Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MS Summer Reading 2020: Horror/Suspense

Week 5: Horror/Suspense

Horror/Suspense: My least favourite genre because I get nightmares too easily, but the appeal is real - so many young people love getting scared! Stephen King is one of the best known authors of this genre, but the content in his novels can be for mature eyes only. The ISB collection is a little weak in this genre for middle school readers, so if you know of some titles we should get, please email me (jlevitt@isb.bj.edu.cn)!


Activity 1: Notice the language the author uses to create the mood of the story. Collect examples in a journal to try out in your own writing. Mimicking the moves of an accomplished writer is an excellent way to develop your own craft.

Activity 2: Some of the characters in these stories are creepy - try doing some stage makeup by watching and learning from YouTube/Instagram tutorials. A quick search online using the keywords "horror movie makeup tutorials" yields some promising results.

20-21 Horror/Suspense Panda Book in the ISB Catalog

The 20-21 Panda Books do not include specific horror/suspense titles, but this title can be considered to overlap with this genre:

The Night Gardener

One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.

The Crossroads

ZACK, HIS DAD, and new stepmother have just moved back to his father's hometown, not knowing that their new house has a dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took 40 innocent lives. He died when his car hit a tree in a fiery crash, and his malevolent spirit has inhabited the tree ever since. During a huge storm, lightning hits the tree, releasing the spirit, who decides his evil spree isn't over . . . and Zack is directly in his sights. Award-winning thriller author Chris Grabenstein fills his first book for younger readers with the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made him a fast favorite with adults. From the Hardcover edition.

The Hanging Hill

From the New York Times bestselling author of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library comes a series of spine-tingling mysteries to keep you up long after the lights go out.How serious is stage fright? At the Hanging Hill Playhouse, it can kill you. After narrowly escaping a malevolent spirit in The Crossroads, Zack and Judy are hoping to relax during the rehearsals for a show based on Judy's bestselling children's books. Little do they know that the director is planning to raise a horde of evil specters from the dead, and to accomplish this, he needs a human sacrifice . . . and Zack fits the bill perfectly. This second book featuring the intrepid Zack and his stepmother, Judy, is full of the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made Chris Grabenstein a fast favorite with young and old alike.

The Smoky Corridor

From the New York Times bestselling author of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library comes a series of spine-tingling mysteries to keep you up long after the lights go out.Zack is about to start at his new school, and his dad, who went there years before, tells Zack the stories of the haunted janitor's closet, the specter of a dead crossing guard, and the Donnelly brothers, who perished in a suspicious fire. Dad doesn't know that Zack has already met the Donnellys' ghosts, who have warned Zack that there is an evil zombie under the school. Zack also learns that while zombies are usually content eating corpses, if they happen to bite someone who isn't dead, that person also becomes a zombie.Before midterms, Zack is dealing with two zombies, while trying to protect a friend whose curiosity has put him on the zombies' menu. Once again Chris Grabenstein proves his mastery of frightening and funny tales. Young readers, especially reluctant...

The Black Heart Crypt

From the New York Times bestselling author of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library comes a series of spine-tingling mysteries to keep you up long after the lights go out.Halloween is nearing, the one day of the year when the ghostly plane is close enough to the human plane to allow mischief and mayhem. But the ghosts who have their eye on Zack aren't thinking mischief, they are thinking murder. In this fourth volume of Chris Grabenstein's popular Haunted Mysteries series, Zack must once again do battle with malevolent spirits. And with his usual pluck, and the assistance of three dotty aunts, he must save his town from a 200-year-old threat.Once again Chris Grabenstein proves his mastery of the frightening and funny tale. Young readers, especially reluctant ones, have found an inspiration to read in Grabenstein's quirky characters and deadly situations.

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

Meet the snoligoster, who feeds on the shadows of its victims. The whirling whimpus, who once laid low an entire Boy Scout troop. And the hoop snake, who can chase prey at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and then, with one sting of its venomous tail, cause it to turn purple, swell up, and--alas--die. These and 17 other fearsome creatures are among the most fantastical beasts in American folklore. Their stories, as narrated by one of the last surviving cryptozoologists, are best enjoyed while sitting around a campfire. If you dare.  

Coraline 10th Anniversary Edition

This edition of New York Times bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman's modern classic, Coraline--also an Academy Award-nominated film--is enriched with a foreword from the author, a reader's guide, and more. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom. When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous. But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

The Graveyard Book

The 10th anniversary edition of The Graveyard Book includes a foreword by Margaret Atwood as well as sketches from the illustrator, handwritten drafts, and Neil Gaiman's Newbery acceptance speech. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom. IT TAKES A GRAVEYARD TO RAISE A CHILD. Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy--an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack--who has already killed Bod's family. The Graveyard Book, a modern classic, is the only work ever to win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) medals.

Middle School Librarian

Profile Photo
Jessica Levitt
Contact:
86108149-2345