Longer nights have returned, so what better time to indulge with a gripping ghost story, or THREE!
If your family dares to read these three fantastic chapter books (suitable for most 9-10 year olds and older), you'll not only enjoy satisfying supernatural encounters, you'll also bravely face the uncomfortable truths revealed as past and present collide!
Titles are listed in order of both increasing length and thematic complexity.
The Ghosts in the Castle by Zetta Elliott (107 pages): Zaria has always loved tales of magic and mythical creatures, but so far her family trip to London feels pretty much like everyday life in the States. However, when Zaria and her cousin Winston tour Windsor Castle, they meet not one, but two ghosts who need a listening ear and helping hand to find their way back to their original homes on the African continent. Readers who can't get enough of castles and royalty won't want to miss this quick read with a connection to should-be-better-known 1800's history. If you enjoy this one, be sure to check out the rest of Elliott's imaginative City Kids series.
The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown (250 pages): It's the first snowy night of the year, so Iris and her best friend Daniel sneak out to the pristine clearing in the nearby woods to enjoy it! When Iris sits up after making the most perfect snow angel ever, she discovers...she was lying on the gravestone of a girl her own age?! As Iris and Daniel seek recognition for the abandoned, segregated cemetery for a school project, ghostly Avery Moore has her own plans to make sure she'll never be forgotten...or alone...ever again. A satisfyingly scary winter ghost story with a heroine you'll root for, a lot of heart, and historical context to boot. India Hill Brown's forthcoming book, The Girl in the Lake, is scheduled for publication in January (2022) and looks equally excellent!
Ophie's Ghosts by Justina Ireland (325 pages): Ophelia Harrison's life changes irrevocably when she sees her first ghost: it's her own beloved father. Thanks to him, Ophie and her mother make it out of their small Georgia cabin alive, but his death sends them north to 1920's Pittsburgh, part of the Great Migration of Black folks looking for a new beginning. When Ophie joins her mother working for the eccentric and rich, white Caruthers family, Ophie discovers that their huge manor house is full of the secrets of the living, as well as the dead. A thoughtful and emotionally honest work of historical fiction, Ophie's Ghosts is equal-parts well-paced mystery and supernatural thriller, and I couldn't put it down!
Happy, haunted reading! Ghost-y stories aren't just for Halloween.