks around every corner. Twelve-year-old Mika knows that everyone in her orphanage will struggle to survive this winter. But at least the notorious serial killer the Night Raven is finally off the streets…or is he?

Mika is shocked when a newborn baby is left at the orphanage in the middle of the night, by a boy with a cryptic message. Who is he? And who is this “Dark Angel” he speaks of? When a detective shows up, Mika senses something even more sinister is going on.

Drawn in by Mika’s unique ability to notice small details―a skill Mika has always used to survive―the gruff Detective Hoff unwittingly recruits her to help him with his investigation into a gruesome murder. Mika knows she should stay far, far away, and yet…with such little hope for her future, could this be an opportunity? Maybe, just maybe, this is Mika’s chance to be someone who matters.

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Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil

Author: Danette Vigilante
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press/North Star Editions
Release Date: 8/17/21

Tia Lugo has a deadly secret.

Tia Lugo considers herself an ordinary thirteen-year-old girl. She just wants to enjoy the end of summer, which means hanging out with her best friend and neighbor, Julius, and ignoring her Puerto Rican grandmother’s embarrassing reliance on creepy candles, weird-smelling herb bundles, and eerie statues—all available for sale at the nearby botanica. But when Tia witnesses a murder late one night from her bedroom window, everything changes in an instant.

Now, Tia is terrified to tell anyone what she’s seen. What if the killer comes after her too? He knows where she lives. Even worse, Tia believes he’s sending her secret messages, reminding her to stay quiet. Desperate to keep herself and her family safe, Tia turns to the last place she ever thought she’d go: her grandmother’s favorite shopping spot, the botanica.

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Ollie Oxley and the Ghost: The Search for Lost Gold

Author: Lisa Schmid
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press/North Star Editions
Release Date: 6/18/19

Twelve-year-old Ollie Oxley is moving-again. His mom is starting another new job, this time at the Bingham Theater in Granite City, California. Moving all the time means Ollie has struggled in the making friends department, but he quickly connects with a boy named Teddy. To Ollie’s surprise, though, his first friend in town is a little more . . . unique than those he’s made in the past. Teddy is a ghost.

Befriending someone who lived during the famous California Gold Rush sure does make things interesting for Ollie. But when the school bully, Aubrey, targets Ollie and it looks like the Bingham Theater might close, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Can Teddy and Ollie work together to take down Aubrey, save his mom’s job, and solve a mystery years in the making?

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 Swamp Of Lost Souls

Author: Thomas Kingsley Troupe
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press/North Star Editions
Release Date: 9/1/19

Manchac Swamp in New Orleans, Louisiana, is rumored to be haunted, but Josh Athens doesn’t believe it. It certainly didn’t affect his decision to take a job with Bayou Boat Tours. But while trying to reach a stranded boat of tourists, Josh’s coworker, Carter, crashes their airboat and suddenly their rescue mission turns into one of survival. The boys find the swamp is not only teeming with insects and other wildlife, but also the souls of a long-ago town. And the ghost thought to be at the center of it all, Aunt Julia Brown, has taken a particular interest in Josh. Will Josh and Carter find their way out, or will they join the lost souls of Manchac Swamp?

Every state has its own spine-tingling stories of ghosts and mysterious hauntings grounded in its regional history. The Haunted States of America series uses real-life ghost lore as jumping-off points to new, chilling tales. An author’s note provides historical origins and fascinating facts, but beware: sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.

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 Freddie McFright’s Chilling Night

Author: Avery Spooks
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press/North Star Editions
Release Date: 8/1/23

The Society of Paranormal, Invisible, and Restless Imps and Terrors has a problem: due to so-called “science,” the living are believing in ghosts less and less. To boost morale, SPIRIT is opening its doors to new members for the first time in centuries. But only the spookiest recruits will get to join the undead’s most esteemed organization.

Freddie McFright is eager to join the world’s most elite scarers. After all, his grandfather was a founding member of SPIRIT and a legend among menaces. To prove himself, Freddie must haunt a family suffering from a serious case of SAD–Severe Apparition Denial. Can he scare them out of their un-boo-lieving ways?

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Scariest. Book. Ever. (Goosebumps House of Shivers #1)

Author: R.L. Stine

Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks

Release Date: September 19, 2023

From the delightfully twisted mind of R.L. Stine comes a fresh new vision for the fan-favorite brand. This new series will feature an ALL NEW line-up of incredible villains, with iconic monsters as you’ve never seen them before, whose antics are destined to make them every bit as beloved as Slappy. This exciting new Goosebumps series will have the same humor and terrifying tone that millions of fans love, but will be bigger, bolder, funnier, and scarier!

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Zombie Season #1

Author: Justin Weinberger

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: September 5, 2023

The next innovation in the book and gaming space is here: Zombie Season! Read the book. Play the game. Fight the undead.

You know the protocol. You’ve completed countless drills. Yet nothing can truly prepare you for what’s coming. No one is ever ready for zombie season . . .

Joule refuses to evacuate with her mom. She can’t leave town while her dad’s still missing. He’s out there, somewhere, and Joule is going to find him. But what if he’s not just lost? What if he’s become what she most fears?

Regina is proud of her scientist parents, especially now that they’re working on a weapon to keep the zombies at bay. But when she discovers a dark underside to their new technology, she must decide what matters most: her family’s reputation… or saving lives.

Oliver is sick of the drills. What’s the point in pretending you can run and hide when it’s clear the zombies are growing faster and stronger than ever? But when the adults refuse to accept this scary truth, Oliver must find a way to sound the alarm: this year’s zombie season is very, very different. Something has changed, and time is running out to stop it…

Join the fight by going on your own zombie-hunting missions online!

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The Cursed Moon

Author: Angela Cervantes

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: September 5, 2023

Celebrated author Angela Cervantes’ brand new novel combines a chilling ghost story with her award-winning, heartfelt storytelling style.

One two, the Caretaker’s coming for you. Three-four, you’ll breathe no more. Five-six, you’ll float like sticks. Seven, eight, you’ll meet your fate.

Rafael Fuentes isn’t easily scared. He loves writing ghost stories, reading scary books, and entertaining his friends with terrifying tales he creates on the spot. Rafa has come up against enough real-life scary situations that fictional hauntings seem like no big deal. Rafa’s incarcerated mom is being released from jail soon, and will be coming to live with him, his sister, and their grandparents. For the first time in a while, Rafa feels a pit of fear growing in his stomach.

To take his mind off his mom’s return, Rafa spends an evening crafting the scariest ghost story he’s ever told. As an eerie blood moon hangs in the sky, Rafa tells a group of friends about The Caretaker. The Caretaker is an evil ghost who lures unsuspecting kids into the neighborhood pond. . . and they don’t ever come out. Rafa is really proud of his latest creation, until strange things start to happen around him. With a sinking feeling, Rafa realizes the Caretaker is real. Rafa has brought the ghost to life―and only he can stop him.

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Author: K.R. Alexander

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: August 1, 2023

From bestselling horror master K.R. Alexander comes this twisted take on a school for magic, where the line between life and death grows thinner with every nightfall.

Sebastian Wight is cursed.
He sees things other kids don’t see. Things he shouldn’t see.
Ghosts. Monsters. Ghouls. And now, they want him dead.

Sebastian’s home is no longer safe . . . and the only place that will take him in is Gallowgate Academy, where students are taught to hunt the things that haunt them.
There are some lessons, though, that the school doesn’t want to teach Sebastian. Secrets about his deadly family history that refuse to stay in the shadows.

For Sebastian, fighting the dead might be hard . . . but it’s the living who may destroy him.

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 How Not to be a Vampire Slayer

Author: Katy Birchall

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Release Date: October 3, 2023

Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Witchlings in a hilarious, heartfelt story about a reluctant vampire slayer… and her vampire best friend.

Maggie Helsby isn’t afraid of much. But one thing that terrifies her is trying to fit in.

When she moves to the small town of Goreway, she’s eager to shed her old reputation as the weird horror nerd who scares the other kids at school. This time it’ll be different. The only problem is that she’s moved into a spooky house at the edge of Skeleton Woods, gifted to her parents by a mysterious great uncle she never knew. She can’t resist exploring it before the townspeople tear down the forest and build a golf course, even if her new friends are too scared to follow her…

What she finds is Skeleton Lodge, the headquarters of a secret coven of vampires, their evil leader Count Bloodthirst, and a young vampire named Sharptooth Shadow who SWEARS she’s a vegetarian. She might just be the friend Maggie’s been dying to meet! But when Maggie discovers that she descends from a long line of vampire slayers, can she and Sharptooth overcome their history and save the forest and their friendship?

