Selected and annotated by Gina Tangorra
Black, Holly. Doll Bones; illus. by Eliza Wheeler. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013. 256p. Gr. 4-7.
Zach, Poppy, and Alice are best friends who have long played an elaborate game involving action figures and other dolls, including an antique bone-china doll named the Great Queen. After Zach decides to end the game, Poppy suggests that the ghost of a murdered girl whose ashes are held inside of the Queen has been haunting her. At the urging of the ghost, the three friends travel to Ohio in order to bury the Queen (and the ghost) properly. This Newbery Honor-winning story about facing adulthood is both creepy and heartwarming.
Clare, Cassandra. Clockwork Angel. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010. 496p. Gr. 9-12.
In this first of the Infernal Devices trilogy (and prequel to the Mortal Instruments trilogy), sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray is pulled into Victorian London’s supernatural Downworld after the mysterious disappearance of her brother. The shadowy gas-lit streets of Downworld are populated with vampires, warlocks, demons and other supernatural beings. There she meets the Shadowhunters, a group of demon hunters, and discovers that she is a Downworlder with supernatural powers of her own.
Clement-Moore, Rosemary. Spirit and Dust. Delacorte Press, 2013. 400p. Gr. 7-10.
Daisy Goodnight, who comes from a long line of psychics, is consulting for the FBI when she is kidnapped by an involved crime boss. She finds herself falling for gorgeous Carson, who works for (who else?) the crime boss. Many rom-com capers ensue as Daisy and Carson journey across the Midwest facing over-the-top supernatural dangers.
Creagh, Kelly. Nevermore. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010. 506p. Gr. 9-12.
At first, preppy cheerleader Isobel Lanley is annoyed that she is paired with brooding goth Varen Nethers for an English project. However, she quickly becomes obsessed with Varen and the dark world he has created in his notebooks, a world where the tales of Edgar Allen Poe come to creepy life. As their own gothic tale unfolds, Isobel must somehow rescue Varen—and herself—from being trapped in a nightmare.
Ellison, Kate. Notes from Ghost Town. Egmont USA, 2013. 336p. Gr. 8-12.
Sixteen-year-old Olivia has faced much loss in the past year: she goes color-blind, her best friend (and love) Stern is killed, and her schizophrenic mother is on trial for the murder. When Stern begins haunting Olivia, he reveals that her mother is innocent and helps her investigate the real murderer. The suspense mounts as Olivia discovers clue after clue, all the while fearing that she has inherited her mother’s disorder.
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Gingersnap. Wendy Lamb Books, 2013. 147p. Gr. 4-6.
Set in America during the Second World War, this novel tells the story of Jayna and her search for family and belonging. Jayna begins seeing a ghostly apparition after her older brother Rob goes missing in action somewhere in the Pacific. This ghost leads her to a woman named Elise, who owns a bakery named Gingersnap, which also happens to be the nickname given to Jayna by her mother. Through the people she meets at the bakery, Jayna discovers more about her heritage and grows stronger in her sense of self.
Kizer, Amber. Meridian. Delacorte Press, 2009. 305p. Gr. 6-9.
Meridian has grown up surrounded by death. On her sixteenth birthday, her life is changed forever when she learns that she is a Fenestra, a supernatural guide for souls. Meridian’s Aunt Merry, also a Fenestra, and Tens, Meridian’s Protector, help Meridian acclimate to her new powers and role as guider of souls.
Kizer, Amber. Wildcat Fireflies. Delacorte Press, 2011. 528p. Gr. 9 -12.
In this sequel to Meridian, half-human, half-angel Meridian Sozu goes on a journey with Tens, her Protector, to find an ally named Juliet. Meridian, a Fenestra who helps guide souls into the afterlife, and Tens battle evil together and, of course, take their romantic relationship a step further.
McNeal, Tom. Far Far Away. Alfred A. Knopf, 2013. 384p. Gr. 6-9.
The ghost of Jacob Grimm is the mentor of young Jeremy Johnson and the narrator of this modern-day fairy tale. Thanks to Jacob, Jeremy certainly does not live a normal teenage life, but he does have a crush named Ginger. When Jeremy and Ginger fall into danger, Jacob works to save them from harm.
Morgan, Page. The Beautiful and the Cursed. Delacorte Press, 2013. 325p. Gr. 9-12.
Set in historical and romantic Paris, this novel revolves around sisters Ingrid and Gabriella Waverly who encounter the supernatural in their new home. Their brother Grayson has vanished without a trace, and, with the help of a servant/guardian gargoyle Luc, the sisters search for answers about Grayson’s disappearance.
Moulton, Courtney Allison. Angelfire. Katherine Tegen Books, 2011. 464p. Gr. 9-12.
Ellie Monroe is leading a normal teenage life, until she meets Will and slowly comes to the realization that she is actually the Preliator, a supernatural warrior who must battle the evil soul sucking Reapers and save humanity. Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will certainly enjoy this dark romantic thriller.
Schwab, Victoria. The Archived. Hyperion, 2013. 336p. Gr. 7-10.
Teenaged Mackenzie becomes a Keeper of Histories in the Archive after the death of her father, the previous Keeper. This is a challenging task, as the Histories are the dead (and sometimes dangerous) who are capable of waking and leaving the Archive. Mac must find out who is purposefully altering Histories before it is too late in this spine-tingling tale.
Suma, Nova Ren. 17 & Gone. Dutton Books, 2013. 368p. Gr. 8-12.
After seeing the ghost of a missing girl, seventeen-year-old Lauren becomes obsessed with finding and saving missing girls who have disappeared at age seventeen. The suspense builds as Lauren continues to encounter ghosts…or does she? And is Lauren the next one who will disappear?
Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Little, Brown and Co., 2011. 420p. Gr. 9-12.
Karou is just like every seventeen-year-old, except that the members of her family are monsters and she is being followed by a mysterious angelic being named Akiva. Karou’s past and present collide after her family is attacked, and she must face the truth about her heritage and her relationship with Akiva.
Taylor, Laini. Days of Blood & Starlight. Little, Brown and Co., 2012. 528p. Gr. 9-12.
The follow-up to Daughter of Smoke & Bone finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides of the deadly war between the chimera and the angels. Both Karou and Akiva are tormented by past actions and contemplate a horrific, apocalyptic future. The novels ends on a dramatic cliffhanger, leaving the reader eager for the third and final installment in the series.
Weatherly, L.A. Angel Burn. Candlewick Press, 2011. 465p. Gr. 7-10.
Willow has always known that she was different, but it isn’t until she meets angel assassin Alex that she learns about her angelic heritage. This presents a dilemma for Alex, who finds that he is falling in love with his sworn enemy. Full of action and romance, this first entry in the Angel trilogy inverts the traditional portrayals of angels in fiction and leaves readers eager for more.
Yovanoff, Brenna. Paper Valentine. Razorbill, 2012. 386p. Gr. 7-10.
Hannah is being haunted by the ghost of her best friend, Lillian, who died of anorexia six months before. Now, during an extremely hot summer, dark and sinister forces are at work: Crows are falling from the skies, and someone is murdering girls in the small town. Lillian, who was preoccupied with one of the murders before her own death, pushes Hannah into investigating the serial killings. As if there weren’t enough emotional turmoil, Hannah also finds herself strangely pulled towards Finney Boone, a juvenile delinquent who may be dangerous to Hannah and her sister.