Falling leaves? Creepy shadows in the trees? A ghostly chill in the breeze? It must be that time of year again where we grab our broomsticks, wands and billowing capes and fly into the pages of spellbinding stories and thrilling tales. Become lost in the magical and mysterious worlds of some of the best spinetingling children’s books released this October. You won’t get tricked by us, we give you only absolute treats of the most strange, enigmatic, and spook-tacular kids’ titles of this Halloween season!
The Ghoul by Taghreed Najjar & Hassan Manasra
Crocodile Books, 9781623719456, p/b, £8.99, 13/10/2022
In this adventurous story inspired by Arabic folk tales, a young boy embarks on a dangerous mission to face the long-feared Ghoul, a creature his village has been terrified of for years. The monster doesn’t look like them, and it is believed to eat humans. From Taghreed Najjar, an award-winning pioneer of modern children’s literature, this inspiring story is accompanied by Manasra’s beautiful illustrations shows how our fears and prejudices may be built on false assumptions.
Joao by a Thread by Roger Mello, translated by Daniel Hahn
Elsewhere Editions, 9781953861344, h/b, £15.99, 27/10/2022
An intricate and exquisite tale of how bedtime fears can be transformed into wondrous dreams and magical adventures. When he feels alone and scared in the dark, João sews words like patchwork into a new blanket to cover himself up. Roger Mello’s mesmerising illustrations seem shapeshift on the page and you’ll find yourself seeing something new each time. His breath-taking line drawings, beaming in white thread against deep red, combined with poetic and bewildered language opens up conversations about emotions that circulate around dreams, including common fears and joys as well.
The Lords of Night by J. C. Cervantes
Rick Riordan Presents, 9781368066563, h/b, £16.99, 20/10/2022
Fourteen-year-old Renata Santiago is the most powerful godborn of them all, a bruja with a unique combination of DNA. Ren is also a girl with ordinary hopes and dreams. She wishes, for example, that her blog about alien sightings would garner more respect. When Ren receives an email about an alien sighting in Kansas, she soon finds herself embroiled in a quest to prevent the troublemakers from awakening the nine Aztec Lords of Night. This is an exciting new spin-off from the best-selling Storm Runner trilogy, though it can also be read as a standalone novel! Rooted in authentic Mesoamerican mythology from the author’s upbringing, this is perfect for readers of adventure stories with a mythical twist.
Enola Holmes: Mycroft’s Dangerous Game by Nancy Springer and Mickey George
Legendary Comics, 9781681160887, p/b, £16.99, 20/10/2022
Full of mystery, the thrill of the chase and nefarious plots, this new original graphic novel is a sequel to the hit Netflix film! Get whisked right back into Enola’s world of adventure, mystery and daring intrigue and uncover the new mystery that she faces. After a mysterious group of anarchists abduct her brother Mycroft, Enola investigates his disappearance in hopes of rescuing him and recovering something precious he took from her. Featuring art from popular Doctor Who comic artist Giorgia Sposito, follow Enola and unravel a web of secrecy that goes deep into the London underground.
Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Dead Man in the Garden by Marthe Jocelyn
Tundra Books, 9780735270787, p/b, £8.99, 20/10/2022
The third book in the Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen series, for young detective Aggie Morton and her friend Hector, a Yorkshire spa stay becomes a lot more thrilling when TWO dead bodies are found. Rumours abound about the spa’s recently deceased former patient, and then another body appears under mysterious circumstances. Once again, she and Hector will have to put their deductive skills and imaginations to work, as their restful trip takes a sudden, dangerous turn. Award-winning author Marthe Jocelyn takes beloved figures such as Poirot, Marple and even Christie herself, and creates a fantastic initiation to the world of Agatha Christie and the whodunit genre for children.
King Warrior by Jay Bulckart, Erika Nyyssonen and Lucas Green
Renegade Arts, 9781989754146, p/b, £14.99, 27/10/2022
Living in different worlds and separated by an ocean, a father and son try to stay connected through the power of imagination as their distanced lives pull them further apart. As Awale’s wife Warsan and young son Afrah struggle with his absence, Awale writes a world-building epic inspired by the wonders of his new Arctic home, in order to keep his son close to him. Through these stories, Afrah dives deep into this magical world of Jayrikas, and through his imagination, the myths, legends, and diversity of the north are brought to life in such powerful ways that when tragedy strikes and all the worlds start to collide, Afrah is left with only one choice: to become the King Warrior.
Odin’s Child by Siri Pettersen, translated by Siân Mackie and Paul Russell Garratt
Arctis, 9781646908011, p/b, £14.99, 13/10/2022
A thrilling modern fantasy epic with twists and turns in a unique, richly developed world, this is the first in a trilogy about ancient secrets, forbidden romance, and what happens to those who make a deal with the devil. Fifteen winters old, Hirka learns that she is an Odin’s child – a tailless rot from another world. She no longer knows who she is, and someone wants to kill her to keep it a secret. But there are worse things than humans, and Hirka is not the only creature to have broken through the gates. With compelling characters, captivating narrative and a gripping plot on the dangers of blind obedience, murderous secrets, and a terrifying hunt, this is a unique and epic fantasy with Norse roots.