Oh, the Thinks You Can Think

Spooktacular October Reads for Younger Elementary

Fall is a great time to curl up with a spooky read. These books are just slightly spooky, but have major laughs so they are perfect for younger elementary kids who like to be just a little bit scared.

The Phantom of the Theater (Creepella Von Cacklefur series) by Geronimo Stilton

Spooktacular October Reads for Older Elementary

The cool, crisp autumn air usually means one thing to us book lovers: it’s time to curl up with a spooky read. Here are some great, spine-tingling upper elementary reads to get you through the month.

 

 

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., Book 1) by Jonathan Stroud

 

Radical Fun Project: Stop Motion

Great things can happen when you combine iPads and LEGOs! Monroe County kids participated in our Radical Fun program and used these tools to create their own stop motion animation films.

Stop Motion is a magic filming technique that makes inanimate objects look like they are moving all by themselves. It's so simple, you can even make your own stop motion films at home!

What You'll Need:

  • Smartphone or Tablet with Stop Motion app (We used Stop Motion Studio--it's free!)

Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan

If you, dear reader, are ready for a scary, mysterious, and grim fantasy story about magic, necromancers, assassins, and enormous bats, Shadow Magic is the story for you. It manages to alter the traditional dichotomy of good and evil so often present in the fantasy genre, creating a deeply compelling and entertaining tale. Khan’s approach shifts and subverts expectations in delightful ways, illustrating that things are not, and should not be, as they seem. Because while the setting for the story is a land of sorcery, ghouls, zombies, ghosts and all of the traditional ‘dark’ magic, it is also a place of deep tradition, belief, and love. Children who like fantasy, scary stories, horror, zombies, and mystery will feel right at home in this spooky and fun story. Suggested for ages 10 and up.

The narrative weaves together the stories of Thorn, a boy far from home looking for his father, and Lilith Shadow, a young princess called upon to rule far too young. The perspectives and narrative style bounce between these two characters, showcasing the challenges and growth they undergo. Lilith begins as the ruler of Ghenna after the tragic death of her family and Thorn’s story starts when he is sold to Tyburn, Ghenna’s executioner, and taken to live in Ghenna at the palace and train as a squire. After an assassination attempt on Lilith, she and Thorn are thrown together, becoming friends. They dig into the mysteries of the castle, trace rumors about a necromancer of incredible power, discover why Lilith is forbidden from studying magic, and try to track down the would-be poisoner and Thorn’s father. Along the way, they make friends in surprising places, find a gigantic, carnivorous bat named Hades, and uncover shocking secrets about their families.

An exciting read that carves out a unique spot in the middle-grade fantasy genre, Shadow Magic should not be missed. The story utilizes a dark tone and many gothic tropes, so the reader feels as though they are living in a permanent Halloween world. While this could easily become too tense, Khan’s writing style and tone keep the dark moments of the story from becoming overwhelming, while not short-changing their impact. The occasional illustrations in the book also add to the effect, lending form to many of the tales more unnerving aspects. Overall, a fun romp through a delightfully dark fantasy world.

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