5 Haunting Summer Reads to Recommend

Summer is here and the temperatures are rising. Looking to “chill” with some creepy stories to read or recommend? Here are few that may just be sitting on your shelf waiting for the next reader.

  • Now Entering Addamsville
  • By Francesca Zappia
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books
  • Release Date: October 1, 2019
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9-12
  • ISBN: 9780062935274

Zora lives in a small, insular community where everyone knows your name. Unfortunately, with her last name, that is not a good thing. Zora is a Novak. Her father, soon to be released from jail, is known for conning many in the town. Her mother is known for mysteriously disappearing in the town’s creepy woods. Twice. Meanwhile, Zora is known for being nearby when things catch on fire. She can see ghosts and secretly hunts “firestarters”. When the school janitor is murdered, and a group of ghost hunters arrive in town, Zora is forced to team up with her annoying cousin to protect her home. 

This witty mystery is creepy and fresh. The rag-tag “Scooby Gang” of characters that join forces are totally lovable. Put this book in the hands of fans of Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  • The Haunted
  • By Danielle Vega
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Release Date: June 4, 2019
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9-up
  • ISBN: 978045181467

Hendricks is supposed to be escaping a traumatic past. But her “new” house, a fixer-upper with dark secrets, is just a little too haunted. Rather than enjoying her new friends, Hendricks is forced to uncover the mystery surrounding her infamous house before it is too late. 

This is a deliciously creepy ghost story that will leave readers with goose-bumps. Put this book in the hands of readers who loved Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare or Asylum by Madeleine Roux.

  • Sawgirl Girls
  • By Claire Legrand
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • Release Date: October 2, 2018
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9-12
  • ISBN: 978006266601

Sawkill Rock appears idyllic and pastual. However, it is also where girls disappear. Legend tells of a terrifying evil that controls the land. Now, three girls with little in common must access their unknown strength to stay alive.

Feminist and fierce, this is a book you won’t soon forget. Be prepared for twists, surprises, a little romance and a lot of violence. Read-a-likes for Sawkill Girls are Wilder Girls, The Dead and the DarkThe River Has Teeth.

  • The Heartwood Box
  • By Ann Aguirre
  • Publisher: Tor Teen
  • Release Date: July 9, 2019
  • Reading Level: Gr. 7-9
  • ISBN: 9780765397645

Araceli Flores’s parents are going to Venezuela. She’s going to a dusty old Victorian house in a tiny town filled with MISSING posters. Here is living with a great-aunt who leaves food out each day for a husband that has been missing decades. There are creepy lights in the woods, unexplained occurrences in the big house, and then she begins receiving letters from the past.

This book is like a genre casserole. The author threw in some mystery, history, sci-fic, and romance to make a delicious read! Put this one in the hands of fans of Stranger Things.

  • Kingdom of the Wicked
  • by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Publisher: Jimmy Paterson
  • Release Date; October 27, 2020
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9-Up
  • ISBN: 9780316428460

Emilia and her sister are secret witches. The story begins with Emilia finding her sister brutally murdered. She is broken-hearted and determined to find out what happened. Doing so requires her to step out of her comfort zone to uncover her sister’s secrets and possibly use forbidden magic.

The world-building in this creepy fantasy is so good the reader may come close to forgetting they’re reading not reading realistic fiction. This story has it all: scares, mystery, and romance. Put this one in the hands of fans of Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber or The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

-Rachel Milburn