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The Odds

Author: Lindsay Puckett

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: September 19, 2023

If you have found this book, then you are probably a lover of the dark and twisty. You did pull this book from a cold dead corpse, after all.

This is the story of Begonia, who was abandoned at a retirement home when she was a baby. You might think that’s the worst thing that could happen to someone, but for Bug, the worst is yet to come.

You see, Swamp Root Manor isn’t just any old house. It’s alive, it’s haunted, and everyone in it is…a little bit Odd. Everyone except Begonia. And while she’s waiting for her Oddity to arrive, the manor is running out of money, thanks in no small part to all of Bug’s hospital bills.

But Begonia refuses to let Swamp Root close. If she could just tap into her Oddity, she could use its power to save the manor and all fifty-two of her grandparents. But she is only days away from her 11th birthday and if she doesn’t get it by then, it will never come.

She will be removed from her home and sent to the normal world.

Her memory will be wiped.

And her family will be gone.

So, Bug has to do the unthinkable… join forces with the most annoying boy in the world to track down their Oddities. Together they battle humans, ghosts, their own self-doubt, and sometimes even each other in order to save the only family she’s ever known.

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Author: Ellen Oh

Publisher: Harper

Release Date: 7/11/2023

Even though the world is changing and zombie attacks are on the rise, the bond between this boy and his dog remains strong, and when their town is threatened, Haru must rescue them all. Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award Honor for Children’s Literature, Ellen Oh delivers another standout story.

Eleven-year-old Luke and his dog, Haru, are the best of friends. Totally inseparable. But when their nasty landlord falsely accuses Haru of biting her, Haru is kidnapped!

As Luke and his friends go on a serious mission to find and bring Haru home again, they discover mysterious experiments happening at the old laboratory at Painted Lake, owned by an evil multibillionaire named Mr. Thomas Sinclair. And Luke and his friends soon fear that Sinclair’s scientists could be doing illegal testing that may endanger Haru and their whole town.

As more strange clues emerge, the boys realize their world is changing fast, and soon Painted Lake is plagued by zombie attacks. But the love between Luke and Haru endures, ultimately helping to save them all.

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Author: Jacqueline Davies

Publisher: Clarion Books

Release Date: 7/18/2023

In this not-so-scary ghost story from Jacqueline Davies, bestselling author of the Lemonade War series, quirky, tool-wielding Alice Cannoli-Potchnik begins to repair the dilapidated mansion next door—only to discover the old house is home to ghosts, and they need mending, too!

Home is where the heart is. But can a house have a heart of its own?

Ten-year-old Alice is moving for the eleventh time.

She’s lived in so many houses, each more broken than the last, that home to Alice is nothing more than a place you fix and then a place you leave. After all, who needs a permanent home when you’re a whiz at fixing things?

But when Alice arrives at her new home, she can’t take her eyes off the house next door, the stately dark house that hulked in the dimming light. The once-grand mansion, now dilapidated and condemned, beckons Alice; it’s the perfect new repair job!

As Alice begins to restore the House to its former splendor, she senses strange presences. Is there a heartbeat coming from the House’s walls? Is someone looking at her? Soon she realizes she’s not alone. Three ghosts have been watching, and they need Alice’s help to solve their unfinished business.

Will Alice be able to unravel the mysteries of the House and find her forever home . . . before it’s too late?

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Spooktacular Stories Giveaway 2023! (Middle-Grade #1) ~ US Only

September 28th, 2023 by


This year YABC has the perfect list of spooky books to really get excited about Halloween!

Check out our list of Spooktacular Stories of 2023 for Middle-Grade below and then enter the awesome giveaway for a chance to win the books from the list!! 


Ready for some creepily fun stories?



Author: Rob Renzetti

Release Date: July 18, 2023

Publisher: Penguin Workshop; Penguin Young Readers

From the creator of My Life As a Teenage Robot comes a middle-grade horror story about a horrible bag, the spine-chilling world hidden within it, and a terrifying adventure into the world of GrahBhag.

Perfect for fans of Coraline, the Spiderwick Chronicles, and Small Spaces.

When Zenith finds a strange, unsettling bag at his front door, he’s not sure where it came from or who sent it to him. He knows better than to expect his overprotective older sister Apogee to help him figure it out, because ever since she became a teenager, she’s been acting more like a parent to him than a sibling. But he certainly did not expect for a horrifying spiderlike creature to emerge from the bag, kidnap Apogee, and drag her inside to the equally horrifying and unsettling world of GrahBhag.

Zenith sets off into the bag to bring her back but soon finds a bizarre realm where malicious forests, a trio of blood-drinking mouths, and a sentient sawdust-stuffed giant are lurking within the seams. And from every corner of the world come whispers of the Great Wurm, an eldritch horror with a godlike hold over the creatures of GrahBhag, who seems to have a dark, insidious purpose for Apogee. With the help of a greedy, earwax-nibbling gargoyle, Zenith will have to save Apogee from the Great Wurm and help them both escape the horrible bag before it’s too late.

With a combination of dry, absurdist humor and no-holds-barred horror, Rob Renzetti has crafted a delightfully imaginative fantasy world that will hook readers as surely as it will send chills down their spines.

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 Extra Normal

Author: Kate Alice Marshall

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Release Date: 8/29/2023

Charlie Greer is nothing special—at least not compared to her adopted siblings. Her younger sister is a ghost. Her brother Mateo is a werewolf. Gideon is the product of seriously sketchy experiments that gave him telekinetic powers. Even her parents work for the Division of Extranormal Investigations tracking down all things supernatural, alien, and otherwise unusual.

Charlie’s mom says her superpower is maturity—which doesn’t really count. But what Charlie lacks in powers she makes up for by keeping the household running. Now, with her parents off on their first vacation in years, it’s up to her to take care of her siblings and make sure nothing disrupts the trip.

But then the new neighbors arrive. The Weavers are a nice, normal couple. Too nice and too normal. And for some reason, they don’t seem to want Charlie to see inside their house. She’s certain they’re hiding something. Charlie has to uncover what’s going on with the Weavers and stop their plans—without letting Mom and Dad find out anything is wrong.

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Author: George Lopez with Ryan Calejo; illustrated by Santy Gutierrez

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Release Date: 8/30/2022

In this illustrated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Jorge is lonely and resentful after being sent to live with his grandparents. His first day at his new school doesn’t go well after catching the attention of his belligerent principal and the school bullies, so Jorge might be a little desperate for a friend.

But the only kid who shares his interest in junk food and games turns out to be a young chupacabra—a legendary monster whose kind is known for being bloodthirsty livestock killers. The truth is, Carter is anything but savage—he’s kind, a good listener, and has great taste in sneakers. Being friends with a mythical creature should be amazing, but when local cattle turn up dead and his principal suspects the truth, Jorge is torn. Should he trust that his friend is innocent and protect him from exposure, or reveal his dangerous existence and change the world forever?

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ChupaCarter and the Haunted Piñata

Author: George Lopez with Ryan Calejo; illustrated by Santy Gutierrez

 Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Release Date: 5/30/2023

Inspired by his own childhood and packed with clever illustrations, George Lopez’s sequel to ChupaCarter sees Jorge finally feeling at home in his new town, thanks to his awesome friends Liza and Ernie—and especially Carter, the chupacabra.

New kid Jorge is shocked to learn that his beastly friend Carter isn’t the only legendary creature in Boca falls. Every few years, the town is terrorized by a haunted . . . piñata? Rumor has it that the petrifying party decoration floats around setting eerie fires to avenge a long-ago betrayal. Jorge can’t help but laugh, until a rash of green fires forces the townspeople to consider moving away, including the parents of his pals Ernie and Liza!

With Carter at their side, the three friends are in a race against time to catch the real culprit before they’re separated forever . . . or the whole town is set aflame. Which will come first?

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Finder’s Creatures #1: Bog Gone!

Author: P. Knuckle Jones

Publisher: Penguin Workshop; Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: 8/8/2023

Meet detective-in-training Finder and her friends as they try to figure out why everyone in Belly Acre Bog has disappeared in this hilarious graphic novel mystery! Perfect for fans of The InvestiGators!

