40 Best Halloween Read-Alouds


Hi, friends! Our Learning Librarians Facebook group has been talking about our favorite Halloween read-alouds. I want to share these great books with you, so you can be ready to be fun and festive with your students!

Halloween Picture Books for 3rd-5th grade

While you read to your older students, consider projecting a YouTube video of a fireplace with thunderstorm sounds, for even more atmosphere!

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon (read with the Novel Effects app, and pair with a bat non-fiction book or database article): A baby bat falls into a bird’s nest and is raised like a bird until she is reunited with her mother.

Picnic at Mudsock Meadow by Patricia Polacco: The annual small-town Halloween picnic includes pumpkin carving, pumpkin seed spitting, tug-o’-war, and a costume contest surprise.

The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg (students can make a yarn trick broom by watching this video): Is the widow’s clever broom helpful or magical or dangerous?

Precious and the Boo Hag by Patricia McKissack: Precious is home alone and determined not to let the tricky Boo Hag in, no matter how she’s disguised.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams: The little old lady is followed through the dark woods by a pumpkin head, a tall black hat, and other spooky objects.

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie by Denys Cazet: A grumpy, finicky ghost returns to his home on Halloween, looking for the perfect pumpkin pie.

The Bake Shop Ghost by Jacqueline Ogburn: A bitter baker haunts her bake shop after her death, scaring each new owner away, until Annie finds a way to make peace.

Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book by Yuyi Morales: A skeleton visits Grandma Beetle, but she tricks hims by asking him to wait for her to perform one task after another, leading up to her birthday party.

The Tailypo: A Ghost Story by Joanna and Paul Galdone (hide the illustrations and have students draw what they think the Tailypo looks like.): A strange creature haunts the woodsman who cut off its tail.

Monsters Can Mosey by Gillia Olson (Students can walk like the zombies in the book. What does lurching look like? Clomping? Trudging?): A monster tries to figure out the best way to walk.

Tell Me a Scary Story…But Not Too Scary! by Carl Reiner: A young boy has an adventure in a neighbor’s scary basement, with the narrator continually asking the reader if he should stop telling the scary story.

Halloween Read-Alouds Picture Books

Halloween Picture Books for Kindergarten through Second Grade

I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll (+ 3 more in the series): The monster under the bed goes on vacation, and Gabe can’t fall asleep with the substitute monsters.

Creepy Carrots and Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds (read with the Novel Effects app): In Creepy Carrots, a carrot-stealing Jasper Rabbit sees carrots following him wherever he goes. In Creepy Pair of Underwear, Jasper is afraid of his glow in the dark underwear when the lights go out.

Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen: All of Marilyn’s friends have a pet monster, and Marilyn goes in search of her own monster.

Fly Guy and the Frankenfly by Tedd Arnold: After a day of monster activities, Buzz dreams that Fly Guy created a Frankenfly monster.

The Monsters’ Monster by Patrick McDonnell (read with the Novel Effects app): Three little monsters create a big, bad monster who ends up being gentle and grateful, rather than terrifying.

Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott: At night, when the moon is full, a young boy gives haircuts to monsters in a creepy barber shop.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (read with the Novel Effects app): After he is sent to bed without supper, Max goes to the island of the wild things for a wild rumpus.

The Monstore by Tara Lazar: Zack buys monsters at the Monstore to keep his little sister out of his room, but he has trouble with the store’s no refund, no exchange policy.

The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber: The other monsters tease Onster for being nice instead of mean and for playing with children and helping them instead of scaring them.

I Want To Be in a Scary Story by Sean Taylor: Monster wants to be in a scary story until it gets too spooky, and he decides that maybe a funny story would be better.

Quit Calling Me a Monster by Jory John: A monster named Floyd Peterson tries to convince the reader that he is so much more than shaggy purple fur and pointy teeth!

Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems: Leonardo can’t frighten anyone, until he finds a nervous little boy named Sam and scares him, makes him cry, and regrets it.

Frankencrayon by Michael Hall: The crayons try to get rid of a giant scribble so they can put on their play, Frankencrayon.

Halloween Read-Alouds Picture Books

Halloween Non-Fiction

She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton: biography of author Mary Shelley and how she dreamed of the monster on a dark and stormy night

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex: funny poetry featuring monsters

I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton (you could make spiders from pipe cleaners after reading): a humorous non-fiction introduction to spiders

Halloween Read-Alouds Non-Fiction

Halloween Read-Aloud Chapter Books

Never Race a Runaway Pumpkin by Katherine Applegate (Roscoe Riley Rules series): Roscoe tries to guess the weight of a giant pumpkin so he can win books for his school library and candy for himself, but superstitions get in his way.

Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe: Is the new baby bunny a vampire? Harold the dog and Chester the cat try to discover the truth about the new family pet.

The Houdini Box by Brian Selznick: Amateur magician Victor receives a mysterious locked box from Harry Houdini’s widow.

Half-Minute Horrors by various authors: short, scary stories from an assortment of authors and illustrators

Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise by Kate DiCamillo: Mercy the neighborhood pig is excited to go trick-or-treating, even if she has to wear the tight princess dress.

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket: Three clever orphans try to solve a mystery while a villain pursues them.

Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk by Megan McDonald: Stink and his friends make zombie costumes to celebrate the release of the newest book in the Nightmare on Zombie Street series.

Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise: An author moves into an old house, and an abandoned boy and a ghost write letters to him from other parts of the house.

Halloween Read-Alouds Chapter Books

Video Halloween Read-Alouds

Joseph Bruchac re-tells The Skeleton Man live!

I Need My Monster, read by Rita Moreno on Storyline Online

Hey, That’s My Monster, read by Lily Tomlin on Storyline Online

Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies, read by Jaime Camil on Storyline Online

Library Centers after Halloween Read-Alouds

If you’re teaching in person, check out my post about Free Library Centers for October!

I’ve included Amazon links to these Halloween read-alouds, so that you can quickly see the book information. If you choose to purchase through this link, I do receive a few cents commission, at no extra cost to you.

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