#CybilsAwards Book List: All the Spooky Scary Reads

spooky kids books

Welcome to the 2021 Cybils Book Lists!

Instead of individual reviews this year, we’re going to pick a theme and highlight as many as we can in one post.

Since today is Halloween, what better theme to start off with than spooky, scary books? Ghosts, vampires, monsters, witches… some of them are scary, some of them are charming.

We’ve pulled from Graphic Novels, Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction, and Young Adult Speculative Fiction. When there are reviews from our panelists/judges, we’ve linked to those. 


Boo! Baa,La, La, La
by Sandra Boynton
Littl eSimon


Garlic and the Vampire
by Bree Paulson
Quill Tree Books


Ham Helsing #1: Vampire Hunter
by Rich Moyer
Crown Books for Young Readers

The action is animated, the dialogue is fun and witty, and there are robotic knights, sight gags, a toddler werewolf, and animated bacon. What more can you ask from a graphic novel? – Rosemary Kiladitis, Mom Read It

The Accursed Vampire
by Madeline McGrane
Quill Tree Books

It’s sweet, it’s silly, it’s interesting, it’s well-told, the drawings are adorable, and I loved every moment reading this one. – Melissa Fox, Book Nut

Delicates (2) (Sheets)
by Brenna Thummler
Oni Press


by Míriam Bonastre Tur
Clarion Books

Illustrated in manga style, this is going to be big with my middle graders and middle schoolers. They’re manga fans, and finding graphic novels incorporating manga artwork is a great way to get them to stretch their reading interests and introduce them to new titles. – Rosemary Kiladitis, Mom Read It

The Ghoul Next Door
by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Cat Farris


Martian Ghost Centaur
by Mat Heagerty, illustrated by Steph Mided
Oni Press

 Louie is at the age of about to graduate from high school, having known this town her whole life and can’t imagine anything else. I remember feeling like her when I finished high school. Louie is a realistic character who does not have to be superhuman to save her town. – Anne W, Anne’s Reviews

Bridge of Souls (City of Ghosts #3)
by V. E Schwab


Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch
by Julie Abe
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Ghost Girl
by Ally Malinenko
Katherine Tegen Books

 I was so ready to read something a little spooky and Ghost Girl hit all the right notes. It’s a very atmospheric kind of spooky, with the dark woods, mysterious enveloping fog, the cemetery and of course the dark stormy night. Not to mention the scary dogs and ghosts that appear to Zee. Yep all the elements for spooky. – Brenda, Log Cabin Library

Ophie’s Ghosts
by Justina Ireland
Balzer + Bray

 This was such an excellent story! I was pulled in right from the beginning, and found myself thinking frequently in between reading sessions. – Katy K, A Library Mama

The Collectors (Fright Watch #2)
by Lorien Lawrence
Harry N Abrams


The Hungry Ghost
by H.S. Norup


The Monsters of Rookhaven
by Pádraig Kenny
Henry Holt & Co.

 Family, friendship, removing barriers of pain, hurt, fear and distrust between people are all themes of this book. Pheeps makes a great monster, with his true terrifying nature not recognised by most people, a concept I really like. – Valinora Troy, valinoratroy.com

What Lives in the Woods
by Lindsay Currie
Sourcebooks Young Readers


A Dark and Starless Forest
by Sarah Hollowell
HMH Books for Young Readers


Bad Witch Burning
by Jessica Lewis
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers


Beasts of Prey
by Ayana Gray
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers


What Big Teeth
by Rose Szabo
Farrar, Straus & Giroux


White Smoke
by Tiffany D Jackson
Katherine Tegen Books


Witches Steeped in Gold
by Ciannon Smart


spooky kids books