Finder the tree frog absolutely loves solving mysteries. So when all the animals in Belly Acre Bog mysteriously disappear overnight, Finder and her friends Chopper and Keeper are toad-ally on the case. But when Seymour Warts, the world’s greatest detective and Finder’s hero, arrives on the scene and begins his own investigation, the young creature finders soon realize that this mystery could be even bigger than their little bog!

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Bigfoot and Nessie #2: The Haunting of Loch Ness Castle

Author: Chelsea M. Campbell; illustrated by Laura Knetzger

Publisher: Penguin Workshop; Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: 8/1/2023

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Mysteries of Trash & Treasure: The Ghostly Photos

Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix

Publisher: HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: 9/12/23

New York Times bestselling middle-grade thriller author Margaret Peterson Haddix returns to the Mysteries of Trash and Treasure series as Colin and Nevaeh unravel a mystery from the 1930s and explore the emotions associated with death and dying.

Colin and Nevaeh are great at finding things. After all, they found each other and became best friends—even though their parents are business rivals. They also found hidden boxes of secret letters, which led them to unravel mysteries about kids from the 1970s.

But when they started Mystery Solvers Inc., they didn’t expect to be asked to find a ghost.

Ree recruits them to investigate a series of old, spooky photos left behind in her family’s new house. The photos show a boy who looks totally see-through. And in some, he’s in a coffin.

That’s not so odd for Ree, who lives above a funeral home. But when Colin and Nevaeh start investigating, they discover other sightings of the boy—and other secrets Ree is hiding.

The more clues they find, the more they realize this mystery goes back to a time called the Great Depression. Will history, once again, help them solve the case?

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The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall

Author: Ali Standish

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: 9/12/23

When young Arthur Conan Doyle is o­ffered a spot at Baskerville Hall, a secret school for extraordinarily gifted children, he is elated at being chosen—and being given a chance to turn his family’s fortunes around. There, Arthur makes quick friends with Irene Eagle, a girl who boldly strides into action, and Jimmie Moriarty, a boy whose brilliance rivals Arthur’s own. Together, they discover that their new school is a peculiar place, home to leaning towers and unexplained explosions, prowling wolves and extinct birds.

Arthur quickly makes enemies, too— deadly foes who wants him expelled . . . or worse. When Arthur and his friends are invited into a powerful secret society called the Clover, they must pass three challenging tests to be accepted. But along the way, Arthur uncovers a mystery that will lead to grand adventure . . . and even greater danger.

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 The Ghost Job

Author: Greg van Eekhout

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: 9/26/23

Ghosts make the best thieves in this pitch-perfect middle grade adventure from the acclaimed author of Weird Kid. Perfect for fans of Gordon Korman and John David Anderson–and anyone looking for an Ocean’s 11-style heist!

Zenith and her friends may be dead—but lucky for them, even getting ghosted wasn’t enough to tear them apart.

The four of them were thick as thieves long before an unfortunate lab accident sent them careening into the afterlife. So when they hear about a machine that could return them to the land of the living, they are determined to steal it.

Unfortunately, the magical device belongs to a dangerous necromancer who’s out for their ectoplasm.

Fortunately, they’re great at heists. Because pulling off the score of their deathtimes is no job for an amateur.

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Author: Ethan Aldridge

Publisher: HarperCollins / Quill Tree Books

Release Date: 9/25/23

From Ethan M. Aldridge, bestselling creator of Estranged, comes a gothic middle grade prose novel that follows a nonbinary student who is drawn to their boarding school’s forbidden east wing, where something stalks the shadowy corridors. Perfect for fans of J. A. White and Mary Downing Hahn!

When Guinevere “Nev” Tallow receives an acceptance letter to the exclusive Deephaven Academy, they know it’s the fresh start that they’ve been looking for.

But things are strange from the moment they arrive—the house itself seems to breathe, students whisper secrets in dark corridors, and the entire east wing of the academy is locked away for reasons no one wants to explain. And Nev knows something ragged stalks the shadowy corridors, something that sobs quietly and scratches at the walls, waiting to be released.

With the help of another first-year student, Nev takes it upon themself to unravel the mysteries hidden in Deephaven’s halls. But will they risk their fresh start to bring the academy’s secret to light?

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Author: Celia Krampien

Publisher: Atheneum

Release Date: 7/18/23

Perfect for fans of Small Spaces and Doll Bones, this spooky, highly illustrated middle grade novel follows a girl who hopes to fix her outcast status through a game in the haunted woods, only to discover that some legends shouldn’t be played with.

Everyone knows Fall Hollow is haunted. It has been ever since Abigail Snook went into the woods many years ago, never to be seen again. Since then, it’s tradition for the sixth graders at Beckett Elementary to play the Bellwoods Game on Halloween night. Three kids are chosen to go into the woods. Whoever rings the bell there wins the game and saves the town for another year, but if Abigail’s ghost captures the players first, the spirit is let loose to wreak havoc on Fall Hollow—or so the story goes.

Now that it’s Bailee’s year to play, she can finally find out what really happens. And legend has it the game’s winner gets a wish. Maybe, just maybe, if Bailee wins, she can go back to the way things used to be before her grandma got sick and everyone at school started hating her. But when the night begins, everything the kids thought they knew about the game—and each other—is challenged. One thing’s for sure: something sinister is at play…waiting for them all in the woods.

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 Welcome to Peculiar

Author: Luna Graves

Publisher: Aladdin

Release Date: 5/30/23

Twin witches-in-training get into mischief in the first four books in the charming Witches of Peculiar middle grade series that’s Wizards of Waverly Place meets Halloweentown—now together in one bewitching paperback bind-up!

There are monsters among us…and they’re just trying to survive middle school! In Peculiar, Pennsylvania, the supernatural kids attend Y.I.K.E.S.S.S. (Yvette I. Koffin’s Exceptional School for Supernatural Students), run by Yvette herself. From goblins to ghosts to werewolves and witches, the students learn the ins and outs of doling out the scares and blending in with the humans they live among.

Mostly, the system works, but there’s occasionally a young monster who shakes things up—a pubescent werewolf who displays some suspicious body hair on the community basketball court or a scatterbrained ghost who goes through a door instead of opening it. But Peculiar has never seen a potential PR disaster quite like the Maleficent twins!

While Bella and Donna’s magic is powerful, they don’t quite have a handle on their (witch)craft yet. Sixth grade puts them to the test as they attend a dance at the human school, play matchmaker for their principal, meet a clairvoyant, and more!

This magical paperback bind-up includes:
Double, Double, Twins and Trouble
Thriller Night
Monstrous Matchmakers
Glimpse the Future

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 Monster Camp

Author: Sarah Henning

Publisher: McElderry

Release Date: 5/9/23

Ghost Squad meets Hotel Transylvania in this sweetly spooky fish-out-of-water middle grade story about a human girl who must put on the performance of her life when she realizes what she thought was a LARPing summer camp is full of real monsters!

With her stick-on fangs and widow’s peak drawn in waterproof eyeliner, Sylvie is an expert at pretending to be a vampire. More kids at school would know that if they bothered to join her monster LARPing (live action role playing) club. Not even her dad understands her passion for the undead and denies her request to attend a monster LARPing summer camp. But Sylvie is not so easily deterred.

She decides to tell her dad she’s attending another camp located near Monster Camp then sneak over to her real destination after he drops her off. Sylvie feels bad lying to her dad, but there’s no way she’s going to miss the chance to finally meet other kids that share her interests. And when she lays eyes on Monster Camp, she knows it was all worth it—the immersive campgrounds look like they came off a Hollywood lot!

But when an obnoxious kid dressed like a werewolf gets punished by being magically turned into a Pomeranian, Sylvie realizes she made a critical miscalculation. These aren’t LARPers, they’re real monsters, and Sylvie’s preferred costume means she’s placed with blood-sucking, human-biting campers who would breathe fire if they knew the truth about her. She has no choice but to try to stick it out by doing exactly what she does best: pretending to be a monster.

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Confessions of a Candy Snatcher

Author: Phoebe Sinclair, Theodore Taylor III (Illustrated by)

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Release Date: August 15, 2023

For the past few years, twelve-year-old Jonas and his friends have competed to see how many bags of candy they can grab from unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. No one’s supposed to get hurt, just lose their treats. So Jonas is taken by surprise when one of his smaller targets fights back against his snatching attempt. He’s even more surprised when he starts to receive anonymous notes from someone who knows what happened that night. Jonas already has enough on his plate, between his parents’ ill-defined separation and his own guilt—guilt his friend Concepción challenges him to confront in a zine she’s creating around the prompt “What’s the worst thing you ever did?” It’s a complicated question, one that touches on issues of identity, maturity, physical boundaries, and safety. Featuring zines crafted by award-winning illustrator Theodore Taylor III, Phoebe Sinclair’s debut novel relates an emotive, reflective story about the wonder—and mess—of growing up.

