Our family is pretty big on reading aloud – sort of – they like it when I read aloud and they play video games or cook supper or brush the dog. Nonetheless, I’m calling it “Family Time” and since we love Halloween so much, our howl-i-day books are a seasonal treat. Here are some good books if you are looking to get into the Halloween spirit and have a few paranormal encounters with the lights on. For kids, nothing beats the classic Berenstain Bears “The Spooky Old Tree” (http://berenstainbears.com). You can listen to this story here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INZWCrSliYs):

  Our hardover copy of “The Spooky Old Tree” is showing signs of age and wear, and we still keep it around for quick read in the dark by flashlight. Though you could leave the lights on, a candle on the table next to a cup of twigs would make some great shadows on the wall, if you dare. Follow up with some cookies and milk, and all is again well with the world. Young Benjamin Draws (http://benjamindraws.com) lots of silhouette creatures. Shadow Puppets are fun too. http://begorok.com/shadow-puppets-for-kids-to-make “ParaNorman” by Elizabeth Cody Kimmell (http://www.codykimmel.com) is based on the movie by Chris Butler and Ross Stewart created the illustrations on each chapter heading. The pictures add to the story and I thought this was a pretty fun novel. You can pick up an extended preview of this book for FREE at Amazon.com which was enough to encourage me to read on for the rest of the quick 741 pages. More about the ParaNorman Movie: (http://www.paranorman.com)(http://www.slj.com/ ParaNorman spotlight) (LAIKA Animation) Teens and explosive truck driving adults might like Jack Flacco’s action packed Ranger Martin books. “Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse” followed by “Ranger Martin and the Alien Invasion” (http://jackflacco.com) . These are a little harder to read aloud, due to the unusual amount of zombie euphemistic phrases and the surprise attack rhythmn of the books, but we are currently enjoying how one event leads to another, and another, and another. If splatting gooey green zombie brains is your thing, Jack Flacco has thought of several thousand ways to do it. If you enjoy a series, we recommend the Samantha Moon series by J. R. Rain (http://jrrain.com) which is about a mom of two who becomes a vampire, but tries to hang onto her humanity and live a “normal” life. The author incorporates lots of spiritual and magical elements along with monster murders, but the books are more like detective mysteries, not horror stories. If you prefer a male protagonist, the author has written the Spinoza trilogy and the Jim Knighthorse for hire series as well. Recently, I read a few of the short stories from a collection called “Windeye” by Brian Evenson, and I have this book on my wish list (http://www.brianevenson.com). The eponymous ‘Windeye’ gave me the chills and ‘The Second Boy’ was creepy. You can sample these stories in the preview at Amazon, while exploring their Halloween special:

Mystery & Thriller Kindle Books for $1.99 Each Now through November 14, select mystery & thriller Kindle books are $1.99 each. Browse the full selection to find your next great read

A more serious read, “Talking to the Dead” by Bonnie Grove, will make you wonder how Kate will find peace again after the death of her husband Kevin. Haunting guilt does not make it any easier for Kate to deal with her husband’s voice pushing her to the edge of her sanity. This book is not blood and guts, more exploring the shadows of her mind and finding light. There is a Christian theme to this book, to help her overcome the darkness, but it does get spooky and depressing as you join Kate’s world, so don’t read it if you are already grieving in real life. Also, if you are seriously grieving, avoid the irreverant and weird little picture book called “All My Friends are Dead” by Avery Monson and Jory John. It’s warped humor is not meant to be taken seriously, and it is very short, so it will not take you long to decide if you love it or hate it. Have fun, or scare the dickens out of yourself, or unsettle several nights of sleep… your choice.

We also have a holiday tradition to give mom tickets to a fright fest (This year I am returning to Screams Park in Waxahachie, Texas, about an hour south of Dallas). Apparently, it is loads of fun to watch me scream and run. I need the exercise, so I play along.

Christi blood splattered

Christi blood splattered

Happy Halloween!

To see a Dallas Observer video of this Screams Park actor getting made into a zombie visit www.dallasobserver.com/arts/behind-the-scenes-at-screams-7706845


9 thoughts on “Book or Treat?

  1. I love that you read aloud in the family. But spooky books/films are things I just can’t handle. I will let you have fun with them on my behalf. One extra screamy scream for me please.

    1. I sure did. My kids are grown, so the books have gotten more serious too, but we still have several of our childhood read-alouds on the shelf that we can’t part’ with. Halloween was a great family time. We had a lot of fun.
      I hope you and yours did too. Costumes are great fuel for imaginative play.

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