From Halloween movies to trick-or-treating, October is a month with very little empty calendar space. In light of all these spooky festivities, there’s always time for kids to unwind next to a pumpkin-scented candle and enjoy a good book. Here are some of the best stories launching this month, including coming-of-age stories, epic monster battles, and more!
How Do You Live, written by Genzaburo Yoshino and translated by Bruno Navasky, is the first-ever English-language translation of the beloved 1937 Japanese classic. Following the death of his father, 15-year-old protagonist Copper looks to spiritual and earthly forces to grapple with this enormous loss. As Copper encounters some of life’s biggest questions and tries to find his place in the world, his uncle writes to him in a journal, guiding him through this transition by offering advice and perspective. Readers ages 10-14 will enjoy this philosophical journey, following Copper as he uncovers truths of the world.
Fireborn by Aisling Fowler is a middle-grade fantasy story that follows Twelve, an expert monster hunter and trainer in the city of Ember. After losing her clan and her entire family, Twelve has devoted her life to taking revenge on those who killed her loved ones. When her new home is under threat of attack from Goblins, Twelve is forced to embark on a journey that will determine the fate of her world. On a quest to retrieve her friend Seven from the monsters, Twelve must illuminate the path to safety by uncovering her dark, hidden past. Kids ages 12 and up can buckle up for this action-packed adventure as they battle strange creatures and learn about the importance of friendship!
The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy by Anne Ursu follows the adventures of Marya Lupu, an ordinary village girl who is lost in the shadows of her soon-to-be sorcerer brother, Luka. When Lupu receives an invitation to attend a mysterious school for rebellious girls, Dragomir Academy, she soon finds herself in an unfamiliar world, miles away from home. Though the girls attend Dragomir to learn their place in the world of magic, they quickly discover the untold secrets of men in power and the magic they wield. Kids ages 8-12 can dive into the magical world of Illyria and follow Marya as she navigates friendships, sibling rivalries, and powerful institutions.
Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan is a modern tribute to Jules Verne’s classic sci-fi novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Protagonist Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a high school focused on producing the best aquatic professionals, including marine scientists and naval warriors. With her older brother, Dev, being her only family left, Ana is anxious to begin her years at HP. However, her first school outing leaves her and her other classmates witnessing a gruesome atrocity that triggers a long-anticipated war with HP’s rival school, the Land Institute. Kids ages 10-14 years can dive deep into the sea and follow Ana along as she builds friendships and puts her leadership skills to the test.
Between the Lines by Lindsay Ward is a picture book that uses color to emphasize the importance of life and love. Noticing a disillusionment in neighborly encounters, a young boy watches as the colors from the neighborhood he loves begin to disappear. When a large thunderstorm hits and takes the last remaining colors, it’s up to this young boy to restore kindness and color to a black-and-white world. Kids ages 4-8 years can follow along with the story and imagery, learning the vital role they play in their communities.
All of these books will be available on Amazon this month, or you can look for them at your local bookstores.