A night of Halloween fun gone wrong has Jonas wondering if he’s really a wolf in disguise in this fast-paced fiction debut delving into accountability, relationships . . . and zines.

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Author: Thomas Taylor, Tom Booth (Illustrated by)

Publisher: Walker Books

Release Date: April 25, 2023

Herbie Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, and his fearless friend Violet Parma have unearthed many secrets in their village of Eerie-on-Sea: secrets lurking beneath the waves, lapping onto the beaches, and lying behind locked doors. When their brilliant and ruthless nemesis, Sebastian Eels, returns with a plan to open the long-shuttered waxworks museum, Herbie and Violet suspect nefarious motives. Their investigation leads them into the dark Netherways below the town—and into the tragic past of the famous toymaker and inventor Ludovic Festergrimm and his doomed daughter, Pandora. Sebastian Eels is convinced that within the story of Festergrimm is the key to Eerie’s deepest secret—a secret in which Herbie himself plays a crucial part—and he’ll stop at nothing to uncover it, including bringing a terrifying clockwork legend back to life. With echoes of fairy tales and monster movies, plus a dismembered finger or two, this is a deliciously creepy addition to a fantastical mystery series that is perfectly calibrated to thrill middle-grade readers.

In the fourth tale in this beloved series, villainous Sebastian Eels returns to Eerie-on-Sea, thrusting Herbie and Violet into a new adventure involving a missing girl, a spooky wax museum, and a dangerous clockwork robot.

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*Giveaway Details*


One winner will receive the books from the Spooktacular Stories of 2023 Middle Grade #1  ~ (US Only)



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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spooktacular Stories Giveaway 2023! (YA Edition) ~ US Only

September 28th, 2023 by


This year YABC has the perfect list of spooky books to really get excited about Halloween!

Check out our list of Spooktacular Stories of 2023 for YA below and then enter the awesome giveaway for a chance to win the books from the list!! 


Ready for some creepily fun stories?


Strange Unearthly Things

Author: Kelly Creagh

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers; Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: 8/22/2023

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Together We Rot

Author: Skyla Arndt

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers; Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: 8/29/2023

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 Hatchet Girls 

Author: Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: 10/10/2023

When Mariella Morse accuses her boyfriend, Vik Gomez, of murdering her wealthy parents with an axe, the town is quick to believe her. It doesn’t help that Vik is caught standing over her parents’ bodies with blood on his hands, unable to remember anything about the night in question.

But Vik’s sister, Tessa, knows that Vik would never be capable of such a gruesome crime. Haunted by the mistakes she made that led her family to move to Fall River, MA in the first place, she sets out to prove her brother’s innocence.

Tessa’s search for answers will lead her into a sprawling, notoriously cursed forest, where she and Mariella must face a darkness that has lurked within their town since before the days of Lizzie Borden—the original axe murderess of Fall River.

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Bittersweet in the Hollow

Author: Kate Pearsall

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: 10/10/ 2023

In rural Caball Hollow, surrounded by the vast National Forest, the James women serve up more than fried green tomatoes at the Harvest Moon diner, where the family recipes are not the only secrets.

Like her sisters, Linden was born with an unusual ability. She can taste what others are feeling, but this so-called gift soured her relationship with the vexingly attractive Cole Spencer one fateful night a year ago . . . A night when Linden vanished into the depths of the Forest and returned with no memories of what happened, just a litany of questions—and a haze of nightmares that suggest there’s more to her story than simply getting lost.

Now, during the hottest summer on record, another girl in town is gone, and the similarities to last year’s events are striking. Except, this time the missing girl doesn’t make it home, and when her body is discovered, the scene unmistakably spells murder.

As tempers boil over, Linden enlists the help of her sisters to find what’s hiding in the forest . . . before it finds her. But as she starts digging for truth—about the Moth-Winged Man rumored to haunt the Hollow, about her bitter rift with Cole, and even about her family—she must question if some secrets are best left buried.

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All That Consumes Us


Author: Erica Waters

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: 10/17/23

Ninth House meets The Dead and the Dark in this gothic dark academia novel that delves into the human capacity for great love, great art, and great evil.

Magni animi numquam moriuntur. Great minds never die.

The students in Corbin College’s elite academic society, Magni Viri, have it all—free tuition, inspirational professors, and dream jobs once they graduate. When first-gen college student Tara is offered a chance to enroll, she doesn’t hesitate.

Except once she’s settled into the gorgeous Victorian dormitory, something strange starts to happen. She’s finally writing, but her stories are dark and twisted. Her dreams feel as if they could bury her alive. An unseen presence seems to stalk her through the halls.

And a chilling secret awaits Tara at the heart of Magni Viri—one that just might turn her nightmares into reality; one that might destroy her before she has a chance to escape.

All That Consumes Us will pull readers into a hypnotizing, dark reverie that blurs the lines of reality and shows that the addictive nature of ambition—and its inevitable price—always claims its due.

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Author: Kosoko Jackson

Publisher: Quill Tree Books

Release Date: 10/3/2023

A Lesson in Vengeance meets The Taking of Jake Livingston in this page-turning YA horror/fantasy set in dark academia about a queer Black teen who discovers the sinister history of his boarding school and the corrupt powers behind it all.

Regent Academy has a long and storied history in Winslow, Vermont, as does the forest that surrounds it. The school is known for molding teens into leaders, but its history is far more nefarious.

Seventeen-year-old Douglas Jones wants nothing to do with Regent’s king-making; he’s just trying to survive. But then a student is murdered and, for some reason, by the next day no one remembers him having ever existed, except for Douglas and the groundskeeper’s son, Everett Everley. In his determination to uncover the truth, Douglas awakens a horror hidden within the forest, unearthing secrets that have been buried for centuries. A vengeful creature wants blood as payment for a debt more than 300 years in the making—or it will swallow all of Winslow in darkness.

And for the first time in his life, Douglas might have a chance to grasp the one thing he’s always felt was missing: power. But if he’s not careful, he will find out that power has a tendency to corrupt absolutely everything.

A high-octane mystery of murder and magic for fans of Ace of Spades, House of Hollow, and Get Out!

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The Confession of Hemingway Jones

Author: Kathleen Hannon
Publisher: CamCat Books
Release Date: 9/26/2023

After a deadly accident, Hemingway Jones does what no doctor has been able to do: revive his father from the dead. While the result isn’t entirely human, the billionaire owner of the research center will stop at nothing to repeat the experiment.

It’s time to raise the dead.

Moments after a devastating car accident kills his father, 17-year-old Hemingway Jones takes his father’s body to Lifebank, the cryogenic preservation research center where he interns. Hijacking the lab in a desperate attempt to reverse the natural order, Hemingway holds police and medics at bay as he works to revive his father. As dawn breaks, the heart monitor beeps, and his father slowly creeps back to life.

Days later, Hemingway arrives at the hospital to learn that his father’s skin has turned ashen gray, he can’t exist in temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and hydrogen sulfide has become his only source of food. Facing arrest for his reckless actions, Hemingway is offered a proposal by the billionaire owner of the lab: recreate the experiment he swore he’d never do again, or go to prison, leaving his father to die a second time.

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Girl on Trial

Author: Kathleen Fine
Publisher: CamCat Books
Release Date: 10/24/2023

Sixteen-year-old Emily Keller is charged with causing the deaths of a family of four, but what really happened that fateful night—and who’s responsible—is anything but straightforward.

Does doing one bad thing make you a bad person?Sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, known by the media as Keller the Killer, is accused of causing the deaths of a family of four, including young children. Emily is one of the youngest females to be accused of a crime so heinous, making this the nation’s biggest trial of the year. But what really happened that fateful night—and who’s responsible—is anything but straightforward.Living in a trailer park in Baltimore with her twin brother and alcoholic mother, Emily’s life hasn’t been easy. She’s had to grow up fast, and like any teen, has made questionable decisions in a desperate attempt to fit in with her peers. Will her mistakes amount to a guilty verdict and a life in prison? It’s up to the jury to decide.For readers who enjoy Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

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Author: Jackie Johnson
Publisher: CamCat Books
Release Date: 11/28/2023

When a violent gang descends on a small Colorado settlement, seventeen-year-old Theo Creed disguises herself as a boy to take them down from the inside, but her subterfuge gets complicated when she becomes undeniably attracted to one of the outlaws.

