Check It Out: Settle in for a spooky read

Beware! The spooky season is upon us.

Children often love to scare themselves silly and this is the perfect time of the year for that fun. Bedtime book requests are made up of spooky tales. From picture books for toddlers all the way up to chapter books for school-age children, everyone can find something scary to read.

Here are just a few of the spooky books found haunting the shelves at your Newport Beach Public Library.

"The Graves Family" by Patricia Polacco: When the spooky Graves family moves to town and tries to fit in with the "normal" residents of Union City, everyone is in for a few surprises. This picture book provides an interesting approach to the issue of moving to a new place by a very well loved and prolific children's author.

"The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda Williams: A little old lady who is not afraid of anything must deal with a pumpkin head, a tall black hat and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods trying to scare her. A classic story used when the issue of fear and finding courage within is a topic a family wants to discuss.

"Four on the Shore" by Edward Marshall: Hoping to scare away Spider's little brother, Willy, Lolly Spider and Sam each tell a spooky story, but then Willy has a story of his own to tell. This one is such a light-hearted and endearing take on a child trying to spook a younger sibling and in the process scaring himself worse.

"The Spooky Tire" by Jon Scieszka: On a dark and stormy night, Melvin the truck rolls into a spooky junkyard to find a replacement for his flat tire. This book is in the popular series, Trucktown, by a very well known children's literature author with a unique style.

"Lunch Walks Among Us" by Jim Benton: Franny K. Stein is a mad scientist who prefers all things spooky and creepy, but when she has trouble making friends at her new school, she experiments with fitting in, which works until a monster erupts from the trashcan. This is the first book in the series Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist. The importance of a strengthening a child's unique identity is craftily woven among all the laughs in this popular book.

"Miss Mary is Scary" by Dan Gutman: When a British student-teacher arrives, A. J. and his friends wonder if her all-black clothing and love of blood sausage mark her as a vampire, while Mr. Granite simply hopes her musician-boyfriend will stay away long enough for a math lesson. This is book No. 10 in a wildly popular series, My Weird School Daze.

Get in the mood with a special Spooky Craft Club for children in kindergarten through third grade from 4 to 5 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave. Children who bring a pumpkin decorated as a favorite book character will be entered into a drawing to win a prize at Craft Club. There will be lots of spooky crafts for everyone. This program is a free event, but space is limited so it requires online registration via our kids' website:

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the branches, contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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