Recommendations: Five Spooky Middle Grades

I find myself wanting to make recommendations lists from time to time, but don’t always have a specific post or reason in mind. With that thought in mind, I’d thought from time to time I’d do random recommendations. These recommendations could fit a theme of the month or genre’s I’ve been gravitating towards. I’ve done a couple now, Five Adult RomComs and Nine LGBTQIA+ Reads, and thought I’d quickly do another.

In May I read a lot of spooky middle grades – really a lot of horror that month because that’s just want I had been wanting to read. So with that in mind, in no particular order, here are five spooky middle grades that I’ve read recently that I’d recommend. Oh and a big thank you to Melanie from TBR and Beyond who has been feeding my spooky middle grade needs lol.

Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

  • Based on real historical events
  • Is it real? Or is it fake?
  • All the ghost stories
  • great friendship group
  • by far the scariest of these middle grades! (has stuck with me the longest)

Synopsis

A ghost story about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.

Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist, which is why she can’t think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour…he’s gone.

Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad’s ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her.

Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something…and Claire needs to find out what before it’s too late.

Hide and Seeker by Daka Hermon

  • Black Rep
  • twisted take on a childhood game – never playing hide and seek again!
  • spooky alternative world
  • probably tied with Scritch Scratch for spookiness, but I just think about the other more.

Synopsis

One of our most iconic childhood games receives a creepy twist as it becomes the gateway to a nightmare world.

I went up the hill, the hill was muddy, stomped my toe and made it bloody, should I wash it?

Justin knows that something is wrong with his best friend. Zee went missing for a year. And when he came back, he was . . . different. Nobody knows what happened to him. At Zee’s welcome home party, Justin and the neighborhood crew play Hide and Seek. But it goes wrong. Very wrong.

One by one, everyone who plays the game disappears, pulled into a world of nightmares come to life. Justin and his friends realize this horrible place is where Zee had been trapped. All they can do now is hide from the Seeker.

The Stitchers (Fright Watch #1) by Lorien Lawrence

  • Creepy old neighbours
  • Fake dating (who knew I’d find my fav romance trope in my middle grade horror lol)
  • tween sleuths
  • believer vs nonbeliever
  • series, so more to come (?)

Synopsis

The start of a spine-chilling new horror series about the eerie happenings in a small town

Something strange is happening on Goodie Lane . . .

Thirteen-year-old Quinn Parker knows that there’s something off about her neighbors. She calls them “the Oldies” because they’ve lived on Goodie Lane for as long as anyone can remember, but they never seem to age. Are they vampires? Or aliens? Or getting secret experimental surgeries? Or is Quinn’s imagination just running wild again?

If her dad were still around, he’d believe her. When he was alive, they’d come up with all sorts of theories about the Oldies. Now, Quinn’s determined to keep the investigation going with the help of Mike, her neighbor and maybe-crush. They’ll have to search for clues and follow the mystery wherever it leads—even if it’s to the eerie pond at the end of the street that’s said to have its own sinister secrets. But the Oldies are on to them. And the closer Quinn and Mike get to uncovering the answers, the more they realize just how terrifying the truth may be.

Camp Muderface (Camp Murderface #1) by Josh Berk & Saundra Mitchell

  • Summer Camp
  • takes place in the 80s!!!
  • Duel POV
  • Best-Friend Mystery duo
  • hilarious
  • another series I can’t wait to continue!

Synopsis

Summer camp turns sinister in Camp Murderface, a spooky middle grade read perfect for fans of scare masters like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike.

The year: 1983. The place: Ohio. The camp: Scary as heck.

Camp Sweetwater is finally reopening, three decades after it mysteriously shut down. Campers Corryn Quinn and Tez Jones have each had more than enough of their regular lives – they’re so ready to take their summer at Sweetwater by storm.

But before they can so much as toast one marshmallow, strange happenings start… happening. Can they survive the summer? Or will Camp Sweetwater shut down for good this time – with them inside?

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

  • set in England
  • classic in writing style (think Ray Bradbury in feel)
  • Irish sibling story
  • haunted house

Synopsis

The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.

Have you read any of these? Could you recommend me some spooky middle grades I should be picking up? Let me know in the comments, because I’m always up for more books!

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