Be Careful Who You Root ForWhen a violent, decades-long feud between two powerful men comes to a head in the small settlement of Bladestay, Colorado, cunning resident Theo Creed must use her wits to stay alive. Disguising herself as a young boy, seventeen-year-old Theo bluffs her way into the inner circle of August Gaines, the magnetic leader of the ruthless gang that has descended on her town. But the deeper Theo gets into the con, the more she starts to question her loyalties. Complicating her subterfuge is a mysterious outlaw whose small moments of kindness contradict the blood he has on his hands, making Theo wonder who, exactly, is conning who. To save her town, Theo must parse façade from reality and choose between the barefaced malevolence she’s infiltrated and an evil she didn’t know lurked at home.

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A Tall Dark Trouble

Author: Vanessa Montalban

Publisher: Zando Young Readers

Release Date: August 29, 2023

Perfect for fans of Shea Ernshaw, Nina Moreno, and Elizabeth Acevedo, Vanessa Montalban’s YA debut is a dazzling Latine twist on Practical Magic that follows a family of Cuban American brujas entangled in love, magic, and murder.

In contemporary Miami, twins Delfi and Lela are haunted by a family curse that poisons any chance at romantic love. It’s no wonder their mother forbids them from getting involved with magic. When Lela and Delfi receive premonitions of a mysterious killer targeting brujas, however, the sisters must embrace their emerging powers to save innocent lives. Teaming up with their best friend Ethan and brooding detective-in-training Andres, Delfi and Lela set out to catch a murderer on a dangerous hunt that will force them to confront the dark secrets of their family’s past.

Meanwhile, in 1980s Cuba, Anita de Armas whispers to the spirits for mercy–not for herself, but for the victims of her mother’s cult. She’s desperate to rid herself of her power, which manifests as inky shadows and an ability to speak to the dead. As political tensions rise and Anita’s cult initiation draws near, she must make a decision that could change not only her fate, but the fate of the nation.

Lela, Delfi, and Anita’s stories intertwine in a thrilling fantasy that spans oceans and generations as each woman steps into her power, refusing to be subdued by any person or curse.

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Blue is for Nightmares

Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Flux/North Star Editions
Release Date: 11/08/03

“I Know Your Secret . . .” Boarding school junior Stacey Brown has nightmares too real to ignore. Her nightmares come true. This time they’re about Drea, her best friend who’s become the target of one seriously psycho stalker. To try and protect her, Stacey’s working with what she knows-candles, cards, incantations, and spells… In this Deluxe Spellbook Edition you’ll find: Spells created by You and other keepers of secrets-poems, spells and meditations contributed by fans of this popular series. Extras also include an interview with the author.
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A Dragonbird in the Fern

Author: Laura Rueckert
Publisher: Flux/North Star Editions
Release Date: 8/3/21

When an assassin kills Princess Jiara’s older sister Scilla, Jiara takes her sister’s place as the bride to the king of a faraway country—hoping she can catch the killer before her sister’s vengeful ghost murders their family—making Jiara the killer’s next target.
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Author: Rebecca Roque

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Release Date: 2/27/24

Black Mirror meets A Good Girl‘s Guide to Murder when a teenage girl’s relentless investigation into her best friend’s death plunges her deep into a dangerous underground society where every secret has a price.

Seventeen-year-old Cia lived in a house of secrets until she was five, when her father literally burned it all down. The price of his clandestine operation? Cia’s entire family, and her leg. So, when her best friend Alice says she has a secret too, Cia wants nothing to do with it—even if it could shed light on her family’s dark past. But Alice doesn’t let go so easily, especially when her search for answers might help find Noah, the boy who broke her heart before going missing two months ago.

But then the police find Alice’s body floating in the quarry.

Now Cia would give anything to know Alice’s secrets. Because Alice would never have jumped, no matter what the cops think. Desperate to figure out what happened to her friend, Cia picks up the threads of Alice’s investigation, plunging deep into a shadow world of augmented reality. As she untangles one web of lies after another, Cia finds herself pursued by an enemy that will pay any price to keep their secrets buried. But the girl who already lost everything isn’t about to back down now. Her only chance to avenge Alice lies in exposing an underground society preying on those they think no one will miss—but danger lies closer to home than she imagined.

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Author: Marie Hoy-Kenny

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Release Date: 8/15/23

In this suspenseful YA thriller from debut author Marie Hoy-Kenny, four former friends—each with their own dark secret—must team up to solve a murder.

Calista, Zoe, Holly, and Denise were inseparable best friends when they spent their summers together at sleepaway camp. But after an unexplained tragedy forced the camp to close, the girls drifted apart.

Years later, reunited at their beloved camp counselor Violet’s funeral, the four former best friends quickly realize how much they’ve changed over the years. But despite their differences, they agree on one thing—Violet’s so-called accidental death was actually murder.

Unwilling to leave the case unsolved, they set off to uncover the truth—even if it means revealing the dark secrets of their pasts.

But someone wants them to stop investigating, and the anonymous threats keep coming, leaving them suspicious of everyone.

No one can be trusted, not even the girls from Hush Cabin.

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Paradise, WV

Author: Rob Rufus
Publisher: Keylight Books
Release Date: July 20, 2021

“Paradise, WV strikes like a copperhead, filled with dark hilarity, crackling Appalachian gothic mystery, and buzzsaw punk rock energy. Fans of Elmore Leonard, Harry Crews, and Daniel Woodrell, take note.” ––Jeff Zentner, award-winning author of The Serpent King

In a poor West Virginia town decimated by the opioid epidemic, teenagers Henry and Jane have it worse than most. Their father is Hollis Lusher, a convicted serial killer known as “the Blind Spot Slasher.” Despite being bullied and ostracized, the siblings maintain their father’s innocence. But now, a popular true-crime podcast is coming to town, and their presence turns all eyes to the Blind Spot Slasher’s case…and Henry and Jane.

Meanwhile, an eager young officer, Lieutenant Elena Garcia, is put on the case of a missing girl. Despite warnings from her superiors, Garcia begins to dig deeper into the case and realizes there may be other mysteries buried in the flood of opioid-related crimes. With many deaths quickly labeled as overdoses, or “No Human Involved,” she fears the drug epidemic has created the perfect storm for a Blind Spot Slasher copycat to thrive. Unless that is, they never caught the real Blind Spot Slasher.

An amateur private investigator is also on the case: Henry’s new friend, Otis. A home-schooled genius with his own family issues and a suspicion their father might be innocent, Otis makes it his mission to help Henry and Jane find the real killer. As the three probe into the evidence, they discover a possible connection between the killings and a doomsday, snake-handling cult―propelling them all down the dark backroads of Appalachia to find justice for Hollis and themselves.



Author: Ryan La Sala
Publisher: PUSH
Release Date: October 3, 2023

From Ryan La Sala, author of the tantalizingly twisted The Honeys and riotously imaginative Reverie, comes a chilling new contemporary fable about art, aesthetic obsession, and the gaze that peers back at us from behind our reflections.

No one survived the party at the penthouse. Except Athan.

Athanasios “Athan” Bakirtzis has made it far in life relying on his charm and good looks, even securing an invitation to a mysterious penthouse soiree for New York City’s artsy elite. But when he sneaks off to the bathroom, he hears a slam, followed by a scream. Athan peers outside, only to be pushed back in by a boy his age. The boy gravely tells him not to open the door, then closes Athan in.

Outside the door, the party descends into chaos. Through hours of howls, laughter, and sobs, Athan stays hidden. When he finally emerges, he discovers a massacre where the corpses appear to have arranged themselves into a disturbingly elegant sculpture―and Athan’s mysterious savior is nowhere to be found. Athan―the only known survivor―is now the primary suspect.

In a race to prove his innocence, Athan is swept up in a supernatural mystery, one of secret occult societies and deadly eldritch horrors with rather distinctive taste. Something evil is waking up in the walls of New York City, and it’s compelling victims toward violence, chaos, and self-destruction. Bound to him by a mysterious hereditary power, Athan has felt this evil hiding behind his reflection his entire life, watching him. Waiting. Now, it’s taking over.

