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Haunted Book Month!

October 17th, 2009 · No Comments · Author! Author!, Weekly theme

In October, we like to celebrate scary stuff in our library for three weeks out of four. I tell the students that it is the only time I encourage them to read “junk food” books — Animorphs, Twilight, Scooby Doo, and anything and everything to do with scary plots, ghosts, haunted houses, etc., etc.

I also put out lots of mysteries and classics — Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, some Robert Louis Stevenson, and, my new favorite, author Mary Downing Hahn. Did you know that she was a children’s librarian who started writing ghost stories? Did you know that Shelley was only 18 when she started writing Frankenstein? (It was published when she was 21.) We’re also fond of the new graphic novels based on Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. (Walking Distance, the Monsters are Due on Maple Street and the Odyssey of Flight 33.)

There are lots of cool and interesting stories out there, and lots of fun ways to get scared.

Except for Goosebumps. Goosebumps, to me, is no fun. It is just a little quirk of mine, but we have no Goosebumps books in our library. Our collection was very tattered and old — “Because the books are soooo good!” the students would like me to tell you. Yes, because the books were so popular. Not good, in my extremely humble opinion, but popular.

Those are the books that get tattered the most quickly — the popular ones.

But we have a limited book budget, and a lot of “good” books that need replacing and, er, besides. We have Animorphs! A-Z Mysteries! The Baby-sitter’s Club! That series is terrifying, with all those smiley girls and their zeal for takin’ care of business. (Kidding. Only I am scared of the Babysitters’ Club.) (Really, my main concern is the misplaced possessive. Shouldn’t it be babysitters’ club, and forget the hypen? I digress.)

I stamped all the Goosebumps books “DISCARD” in dark black ink, sent them home with the kids and haven’t looked back since.

The students still haven’t forgiven me. I read them the Teeny-Tiny Woman to make it up to them, but still…

Moving on… If you are concerned that the books we’re focusing on are too scary, please do not worry. I also put out loads of books on pumpkins, leaves and fall, plus a selection of other fiction and non-fiction titles, for those of us who aren’t so into skeletons and all-around creepiness. Some of our favorites are Pumpkin, Pumpkin; We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt; and My Guinea Pig and Me.

Yes, I realize that guinea pigs don’t have anything to do with Halloween, fall, or mysteries; we just are particularly fixated on guinea pigs right now.

Happy October to you!


Ms. Nancy