Sleep With the Lights ON: 15+ Scary Titles for Ages 8-12

26 Jun

Summer is here! And that means loads of time for kids to experience books in all their glory. This is also a great time to encourage kids to read the books they choose (without having to worry about school assignments) and to try out new genres that they might be interested in learning more about.

This series will offer titles for toddlers to teens and include a variety of formats. Each week will focus on a different genre and will follow the same format:

  • Mondays – Titles for Ages 3-7
  • Tuesdays – Middle Grade Titles for Ages 8-12
  • Wednesdays – Young Adult Titles for Ages 13+
  • Thursdays – Nonfiction pairings
  • Friday – Recap of the Week


Middle Grade

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
When no-nonsense Claire realizes her only friend at the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls goes missing and isn’t the only one, she must figure out what’s going on, even if that means getting a little messy.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
One door in Coraline’s new home opens to a brick wall, so when she discovers a secret passage she must investigate and soon finds an identical home to her own except that everything’s just a bit off.

Doll Bones by Holly Black
Zach, Poppy, and Alice are best friends, but when Zach’s dad decides he’s too old to play with action figures and dolls, their friendship starts to dissolve. But, Poppy and Alice come to Zach’s house with the strangest story – they are being haunted by a china doll they used to play with and now their on an adventure of a lifetime because if they don’t succeed they’ll be cursed forever.

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: Twenty Chilling Tales from the Wilderness
by Hal Johnson
A collection of 20 short stories about fantastical creatures of American folklore from the Jersey devil to the Hoop Snake.

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
“A spine-tingling tale rooted in Caribbean folklore that will have readers holding their breath as they fly through its pages.” (Taken from Goodreads)

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
“For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried—some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive. Only Thomas Ward is left. He’s the last hope, the last apprentice.” (Taken from Goodreads)

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
Steve is full of worries the summer his baby brother is fighting for his life, his parents are stressed and struggling to cope, so when the wasp queen from the nest in the attic comes to Steve in his dreams and promises to make everything better, all he has to say is “yes.” But is yes really the right answer?


The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives.” (Taken from Goodreads)

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie
Tessa isn’t excited about moving across the country to Chicago and when weird things begin to happen in their new house Tessa starts to get nervous. Soon she learns of a hundred year old secret that she must figure out and put the spirits to rest.

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Lucy’s job is to fight the ghost epidemic that has crept up all around London, but when their last job goes horribly wrong, she must stay overnight in one of the most haunted homes in England and hope to make it out alive!

The Shadows by Jacqueline West
When Olive discovers a pair of strange glasses in her new home she finds she can jump in and out of the paintings on the walls, but everything is not as it seems and she soon becomes ensnared in a dangerous plot that wants to take over the house once and for all.

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
Harper’s new home is apparently haunted, not that she believes it! That is, until her brother starts acting odd. Can Harper access the memories she’s blocking to save her brother and their new home?

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
“When Clara vanishes, suspicion of kidnapping falls upon the puppeteer and, by association, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall.  As they seek to puzzle out Clara’s whereabouts, Lizzie and Parse uncover Grisini’s criminal past and wake up to his evil intentions. Fleeing London, they find themselves caught in a trap set by Grisini’s ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it’s too late.” (Taken from Goodreads)

22A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
“In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.” (Taken from Goodreads)

The Witches by Roald Dahl
Witches don’t ride on broomsticks wearing black cloaks, they dress up like little old ladies looking for children to turn into animals as what could be more detestable than a child?

Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
Helen died with her family in a fire over one hundred years ago, but now she is back and wants to lure the children down to the pond to drown. Heather, Michael and Molly’s stepsister lets them know that when Helen comes, she’s going to make them pay.



2 Responses to “Sleep With the Lights ON: 15+ Scary Titles for Ages 8-12”


  1. Scary Booklist Recap | literacious - June 29, 2018

    […] Sleep With the Lights ON: 15+ Scary Titles for Ages 8-12 […]

  2. Genre Booklists for Summer 2018 | literacious - July 16, 2018

    […] Sleep With the Lights ON: 15+ Scary Titles for Ages 8-12 […]

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