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Sixteen Souls

Author: Rosie Talbot
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: August 1, 2023

The spooky, swoony YA debut by BookTok star Rosie Talbot (@Merrowchild) — the “TikTok Made Me Buy It” sensation dubbed Heartstoppers with ghosts! Perfect for fans of V. E. Schwab and Aiden Thomas.

Sixteen-year-old Charlie Frith has problems. His crush is dating someone else, his sisters have glitter-bombed his prosthesis (again), and he’s a seer-of-spirits in York, the most haunted city in England, and all his friends are ghosts.

To make matters worse, it seems that famous spirits are mysteriously vanishing from York’s haunted streets and alleys. Charlie is determined to stay out of it, but Sam, the irritating new seer in town, expects him to track down who — or what — is responsible and uncover the dark purpose behind these disappearances.

But when one of Charlie’s ghostly friends vanishes, he has no choice but to face the shadows — and his growing feelings for Sam. The boys must be willing to risk it all to save York’s spirits, because this adversary will stop at nothing to complete their devastating plan. Afterlives are at stake, and Charlie is running out of time …

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Author: Braden Cawthon
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Release Date: September 19, 2023

A thrilling, apocalyptic horror debut from Braden Cawthon, perfect for fans of KR Alexander and Joe Hill!

Joel Walker wakes up to a world suddenly and frighteningly changed. In the wake of a massive power outage, an otherworldly siren begins to blare, changing all that listen to it for too long in frightening ways. Desperate to find his mother and little sister, Joel will have to survive in a world that is coming apart at its seams.

An edge-of-your seat thriller that will have readers guessing until the end, this debut novel is sure to make a huge splash with YA readers.

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 Shadow Coven

Author: S. Isabelle
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 19, 2023

The Haunting Season has ended, but dark magic lurks in the shadows in this deadly sequel to The Witchery.

After defeating the Wolves, Jailah, Logan, Iris, and Thalia want nothing more than a summer of fun and relaxation. But there is no rest for the wicked, especially when Death comes for Iris. She is to become a Reaper, tasked with banishing souls who refuse to cross over. But Iris suspects there’s something more ominous going on when Mathew’s role as her tether grows sinister.

Logan and Thalia are ready to prove themselves as witches. Except Logan still hears the howling Wolves and realizes that the Haunting Season may have awakened more than just her magic. And while Thalia wants to spend her days cleansing the Swamp for good, she finds herself heading to a place she swore she’d never go again: home. Witches have started going missing near Annex, and Thalia is convinced that her father is behind the disappearances. With the help of Logan and Trent, Thalia returns to stop him.

Meanwhile, Jailah is focused on her internship with the Haelsford Witchery Council until she discovers a treacherous magic hidden beneath Mesmortes, and there are those who will go to great lengths to keep it buried. So, she turns to the only person who understands, even if it’s the one witch who hates her the most.

Separated by distance, the coven is surrounded by magical and mundane threats that must be defeated before they lose their witchery–and each other–forever…

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 Death Is My BFF

Author: Katarina E. Tonks

Publisher: Wattpad Books

Release Date: 9/5/23

When Faith Williams almost loses her life during a robbery, Death is there. While he spares her soul, he makes a promise to return when she’s eighteen and collect it.

Now it’s the eve of that special birthday, and Faith has no recollection of that fateful day. But echoes of Death appear in her art—his intense eyes, his intriguing demeanor—and she can’t get him out of her head. When he arrives in person, Faith is drawn into an epic supernatural battle where her very existence is questioned at every turn.
To add angst to agony, she meets the infamous David Star at a Halloween party, and he begins to show an interest in her. He’s handsome, rich, ambitious, and every girl’s dream, but Faith doesn’t know if she can trust him.

As Faith learns more about who David really is, and as Death pushes harder for her soul, an ancient prophecy emerges. When she discovers the secrets that bind all three together . . . all h- breaks loose.

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Belle Morte

Author: Bella Higgin

Publisher: Wattpad Books

Release Date: 4/5/22

Belle Morte. One of five houses where vampires reside as celebrities and humans are paid to be their living donors. While others came here seeking fortune, I came in search of my sister who walked into Belle Morte five months ago . . . and never walked back out.

Now that I’m here, the secrets about this world have proven to be much bigger than I ever anticipated. And lurking around every corner are shocking insinuations of what happened to my sister.

There’s only one person who might have the answers I need, and the undeniable pull I feel toward him is terrifying: Edmond Dantès—a vampire, and my mortal enemy.

The harder I try to resist him, the further I fall under his spell. And in one instant my life is irrevocably changed. My past becomes prologue and my fate becomes sealed behind these doors.

Belle Morte has spoken. And it may never let me go.

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Love and Other Wicked Things

Author: Philline Harms

Publisher: Wattpad Books

Release Date: 8/22/23

Sometimes love is the strongest magic of all

Nineteen-year-old Rhia Greenbrook has lived in the sleepy town of Oakriver in a house with three generations of witches her entire life.  Rhia draws her magic from the earth and likes to spend her time amongst plants and nature. Her practice is gentle, sacred, and—per her family’s tradition—secret

New-to-town witch Valerie Morgan is looking for answers about her mother’s disappearance from Oakriver seventeen years ago. Without her mother’s guidance, Valerie has cultivated her fire magic on her own and she makes no effort to keep her powers hidden. Although Rhia is immediately annoyed by Valerie’s blatant use of magic, she can’t deny the instant magnetism between them.

But amidst their magical connection, a dark presence looms over Oakriver. Unsettling visions from Rhia’s grandmother and dangerous sleepwalking episodes throw into question Valerie’s past and what role her presence plays in the strange happenings. And as Valerie gets tangled up further into the darkness, it’s up to Rhia to tap into the full potential of her power in order to save the town she loves and the girl she’s fallen for.

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Harvest House


Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Release Date: April 11, 2023

Deftly leading readers to the literary crossroads of contemporary realism and haunting mystery, Cynthia Leitich Smith revisits the world of her American Indian Youth Literature Award winner Hearts Unbroken. Halloween is near, and Hughie Wolfe is volunteering at a new rural attraction: Harvest House. He’s excited to take part in the fun, spooky show—until he learns that an actor playing the vengeful spirit of an “Indian maiden,” a ghost inspired by local legend, will headline. Folklore aside, unusual things have been happening at night at the crossroads near Harvest House. A creepy man is stalking teenage girls and young women, particularly Indigenous women; dogs are fretful and on edge; and wild animals are behaving strangely. While Hughie weighs how and when to speak up about the bigoted legend, he and his friends begin to investigate the crossroads and whether it might be haunted after all. As Moon rises on All Hallow’s Eve, will they be able to protect themselves and their community? Gripping and evocative, Harvest House showcases a versatile storyteller at her spooky, unsettling best.

NSK Neustadt Laureate and New York Times best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith delivers a thrilling cross-genre follow-up to the acclaimed Hearts Unbroken.

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Every Gift a Curse

Author: Caroline O’Donoghue

Publisher: Walker Books

Release Date: May 9, 2023

Big things are happening for Maeve and her tight-knit coven in Kilbeg, Ireland. Fiona lands a role on a TV show, Roe’s band is poised to hit the big time, and Lily has a new punk style and passion for tattooing. Then there’s Maeve, whose magic is growing stronger and more frightening. She finds herself increasingly lashing out, doing and saying cruel things without knowing why. When her recurring dreams begin to involve her physically manifesting in other places, Maeve realizes the power she wields might not be entirely under her control. She turns to enemy-turned-maybe-friend Aaron for help, which means pushing her other friends away. But when the two learn that the religious cult the Children of Brigid is kidnapping vulnerable teenagers in preparation for a dangerous ritual, Maeve must risk letting an older magic consume her. She’ll need all the protection—and love—she can get from her scattered coven.

Magic-sensitive Maeve wants to save the innocent from a dangerous cult. But how much can she delve into darkness without becoming what she fears? The exciting conclusion to the Gifts series.

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*Giveaway Details*


One winner will receive the books from the Spooktacular Stories of 2023 YA Edition ~ (US Only)



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Giveaway: Don’t Worry, Wuddles (Lita Judge) ~ US Only!

September 27th, 2023 by

We’re excited to host the giveaway for Don’t Worry, Wuddles (Lita Judge)! 

Read on to find out more about the author, her book and a giveaway!




