Ginger Nuts of Horror
Tony Jones' excellent rundown of his top fifty young adult and kids horror books reaches its thrilling penultimate entry. Tony has carefully selected horror novels that will be ideal for any parent looking to introduce their younglings to the wonderful world of horror fiction. We have even added a handy purchase link at the bottom of the article if any of these books take your fancy.
Stay tuned for the final part of this countdown tomorrow.
Susan Hill - Dolly
An old doll seems very, very real and may even be a member of the family…. Ghost dolls are pretty common in horror fiction, but anything by Hill is a joy to read and every word is crafted so expertly and she’s really built upon the her reputation from “The Woman in Black” way back in the 1970s.
Robin Jarvis - Dancing Jax Trilogy
Outstanding return to form from one most successful kids writers of the 1990s. With echoes of Crowley, amateur ghost hunters find an old book, probably cursed, in a haunted house and then weird things start happening in a sleepy seaside town which may happen to be Whitby, older fans of Jarvis will know of the author’s love of that famous old town! It’s brilliant to have Robin back and on top form.
Ransom Riggs - Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Series
A young man discovers an abandoned orphanage on a remote Welsh island which holds many dark secrets. This highly original series mixes photography into the mystery as layers and layers of mysteries and dangers are uncovered. The film is out soon, this book deserves something really special, I doubt we’ll get it though which is a shame.
Matt Haig - The Radleys
Black comedy about a family of vampires living a nice middle class life in modern suburban England. Funny, observant and original treat for horror from an author who is so talented he can write just about anything for age group and in any genre. His SF novel “Echo Boy” is another favourite of mine.
Marcus Sedgwick - My Swordhand Is Singing Series
Scintillating vampire story set in 17th century Europe, clearly inspired by true vampire myths and so vividly drawn you can smell the garlic. The research of the author really shines through and kids who love a good vampire story will be sucked into this terrific page-turner and the sequel “The Kiss of Death” published two years later.
Susan Hill - The Small Hand
A bookseller feels the invisible hand of a child holding his….. In recent years the author of “The Woman in Black” has taken to releasing Christmas novellas with a supernatural theme. Although they are technically for adults anyone can read these short expertly crafted treats which recall spooky old stories being told around the Christmas fire.
Leo Hunt - 13 Days of Midnight Series
New and pretty great series about a teen who inherits a house from the father he doesn’t know that the ghosts who live in his house also become his property now and start following him around. This is a great for young teens and has been a decent sized hit, picking up a prestigious Waterstones book award along the way. An author to watch out for.
Rick Yancey - The Monstrumologist Trilogy
This atmospheric gothic series has it all: monsters, corpses, catacombs and loads of great scares, not to mention three bloody sequels. Will Henry is an apprentice to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop and is about to start revealing the crazy secrets of the world’s most famous Monstrumologist.
Lauren Myracle - Bliss
Very well known and prolific American teen writer, lesser known in the UK, makes an incredible jump from light teen novels into the world of dark obsession and fractured friendships. If my memory serves me right, it also features one of the scariest sleepover scenes of all time.
Daniel Waters - Generation Dead Series
All over the country teenagers who die, ‘The Newlydeads’ come back to life, in this clever riff of the teen horror novel. “You think you’ve got problems! I hear you say…” Some might think it is a bit too similar to John Ajvide Lindqvist’s “Handling the Undead”, but it’s a very good teen read and having the dead mix with the living in every day high school really is freaky and entertaining.
Kate Cann – Leaving Poppy
This brilliant ghost story was a brilliant change of pace for an author better known for writing teen dramas. Amber attends university as far away from her family as possible, so she can avoid her stepsister Poppy, but when Amber becomes sick, Poppy visits and is attracted to some evil presence in the house. It really it a top notch mix of suspense, horror and obsession. A great author to heck out if you don’t know her stuff.
Emmy Laybourne - Monument 14 Series
Six teens hide is a huge American supermarket whilst some sort of apocalyptic disasters occurs outside which begin with a massive hailstorm. Trapped, scared and not trusting each other they must band together to survive. This entertaining mi of horror and dystopia was a decent size hit in the USA.
Michelle Paver - Dark Matter
A group of explorers encounter a dark presence when they visit a remote part of Norway.... Haunting study of isolation in what is a pretty odd ghost story. This was a real change of pace for an author best known for junior fantasy novels and I was mightily impressed as it expertly crosses YA with adult themes.