The Center for Children's Books

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Spooky Spirits and Grim Ghosts - October 2009

Selected and annotated by Genevieve Henricks

Alter, Stephen. The Phantom Isles. Bloomsbury, 2007. 210p. Gr. 5-7.
Libraries! Books! Ghosts! Oh, my! When three classmates discover that ghosts have been trapped inside a collection of books since the early 1900s, a librarian helps them understand the books’ histories in order to free the spirits. The adventure escalates when the children’s disheartening teacher works to shut down the library because of its objectionable books.

Avi. The Seer of Shadows. Harper Collins, 2008. 208p. Gr. 4-7.
Horace Carpetine, an apprentice to a well-know photographer in 1872, quickly realizes that his photographs are more powerful than even 1,000 words. After taking a photographic portrait, he inadvertently unleashes a ghost with a powerful story and a goal of revenge.

Cazet, Denys. The Perfect Pumpkin Pie; illus. by Denys Cazet. Kacson/Atheneum, 2005. 32p. 5-8 yrs.
After grumpy Mr. Wilkerson dies while eating pie, he makes a return as a ghost and is hungrier and pickier than ever before! Will Grandma be able to make Mr. Wilkerson the perfect pie so that he will finally pass into the afterlife?

Del Negro, Janice M. Passion and Poison: Tales of Shape-Shifters, Ghosts, and Spirited Women; illus. by Vince Natale. Cavendish, 2007. 64p. Gr. 5-8.
This spooky collection of eight original tales and retellings centers on the trials and challenges of strong, tenacious women. Vivid descriptions guide the readers’ imaginations into the chaotic and mysterious realm of the supernatural.

Eeckhout, Emmanuelle. There’s No Such Thing as Ghosts!; illus. by Emmanuelle Eeckhout. Kane/Miller, 2008. 26p. 4-7 yrs.
After a boy and his butterfly net set out for a ghost hunt, he is surprised when he can’t find any. Little does he know that the ghosts’ sneaky tactics are keeping him from catching them!

Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book; illus. by Dave McKean. HarperCollins, 2008. 368p. Gr. 5-9.
After a toddler escapes the horrific demise of the rest of his family, he finds his way to a graveyard, where a ghostly couple takes him in. With the help of the other deceased graveyard inhabitants, the couple raises “Nobody” and guides him through the dangers and adventures that the graveyard offers. They also work to protect him from the evil predator who killed Nobody’s family—and who is adamant on striking again.

Hahn, Mary Downing. All the Lovely Bad Ones. Clarion, 2008. 192 p. Gr. 4-7.
Twelve-year-old Travis and his younger sister, Corey, are determined to terrify the guests at their grandmother’s inn. They soon find themselves altering their plans, as they frighteningly become aware that they have awoken the real ghosts of the inn. Will Travis and Corey be able to put the spooky spirits to rest?

Hamilton, Marthaand Mitch Weiss. The Ghost Cathcher:A Bengali Folktale; illus. by Kristen Balouch. LittleFolk/August House, 2008. 32p. 6-9 yrs.
In this adaptation of a Bengali folktale about wits, trickery, and gullibility, a barber and a ghost have an unexpected change of roles. With the help of his mirror, a fearless barber tricks not one, but two ghosts into bringing him riches that will save his family.

Hightman, J.P. Spirit. HarperTeen, 2008. 224p. Gr. 6-8.
Ghosts and witchcraft run rampant in this chilling Victorian-era tale of seasoned New England ghost hunters Tess and Tobias Goodraven. They soon find themselves in dangerous territory when they explore Blackthorne, Massachusetts, the haunting home of Old Widow Malgore. While casualties and chaos abound as Malgore protects her boundaries, Tess and Tobias must discover the one weapon that will shield them from the spirit’s horrific acts.

Jablonski, Carla. Silent Echoes. Razorbill, 2007. 344p. Gr. 7-9.
Sixteen-year-old Lucy and her father work together to perform sham séances in an effort to make their way into New York City’s 1882 socialite scene. When Lucy begins to hear actual voices, though, she finds a surprising connection to Lindsay, a present-day sixteen-year-old.

Jinks, Catherine. Eglantine: A Paranormal Adventure. Allen & Unwin, 2007. 140p. Gr. 4-7.
An unwanted guest is lurking in the Gebhardt household, and no one can get rid of her! Allie takes matters into her own hands after mysterious writing on her younger brother’s wall causes her to have to share her bedroom with him. She soon discovers that perhaps the culprit is ghost Eglantine Higgins.

Kohara, Kazuno. Ghosts in the House!; illus. by Kohara Kazuno. Roaring Brook, 2008. 32p. 3-5 yrs.
A clever little witch won’t let boo! scare her! With the help of her black hat and a washing machine, she turns a couple of non-threatening ghosts into a comfortable solution.

Noyes, Deborah. The Ghosts of Kerfol. Candlewick, 2008. 176p. Gr. 7-10.
Based on Edith Wharton’s Kerfol, this chilling anthology interconnects five ghost tales from the 17 th century to present day. It begins with a retelling of Wharton’s original tale of the murder of Yves de Cornault at the Kerfol estate, and later it escapes into the lives of four other dwellers who have sequentially taken over the haunted manor.

Richardson, E.E. The Intruders. Delacorte, 2006. 196p. Gr. 6-8.
Although initially worried about the frights of living with his future stepfamily, Joel soon finds himself with much bigger problems. Once he begins having horrifying nightmares and hallucinations, Joel and his soon-to-be stepsiblings must work together to discover the history behind their haunted house—before his visions become everyone’s reality.

Sage, Angie. My Haunted House; illus. by Jimmy Pickering. Tegan/HarperCollins, 2006. 133p. Gr. 2-5.
In this first installment of Araminta Spookie’s humorously haunted series, Araminta teams with a pair of ghosts to stop her family’s spooky house from getting sold. Will the trio’s comically eerie tactics work?

Welsh, T.K. The Unresolved. Dutton, 2006. 150p. Gr. 9-12.
Mallory Meer was killed in the blaze of the General Slocum steamship fire of 1904, along side 1000 other innocent people, and she is determined to find justice. While her boyfriend and first love, Dustin, is on trial for setting the fire, she reads and manipulates the minds of others in order for the truth of the tragedy to emerge.

Wright, Betty Ren. Princess for a Week; illus. by Jacqueline Rogers. Holiday House, 2006. 105p. Gr. 2-4.
Roddy Hall is determined to not hang out with Princess when she visits his house. She is, after all, commanding and fearless—sure signs that mean trouble is ahead. When she begins sneaking out in the middle of the night to investigate a haunted house, Roddy feels obligated to follow her. The unlikely duo demonstrates true teamwork as they face their fears and solve an unexpected mystery.