About the Author: Lita Judge


Lita Judge is the award-winning author and illustrator of many children’s books, including Flight School, Penguin Flies Home, Red Sled, Red Hat, Good Morning to Me!, Born in the Wild, Even the Smallest Will Grow, When You Need Wings, and her illustrated young adult novel, Mary’s Monster. She lives with her husband, two cats, and a parrot in New Hampshire. You can visit her online at





About the Book: Don’t Worry, Wuddles

In this snowy day picture book, a kindhearted but overeager duckling tries to be helpful by sharing Wuddles the sheep’s wool to make sure all their animal friends stay warm—but will there be enough for Wuddles?

Snow is coming, and the barnyard animals are preparing for the cold. Duckling has an excellent idea! Fleecy Wuddles the sheep has plenty of wool to keep everyone nice and toasty. Surely Wuddles doesn’t mind sharing? Soon there’s a goat in legwarmers, piglets in onesies, and more! But will this outpouring of generosity leave Wuddles himself out in the cold? Not to worry—Duckling has one final, absolutely heartwarming idea!





Title: Don’t Worry, Wuddles

Author: Lita Judge

Illustrator: Lita Judge

Release Date: 9/26/23

Publisher: Atheneum Books (Imprint of Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-10: 1665916761

ISBN-13: 9781665916769

Genre: Pic

Age Range: 4-8





Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Don’t Worry, Wuddles (Lita Judge) ~US Only!


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Author Chat with Denise Kiernan (We Gather Together), Plus Giveaway! ~ US ONLY

September 27th, 2023 by

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Denise Kiernan!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: Denise Kiernan

Denise Kiernan is an American journalist, producer, and author who lives in Asheville, North Carolina. She has authored and co-authored several award-winning and bestselling history titles, including The Girls of Atomic City, The Last Castle, and Signing Their Rights Away. You can visit her online at, on Instagram @iamdenisekiernan, on Facebook @DeniseKiernanAuthor, and on Twitter @DeniseKiernan.

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About the Book: We Gather Together

This young readers adaptation of the New York Times bestselling We Gather Together shares the true story of how Thanksgiving became a national holiday and the way gratitude is looked at in America

Fiction: Thanksgiving is an American holiday that began when the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock and met the Indigenous tribes already living there.

Fact: Thanksgiving celebrations existed before the United States of America and were celebrated in other countries as well.

Fiction: American Thanksgiving was always on the fourth Thursday in November.

Fact: Thanksgiving’s day, date, and even its existence was at the discretion of the president and other leaders until the date was officially established by Congress and signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941.

Fiction: George Washington is the person who decided we should celebrate Thanksgiving as a nation at the same time each year.

Fact: Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor and author, petitioned five presidents until she convinced Abraham Lincoln to declare a national day of Thanksgiving in November of 1863, starting an annual tradition continuing to this day.

There is much fiction surrounding the creation of Thanksgiving in America. Denise Kiernan debunks myths, provides facts, and explains how and why Thanksgiving evolved in the United States the way it did—and what gratitude means to society.

This young readers adaptation of Kiernan’s We Gather Together should be required reading in every school in America today.

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~Author Chat~


YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I have always been a fan of Thanksgiving. While I was living overseas, holidays that I associated with home took on even more importance. However, I have long known that there are inaccurate and hurtful myths surrounding the origin of the holiday, ones that are particularly exploitive of Indigenous peoples. I had learned a little bit about Sarah Josepha Hale’s role in helping establish the national holiday of Thanksgiving, but thought there was so much more to say about the history of gratitude on a global level, and how traditions evolve over time.

YABC: What research did you do to write this book?

I read a lot of issues of Godey’s Ladies Magazine, which Hale edited for years, that’s for sure! I also went to various archives, including one of my favorites, the New York Public Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Division. I get such a thrill holding papers in my hands that are hundreds of years old. I got to see the original report that the first doctor on the scene of Lincoln’s assassination wrote by hand. I read a lot of newspapers from the times, dove into the collections of presidential Thanksgiving addresses, and of course read various histories and accounts from that time period.

YABC: What common Thanksgiving story were you most surprised to find out was a myth?

That’s a tough one to answer, because I’ve known most of the Thanksgiving story was a myth for quite some time. I will say I was surprised to learn about all the different kinds of Thanksgiving celebrations that preceded the one we know now, ones that existed not only in the United States, but elsewhere in the world as well.

YABC: How do you know when a book is finished?

When the editor yanks it away from me! I could pick up a copy of any one of my books today and continue to tinker with it. There are so many ways to craft a story. I guess it’s my journalism background—I need a good deadline.

YABC: Why did you adapt the book for YA audiences?

I felt very strongly about being able to share We Gather Together with younger audiences because they are the demographic that continues to encounter the mythology surrounding Thanksgiving over and over. It seems every year stories come out around Thanksgiving designed to dispel these myths— and that’s a good thing. But the reason we have to keep dispelling the myths year after year is because we keep sharing them with kids in the first place. Young people absorb these myths and the story of Thanksgiving is rarely revisited in high school or college. I want young people to understand the origin and scope of these traditions. Not to mention, the true story happens to be an interesting one! Ideally, one day we won’t have to correct the Thanksgiving record every November.

YABC:   How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?

Years ago I worked for a children’s magazine at Scholastic, and did some educational writing for elementary and middle school-aged kids. That certainly helped. I also run language by my young friends and their parents, to try to get a feel for what they can or can’t handle. I like for kids to be able to learn from context as well, because I think that is a valuable lifelong skill. So I don’t want to make everything too easy. As long as one is not totally at sea with the material, it’s okay to need to pick up a dictionary every once in a while.

YABC: What type of scene do you love to write the most?

I like scenes that envelop as many senses as possible. Often science fiction or fantasy writers talk about “world building”, helping your reader feel as though they can picture these strange new people and places they’ve created. I feel the same way about narrative nonfiction. Using historic photographs or art or music to help set a scene, bringing in aspects of the story that are unique to that time period. I like describing cities at a certain place and time, describing daily life. If I’m doing my job well, it’s like time travel.

YABC:  What word do you have trouble overusing?

I love this question. I always have to go back through manuscripts and do a search for certain words. I feel like it varies according to the topic, though. When I was writing The Girls of Atomic City, which was about the Manhattan Project, I had to do a search for “mystery/mysterious” and

“secrets/secrecy”. It was painful to see how many times I had repeatedly used those. I also keep a list of words I wish I used more. “Jackanapes. Kerfuffle.” I wish I used those more. Next book, maybe…

YABC:   What is your favorite writing space?

I actually need to switch my writing space up from time to time. I’m often at my desk, which is always very tidy, and has some fun little bobble-heads and quotes around. But other times I need to get away from the office, and just want to sit on the couch under a blanket with my laptop. I’m not much of a café writer—never really got into that. But I will often go to the university library here. I love libraries.

YABC: How do you plan to celebrate the launch of your book?

Well, don’t tell the kids this, but I will likely have a cocktail.

Seriously, I try not to think about launch day. Book publishing and promotion is a long haul. Unless I have a special event or interview, I will keep it very mellow and probably take that day off from thinking about things.

YABC: What hobbies do you enjoy?

I garden a lot—veggies, flowers, fruits, etc. I cook. I follow international soccer avidly and have since I was very young. I play tennis. I like swimming and kayaking—outdoor stuff. I have a variety of musical instruments. Some hobbies go in and out of my life. I used to knit a lot, but not so much anymore. Same with shooting pool.

YABC:   What’s your least favorite word or expression and why?

 Oh, there are so many and they change. Right now I can’t stand to hear anyone say or write “stay in your lane.” Don’t tell me what my lane is. What do you know about my lane? Maybe “humanity” is my lane, and that covers a lot of ground. I don’t like when hashtags become parts of speech and are overused to the point that the meaning becomes mangled. And there are words that annoy me because they’re mispronounced all the time—like “nuke-u-lar” instead of “nuclear.”

YABC:   What do you do when you procrastinate?

I do crossword puzzles and play math games.

YABC: What further sources would you most recommend to audiences that want to dive deeper into the topic?

The presidential libraries and proclamations. They are all online now, and a very interesting look into particular eras of history. Ads from historic newspapers are fun to get into as well. I love looking at those. They give you such a feel for a place in time.

YABC:  What fandom would you write for if you had time?

 Star Wars. No contest.

YABC: What is your favorite holiday tradition and why?

Decorating—Halloween, Christmas… Inside and outside. Lights, villages. I love the look on people’s faces when they see it all. It just makes me happy to be surrounded by seasonal joy.

YABC: What other age group would you consider writing for?

