Creepy, Scary and Fun: The top Middle Grade Books for Halloween!

Hello Mixed-Up Filers!

Has it been really two months already? Wow, before I even have time to catch my breath, it’s already my turn to post. Such tyrannical overlords over here at the Mixed-Up Files. Anyway, if I have to go, I guess I’d better get to it!

Anyway, since there’s a certain spooky event right around the corner…By the way, I mean Halloween, not Election Day, I thought it would be fun to do a post about some of the fun scary books released this year! But, since it’s me writing it, they all have a fun element to them.


Thank you, thank you. Please, sit down. Really, you’re embarrassing me. But, without further ado, here are my top five scary books released this year!

In no particular order, here we go!

Young Scrooge: A Very Scary Christmas Story by R.L. Stine.

First off, I’m a sucker for R.L. Stine. Love the Goosebumps series. Also, must’ve watched the movie more times than I’d care to admit. Just ask my kids. But, mixing Stine with a retelling of A Christmas Carol, and I’m sooooo in! And usually Stine does something which I love, mix humor with horror. In this story, Rick Scroogeman is a bully who hates Christmas and is visited by three ghosts to help him mend his ways. Any fan of Stine will love this.


Lock and Key: The Initiation by Ridley Pearson

This one I just picked up and can’t wait to read. It’s a retelling of the Sherlock Holmes stories, told from the perspective of Moriarty’s little sister, Moria. It tells about the origins of their rivalry by telling the story of them as kids in a boarding school and they compete to solve a mystery. Love everything about the Sherlock Holmes mythology and visited 221B Baker street when I went to London. This one is a must!


Great Ball of Light  by Evan Kuhlman

Who doesn’t love fun books about bringing things back from the dead? This book came out earlier this year and even offers a guide about how to do it. The story centers around twins Fento and Fiona and their desire to bring things back from the dead. Namely, their grandfather. But, as we all know, bringing things back from the dead often brings unintended consequences. Why couldn’t it be as easy as it looks in the brochure?


Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production

By Sarah S. Reida

This book I’m actually in the middle of right now and have to say that I find it a lot of fun. Thirteen-year-old, Lissa Black has to move from New York to Pennsylvania, and if that isn’t bad enough, she encounters a swamp monster there! But, of course, there is more to this than meets the eye. Isn’t that always the case? I’m not done with this book yet, but I definitely recommend it.


Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen

Another fun and scary book. Notice a pattern in my choices? In this story, Dr. Fell moves into an abandoned house which used to function as a hangout for the neighborhood kids. To win them over, Dr. Fell builds a playground on the property, but soon strange things start happening, including many injuries. The heroes of the story, Jerry, Nancy and Gail, must figure out what Dr. Fell is up to and uncover his secret, before they also fall prey to his schemes.


All these books are a lot of fun and have scares to boot. Check them all out and please write to the authors and tell them I sent you, so they can look at you perplexed and say, “Who?”

What are some of your favorite Middle Grade scary books that came out this year? Remember, if you give a comment in the section below, they can now be declared as tax-deductible.

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Jonathan Rosen is a transplanted New Yorker, who now lives with his family in sunny, South Florida. He spends his “free” time chauffeuring around his three kids. Some of Jonathan’s fondest childhood memories are of discovering a really good book to dive into, in particular the Choose Your Own Adventure Series, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Jonathan is proud to be of Mexican-American descent, although neither country has been really willing to accept responsibility. He is the author of Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies, which is out now, and its sequel, From Sunset Till Sunrise. He is the co-host of the YouTube channels, Pop Culture Retro, Comics and Pop. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, FromtheMixedUpFiles.Com,, and his own website,
  1. Down for it whenever you’d like me to do it – just tell me what you want (word count, any specs), and I’ll get it to you. (You can email me if you like – thanks!).

  2. Hey, you finished it! 🙂 Glad you liked it.

    Please let me know if you’d like a guest blogger. I recently wrote a story with Claire Fayers that was published on The Children’s Book Review site, and I thought it might be fun to write about how to effectively collaborate with another writer/how to know whether it will work. (The experience with Claire was great, but with the wrong person it can be a disaster!). Thanks!

  3. I second Ms. Reida’s comment! Such an honor to be on the list with these other great books!

  4. Thanks for including me on this list! (This means that R.L. Stine and I are best friends now, right??).

    And folks, check out my website at: for monster movie survival rules, a Monsterville sneak peek, and fun movie quizzes. Please let me know if there’s a topic/genre/actor you’d like me to add! I have Bill Murray, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Pixar, Disney, Tim Burton. . .

    • Don’t know why I just saw your comment, but really enjoyed your book!