I published my first children’s picture book, Giving Thanks, last year. I would like to do more of that.

But YA historical fiction would be fun as well.

YABC:   What’s up next for you?

I am writing a book that takes place in colonial America. It tells the story of the Revolutionary War from the perspectives of women, Native peoples, enslaved individuals, and other voices that have been marginalized through the years.




Title: We Gather Together (Young Readers Edition)

Author: Denise Kiernan

Release Date: 9/26/2023

Publisher: Philomel

ISBN-10: 9780593404386

Genre: Holidays and Celebrations; Thanksgiving; US History; Gratitude; Non-fiction

Age Range: 8-12




*Giveaway Details*

Five (5) winners will receive a copy of We Gather Together: Young Readers Edition (Denise Kiernan) ~ US Only


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Editor Chat with Laura Silverman (Firsts and Lasts: 16 Stories from Our World…and Beyond!), Plus Giveaway! ~US ONLY

September 26th, 2023 by

Today we are very excited to share an interview with editor Laura Silverman (Firsts and Lasts: 16 Stories from Our World…and Beyond!)!

Read on to learn more about the editor, the book, and a giveaway!


Meet the Editor: Laura Silverman

Laura Silverman (she/her) is the author of Girl Out of Water, You Asked for Perfect, Recommended for You, and Those Summer Nights. She is also the editor and contributor of It’s a Whole Spiel, Up All Night, and Game On. Girl Out of Water was a Junior Library Guild selection, and You Asked for Perfect was named to best teen fiction lists by YALSA, Chicago Public Library, and the Georgia Center for the Book. Laura has also been a freelance editor for several years.


About the Book: Firsts and Lasts: 16 Stories from Our World…and Beyond!

An exciting fiction YA anthology that celebrates the new experiences and final moments teenagers face on their journey into adulthood from editor Laura Silverman and a cast of spectacular contributors. From first breakups and romantic vampire encounters to last band performances and the deadly end of a friendship, Firsts and Lasts is an anthology that is just as unpredictable as being a teenager. While each of these stories span different genres and styles, they all perfectly capture the big emotions—confusion, joy, uneasiness, and anticipation—that many teens experience as they grow up. Whether you are hopelessly in love and not sure how to tell your crush, going through loss and can’t fully process it, or just trying to figure out where you belong in the world, this collection of sixteen stories has something for every reader.

Stories written by: Adi Alsaid, Keah Brown, Monica Gomez-Hira, Kika Hatzopoulou, Shaun David Hutchinson, Amanda Joy, Loan Le, Joy McCullough, Yamile Saied Méndez, Anna Meriano, Nina Moreno, Tess Sharpe, Laura Silverman, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Diana Urban, and Julian Winters.

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~ Chat with the Editor~

YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

My own teenage experiences! My teen years were filled with many highs and lows. As a teen, I met some of best friends I still have to this day, I had my first serious boyfriend, and I began to focus on my most fulfilling passions (like writing!). As I teen, I also had many lows. I experienced rejection and failure. And when I was sixteen, my older brother passed away in a car accident. I believe many people experience a similar number of momentous events during their teen years, and I wanted to put a spotlight on all of those impactful moments.

YABC: Which came first, the title or the book?

They arrived together! The title is very much the concept for the book – Firsts & Lasts – the first time and the last time you experience different pivotal moments. From first kiss to last day of school.

YABC:  Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

Hmm. I can’t pick a most important thing, but something I’ve been focusing on recently is the concept of slowing down and really savoring a scene or moment in my stories. There’s always so much focus on picking up the pace that sometimes I think I move a story along too quickly!

YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I’m obsessed with this cover! Our brilliant cover artist Rudi de Wet truly created something so fresh and exciting! I love the iconography that hints at the different story subjects.

YABC:   What’s up next for you?

I’m working on a few different projects! I’m co-writing a YA novel with some of my very talented friends. I’m working on a few projects in new genres/categories (new for me).

And I have a new anthology idea as well!

YABC:    What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?

Even if they’re scary – big emotions are good. Lean into your feelings and lean into your people.

YABC:   What advice do you have for new writers?

So cliché but write what you love! Don’t try to chase trends. Write the story you want to read!

YABC:   Is there anything that you would like to add?

I’m so proud of this anthology and honored to have worked with all of these talented authors. Firsts & Lasts is filled with 16 epic stories from this world and beyond. Pick up a copy to experience everything from a sweet and emotional story about a first kiss with a vampire to a sharp and witty story about a last purity ball.

Book’s Title: Firsts and Lasts: 16 Stories from Our World…and Beyond!

Author: Edited by Laura Silverman

Release Date: 9/26/2023

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

ISBN-13: 9780593523087

Genre: Young Adult Anthology

Age Range: 14+

*Giveaway Details*


Five (5) winners will receive a copy of Firsts and Lasts: 16 Stories from Our World…and Beyond! (Laura Silverman) ~ US ONLY


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Author Chat with Sachi Ediriweera (Enlightened), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only

September 25th, 2023 by

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Sachi Ediriweera!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: Sachi Ediriweera

Sachi Ediriweera is an accomplished designer, filmmaker, and comic book artist. He is the writer and artist of the graphic novels Lionborn, which was the first English language graphic novel produced in Sri Lanka, and Enlightened. Apart from his design and illustration work, he has also built a career in filmmaking as a writer, producer, and director of acclaimed short films that have screened in numerous film festivals around the world. When he’s not drawing or writing his third-act plot twist, Sachi enjoys reading art books and comics, eating pizza, and overthinking cosplay ideas for comic cons. He divides his time between Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Dubai.

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About the Book: Enlightened

A spirited young prince longing to learn more about the world grows into a man on a quest to find the cause of human suffering in this first-of-its-kind graphic novel retelling of the life of Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism.

Prince Siddhartha lives in a beautiful palace in the heart of Kapilavastu. His father, the king, ensures that he has the best of everything—he just can’t go outside. He is locked up away from the city, away from anything that might cause him pain. He knows nothing of illness, aging, sorrow, or death, yet Siddhartha feels the pain regardless, and it instills a burning curiosity to understand the world outside—and the nature of human suffering.

Based on the life of the real man who was known first as a prince, then as a monk, and now as the Gautama Buddha, Enlightened is about one boy’s quest to learn the truth that underpins our endless struggle against suffering—and in understanding, break the cyclic existence that perpetuates it.





~Author Chat~


YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write Enlightened?

I grew up reading a lot about the Buddha’s life as most of it was mandatory learning at school. As a person who tends to visualize stories, the journey of Siddhartha abandoning his life as a prince in pursuit of understanding suffering fascinated me. The original texts are very spiritual in form and I knew there was a version of the story I could create which served as a grounded character exploration of Siddhartha.

YABC: What scene in Enlightened are you most proud of, and why?

When Siddhartha abandons his life as a prince, he leaves behind his wife and their infant son at the palace. After his trials and discovering enlightenment, he returns to his former home as the Buddha and meets his son who is now twelve years old. It’s a notable part in the original Buddhist texts and sets the basis for an interesting interaction between the father and son. I took inspiration from my own childhood, where I got to see my dad two years at a time during his tenure as an overseas migrant worker. I’m happy with how the adaptation turned out.

YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

My early approaches to scripts were heavy on character arcs, but now, I tend to think what each scene attempts to accomplish and use it to lay the groundwork for the story.

YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?

In by Will Mcphail, a gorgeous graphic novel.

YABC: What’s up next for you?

I have a few scripts I’m developing in parallel. Only time will tell which one I’ll end up polishing the most and exploring art with!

YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing Enlightened?

More than a character, it was a character dynamic–Siddhartha and his father, king Suddhodana. I had to make sure the tension between them didn’t venture overboard. During re-writes, it took a few rounds to nail this one and I’m glad my wonderful editor, Alyza Liu pushed me towards it.

YABC: What would you say is your superpower?

Multitasking. I’m a design lead at my day job and a comics writer and artist when I’m at home. And on top of that, a dad to a baby! There’s quite a bit happening at any given moment.

YABC: What advice do you have for new writers? 

One finished script is better than dozen unfinished ones. Put the time in and get it done!




Title: Enlightened

Author: Sachi Ediriweera

ISBN-13: 9781665903103

ISBN-10: 1665903104

Release Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Imprint: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Ages: 12 and up, Grades 7 and up




*Giveaway Details*

Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Enlightened (Sachi Ediriweera) ~ US Only (NO P.O. Boxes)


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